You will find that the availability of accommodation in the private sector is much higher than that in the social (council and housing associations) sector. You will therefore have a much greater choice of the type of property and area you wish to live.
Rents tend to be slightly higher in the private sector and most contracts will be offered on a short term basis, for example, 6 or 12 months. Some landlords will require bonds and rent in advance and some agencies will charge you an introduction/agency fee. Please bear in mind that some agencies will conduct a credit check.
There are a number of costs associated with renting a property, most importantly paying the rent. If you are on a low income you may be able to get help with this by claiming for housing benefit.
We publish a weekly downloadable list of local letting agents.
Private rental letting agents (PDF)