How To Rent Affordable Housing?

These days, affordable housing is clean, safe, and cosy. And renting affordable housing is a lot more straightforward and doesn’t have the same stigma as it used to.  

Here we give you four things you need to consider if you want to rent affordable housing.


1)  Decide Who To Rent From


There are a handful of options; letting agent, private landlord, or housing association.

A private landlord is a person who owns a house and rents it to you. That’s it. They still need to have insurance, cover the deposit in a Deposit Protection Scheme and keep the property safe and compliant.


  • The rent be cheaper than a letting agent
  • May not want as many references
  • The moving in costs, such as a deposit, might be cheaper.


  • You might find it harder to get repairs done
  • Probably won't be registered with an independent complaint body
  • It can be trickier to get your deposit back

A letting agent is an agency that manages the property for the landlord. The landlord pays them to sort out finding tenants, claiming rent, holding deposits, and managing repairs.


  • People dedicated to getting repairs fast
  • An independent complaints procedure if you aren’t happy
  • Inventories, insurances, and Deposit protection Schemes are all in place so both sides are protected.


  • Can be more expensive
  • Will often do a credit check


A Housing Association is a not for profit organisation that provides affordable housing. Accent Group are a Housing Association with homes to rent or buy across the UK. Any profit that is made is put straight back into the housing and communities we serve.

You can apply for a home through the local council or directly through us, depending on where you live. Browse our homes available here.

Each council has its own rules about who can go on the housing register in that area. You can find your local council and more details about who is usually excluded from housing registers and who has to go on here on the Shelter website.


  • Your landlord is a large, regulated and audited company-no cowboys
  • The residents get a say in how they are run
  • Most offer additional services and advice
  • Can have long term tenancy agreements


  • Can have a bit of red tape involved
  • Sometimes a long waiting list if you have to go through the council

2) Do Your Research

There are plenty of places to find affordable homes to rent. Sometimes, going a bit off the beaten path will get you a cracking deal.

Rightmove and similar websites are a good place to start to get a feel for what is available but don’t limit your search to there.


  • Online-Try going direct to the letting agent or Housing Association website, For example, on our website we have a nifty search tool for looking for homes to rent through us.
  • Newspapers-Most newspapers still have a homes section where available properties will be advertised. Try having a look at your local paper and see if there is a homes section. You are more likely to find private landlords there.
  • Facebook-believe it or not, many people put homes for rent on Facebook these days. Have a look on marketplace. You might just find a bargain.
  • Classified ads-Have a look in the classified ads of your local paper. Private landlords will often post homes for rent there and they are usually cheaper than going through a lettings agency.
  • Council-Some housing associations rent their homes directly through the council in choice based lettingsSpeak to your council.

3) If You Are Turned Down For ‘DSS’, Or Being On Benefits

It used to be when you would see ‘No DSS’ on adverts for houses for rent. DSS stands for Department of Social Services and means anyone on benefits cannot rent this house.

These days, landlords are not allowed to turn away tenants because they are on benefits. But they can refuse if they don’t think you can afford it.

If you suspect you are being refused a home, ask if you can provide extra references, provide a guarantor or demonstrate you can afford the rent. If you know you are being refused because you are on benefits, contact Citizens Advice.


4) What To Ask The Landlord


There are some key questions you should ask your landlord or their representative before you rent affordable housing.

1) Which deposit protection scheme will my deposit be help with?

2) What is the repairs procedure?

3) Does the rent include any bills?

4) How long is the agreement for? Can I renew?

5) What if I want to leave early?

6) Are there any fees payable before I move in? 

7) What is the process at the end of the tenancy?


Looking To Rent Affordable Housing?

If you would like to rent affordable housing in Middlesbrough, Bradford, Lancashire, Camberley, Peterborough and the surrounding areas browse our listings here.

Our tenants stick with us because we give them security, choice, and respect. Our properties are all well maintained and in good locations.

We are a real community.

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