Private rented accommodation and help to buy

Private rented accommodation

Many landlords advertise and manage their properties through letting agents. They usually charge one full month’s rent in advance and a deposit as part of the agreement to begin a tenancy. Agents may charge a fee for their services and may require you to agree to them carrying out a credit check which they will also charge for.

Fact Sheet 4 - Costs of privately renting

West Suffolk Lettings Partnership (WSLP) cannot assist with the fee that agents charge, as this is non-refundable if you fail credit referencing.

There are many useful websites that advertise properties including:

Fact Sheet 1 - Where can I find homes to rent

If you are entitled to housing benefit to assist the rent payments, you should make sure that the rent is affordable by checking the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates for the area and property size.

Fact Sheet 3 - Local Housing Allowance rates

The Bury St Edmunds rate covers most of West Suffolk apart from the Newmarket and Haverhill areas that attracts the higher Cambridge rate. Anything that isn't covered by housing benefit will come out of your own income. More information about LHA and entitlement.

Help to Buy

If you want to purchase a home of your own, but can't afford to buy on the open market, Help to Buy could be your way onto the property ladder. The Government has created the Help to Buy scheme to help you take your first steps into home ownership.

There are a number of Help to Buy products designed to make buying a home more affordable. You could buy a home using one of the home ownership options, such as shared ownership or help to buy equity loan scheme.

In order to apply for any Help to Buy product you must register with the Help to Buy Agent. Help to Buy Agents were previously known as Homebuy Agents. They are housing associations appointed by the Homes & Communities Agency as a one stop shop and point of contact for people looking for affordable homes to buy in their area.

As of 2 January 2020, The Radian Group are the Help to Buy Agent for us.

You can access further information on all Help to Buy products at 

Phone: Telephone number: 0800 456 1188   


Please be aware that if you were previously registered with the Help to Buy Agent, Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association (BPHA), they are no longer the Help to Buy Agent for West Suffolk. You will need to register with The Radian Group in order to access shared ownership properties.