Download the government's guide on how to rent

For most people looking for a new home in Portsmouth, the private rent sector is the quickest solution.

The government produces a ‘How to Rent’ guide for tenants who want to access the private rent sector.

There are many landlords and letting agents in the city, and not one single place to look for them. They will each have their own requirements in terms of who they will and won’t let a property to.

We recommend that you visit multiple letting agencies to register with them and tell them the type of property you are looking for. Many landlords and agents also advertise their properties online, using websites such as Right Move and Zoopla.


There will usually be upfront fees to pay when moving into a property. For example, there might be a rent deposit and rent in advance. It’s normal to have to save for such fees where possible, or to ask friends and family for help.

If you are in receipt of housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit then you might be able to get some help in the form of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP).

The law restricts what fees landlords can charge tenants at the start of a tenancy.

If you need help with the cost of some of the other costs of setting up a new home you could also consider the help detailed in our help for people in hardship directory.

More information

There’s more help and advice on our ‘looking for a home’ page.