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Private housing explained

Private housing explained

What is private housing?

Private rented accommodation is owned or leased by private landlords. The rent is more expensive that Council or Housing Association accommodation. Properties range from single rooms in shared properties to houses and vary in quality and cost. Rents also depend on the size and location of the property. Privately rented accommodation in Wokingham is not cheap and you will usually be asked to pay a deposit and/or rent in advance before you move in.

In shared accommodation you usually have your own bedroom and share the rest of the property with other tenants and/or the landlord/lady. Shared accommodation is generally the cheapest and easiest to find. An advantage to shared accommodation is that the bills are usually included in the rent and the deposit and rent in advance are also cheaper.

You may consider this as an option in order to save up money towards a deposit and rent in advance to enable you to secure self-contained accommodation at a future time. Shared accommodation may also be advertised as rooms, house/flat shares or bedsits.

This may be a room in the landlord’s house or a room where other people share facilities such as a bathroom, kitchen, garden and living area. This is often the cheapest accommodation available.

You will have your own room and share the rest of the property. You will probably have more contact with the other tenants and there may be fewer of them. You may find the facilities are better than when renting a room although this may be reflected in the cost.

You will have your own room with cooking and washing facilities but will often share a bathroom and toilet.

You can find out information about accommodation through:

  • Letting agencies and estate agents
  • Local newspapers
  • Notice boards and shop windows
  • Personal contacts - friends, family and colleagues

Other things to consider when choosing a property are:

  • Can you pay a deposit? - landlords usually ask for a deposit of 1 month's rent in advance (to cover rent arrears or damage to the property or contents )
  • Can you afford it? - on top of your rent you'll need to pay your Council Tax, utility bills and sometimes ground rent (if renting a flat)
  • Is it the right location for you?
  • Is the property and area safe?
  • Is it clean and in a good state of repair?

Visit the Thames Valley Energy website for advice about suppliers of discounted products.

You may be eligible for a  government grant for the installation of solar panels, wind turbines or other renewable resources. Visit the Thames Valley Energy website or the Energy Saving Trust website for more advice.

Your utilities supplier should be able to give you details about other available schemes.

Private Rented Scheme

If you're a landlord, you can rent your properties through our Private Rented Scheme (PDF).

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