In Harrow there are twice as many homes that are rented out privately compared to homes provided by the council or housing associations. This means that if you're searching for a new place to live, you have a higher chance of finding one within the private rented sector.
You can find details of available properties:
- online such as websites like Rightmove, Spare Room, and Gumtree
- in local newspapers
- in shop windows
- in letting agencies
Before signing a rental agreement make sure the property is suitable for you and those living with you. Also, check whether you can afford the rent and all the bills and expenses. If you are on a low income you may be entitled to housing benefit.
Know your rights when renting
You must be treated fairly. The information below is also available to download in our Know your rights when renting leaflet.
- No discrimination: It is against the law to treat you differently base on your nationality, race, religion, sexuality, disability or gender. You do though have to provide proof of your legal right to live in the UK.
- Money protection: Ask whether your letting agent belongs to a client money protection scheme. These schemes protect any money you pay to the agent as deposit or rent - even if the agent closes down.
- Complaints agents: They must register with an independent organisation to deal with complaints. The logo of the complaints redress scheme they belong to must be displayed.
- Permission to rent: Your landlord must have permission to rent. You can check what permission they need on our website.
- Deposit protection: Within 30 days of taking your deposit, your landlord must prove to you that they have protected it with one of the three authorised schemes: DPS, TDS, or My Deposits.
- Fair tenancy: Your tenancy must be fair and understandable. You shouldn’t be hit with surprise fees.
- Rent increases: Your rent should not go up during the fixed period of your tenancy.
- Legal information: Your landlord or agent must give you the government’s latest ‘How to Rent’ booklet when you move in.
- Moving out: Landlords must follow a strict legal process if they want you to move out – and that process takes time. If your landlord or agent wants you to move against your wishes, you should get immediate advice.
- Tenancy agreement: Good landlords and agents give you a written tenancy agreement. The law says they must put in writing:
- the address of your room or flat
- the length of the agreement
- the rent
- the landlord’s name and contact address
Your home must be safe and secure
- It’s your home: The landlord or agent must not disturb or harass you. They can only visit when convenient for you. Unless it’s an emergency, they must give at least 24 hours’ notice.
- Electrical safety: The wiring and any electrical items supplied with your home must be safe. Landlords must provide an electrical safety certificate for any tenancies after 1 July 2020.
- Reasonable repair: Your home must be safe. Your landlord must make repairs in reasonable time and maintain any appliances provided. You must not make unauthorised repairs or alterations.
- Alarms: Your home must have a working smoke alarm on every floor. If you have solid fuel heating, your landlord must also fit a carbon monoxide detector.
- Damp and mould: Your home should be free from damp and mould. See our website for tips on preventing it becoming a problem and what your landlord must do if that’s not possible.
- Gas safety: If you have a gas supply, your landlord must give you a valid gas safety certificate when you move in. A Gas Safe engineer must check your appliances every year.