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Private renting is flexible and often offers a good housing solution.  The private rented sector is extremely varied and ranges from hostels for the homeless to apartments. The standard of accommodation and management can also vary, as does the cost.

We are actively working with landlords and tenants to encourage safe, quality and responsible renting. We can give you guidance on the legal standards for private rented housing, advice on how to go about finding a property to rent and what to do if you have problems with your landlord.

We have a range of powers we can use to ensure people and properties are safe and well managed and that tenants are free from harassment and nuisance.

If you're already a tenant, thinking of renting from a private landlord, or looking for somewhere to live, then we can help.

Finding a home

Private rented properties are advertised in many ways, including in the press, shop windows, estate agents and on internet sites.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents can also help provide details of local letting agents.

Choosing a property

Before you agree to rent or sign any paperwork, remember to take a really good look at the property that you’re considering, ensuring it's safe and secure to live in, and that all outstanding repairs are carried out before you move in.  Visit the property both in daylight and in the evening to check that the area is safe and always ensure you take someone with you.

Dudley is also a member of Homestamp, a partnership comprising with local authorities, the Private Rented Sector, West Midlands Police, and the Fire Service. We ensure the following:

  • Supply of good quality private rented homes.
  • Provide information and training for landlords.
  • Respond to regional and national issues affecting the private rented sector.

Repairs

If you need a repair to your rental property speak to your landlord.

If the landlord refuses to carry out the work, please contact us. We have a number of powers to ensure that works are carried out to the minimum statutory housing standard.

Make sure that when you sign your tenancy agreement find out which repairs your landlord is responsible for, which repairs you will be responsible for and the procedure for reporting a repair.

Citizens Advice provide information on getting repairs done.

Contact us - Private Housing

Landlord Problems

If you are living in privately rented accommodation the law protects you against harassment and illegal eviction by your landlord. Both of these acts are criminal offences and victims are able to claim damages, through the civil court. Find out more about landlord problems.

Tenancy Deposit Protection

Within 30 days of receiving a deposit, landlords will need to provide tenants with the details of which scheme is protecting the tenancy deposit. It must be accompanied by a copy of the relevant Scheme leaflet.
There is a free evidenced-based Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service to deal with disputes related to the tenancy deposit. In the event of a dispute, both the agent/landlord and tenant must consent to use the ADR service and agree to be bound by the Adjudicator’s decision.

It's important that before you pay any deposit that your landlord provides you with of a list of items included in the property, the condition of these items, and the general condition of the property. This must be signed by both of you as a record at that time.

You could take photographic evidence with the date shown when you first move in will help to avoid deposits being withheld by your landlord due to alleged damage. If your landlord breaks tenancy deposit rules, you should contact Shelter or the Citizen Advice Bureau.