There are far more people seeking social housing in Devon than there are homes available.

Most people will need to rely on renting from a private landlord to resolve their housing needs.

Make sure you can afford the rent when looking for private rented accommodation - and find out whether you are eligible for Housing Benefit.

You can look for private rented accommodation in:

  • Newspapers
  • Shop windows
  • Local letting agents
  • The internet

Private renting can also include renting a room in a landlord's home or renting a flat or house.

Remember, make sure you get a tenancy agreement and read it carefully before you sign anything, or hand any money over.


A private landlord will usually ask for a deposit. This is usually anything between one and two months' rent and its purpose is to cover any rent arrears and damage during the tenancy.

Make sure you read and sign the inventory at the start of the tenancy because you may be charged for anything which the landlord states is missing or damaged at the end of the tenancy.

Tenancy Deposit Protection

Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes have been set up to help protect tenants and their deposits. All deposits taken for an assured shorthold tenancy must be protected by a Government authorised scheme. The schemes can also help to resolve disputes about deposits between tenants and landlords.

Help with your rent

You could be entitled to housing benefit if you are in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Working, but on a low income

There are certain restrictions on housing benefit for people under the age of 35. Housing benefit will not cover any bills, such as water rates.

Help with accessing funds

Turn 2 Us is a free, accessible website offering a range of tools to help people access the money available to them through benefits, grants and other financial help. The site has been designed to help people find appropriate sources of financial support, quickly and easily, based on their particular needs and circumstances.

Help to access private rented housing

You may be eligible for our Deposit Guarantee Scheme if you have a local connection to the area and are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Please contact us if you think you might qualify.