Living in London

Living in London

You’ve made the exciting decision to move to London ~ you will need somewhere to live 🙂

Try to find the best option to suit your budget.

Different rental options include:

  • a bedsit (a room with basic cooking facilities and either a compact or shared bathroom)
  • a studio flat (an apartment which has a private bathroom, kitchen facilities and a room which serves as a lounge and a bedroom)
  • a one-bedroom flat
  • a room in a house/flat share. This is a great way to meet new people and share the cost of your bills.
  • If you have a restricted budget perhaps share a bedroom with a friend. Or if you feel comfortable sharing with strangers, you could look for advertisements for a bed in a room sharing with one or more people.
  • If you are arriving with a partner or friend(s), you could look at renting a whole flat or house.
  • You could also consider being a Property Guardian (where you protect and stay in an empty building for a reduced rent), for example dotdotdotproperty.com or a house sitter, which could include looking after a pet/plants etc.
  • Find accommodation with EasyRoommate, SpareRoom, Gumtree, Rightmove

Short term

You may need somewhere short term to give you some time to find a permanent home

  • Hostels
  • Airbnb (also check out our property on Airbnb)
  • During the summer you may be able to stay in University accommodation, for an example, Imperial College London
  • If you have a tent, you could stay at a campsite!

Useful Information

  • As a general rule, the closer to the centre of London, the more expensive it is but it is also worth considering journey times and cost of transport when deciding which area to live in.
  • You can either rent through a private landlord or letting agency. Some properties are advertised by the tenant who is moving out or those who live there.
  • If possible, it is advisable to view the property before agreeing to it, especially if you are committing to a long term contract.
  • Some contracts are short-term, some are rolling (where you can give, for example, one month’s notice) or you may be required to commit to a fixed term of 6 months, 1 year or perhaps longer.
  • Properties can be furnished, part-furnished or completely unfurnished. Check what’s included, this could be anything, ranging from a bed to kitchen utensils.
  • You may be asked for references or a guarantor (someone who would pay your rent if you can’t – particularly relevant to students)

Useful weblinks

When you are looking at a property, find out if the bills are included:

  • Council tax – This is paid to the Local Authority of the Borough you live in. You could be entitled to a discount, for example if you live on your own you may get a 25% discount. House shares will normally split the cost between the tenants. An all student household does not pay council tax.
  • Water and waste water (sewerage) rates
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Telephone landline
  • Internet
  • TV licence (if required) The cost is £147 per year, as at April 2017. If you are renting a room and watch live TV or BBC programmes on iPlayer (live, catch up or on demand) in your room, you need your own licence.
  • Some house shares pay for a cleaner
  • Some house shares pay for extra TV channels (e.g. Sky or Netflix)
  • If you have a car, ask about parking – is it free or do you have to pay for a permit?

You also need to find out

  • How much is the deposit? Make sure it is covered by a tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP)
  • Are there any fees (e.g. letting agent fees, inventory checks (moving in and out), credit checks, etc)? A recent government statement has called for letting agent fees to be abolished, the date of implementation is still to be announced.
  • You may want to know if it is a smoking or non-smoking property
  • If you have a pet or pet allergies, ask if pets are allowed

To protect your belongings you can get contents insurance. Look for prices on comparison sites such as www.comparethemarket.com

If you need extra storage, there are storage companies such as Big Yellow or try websites such as Storemates

If you are in a position to buy

Search for property on: 

Tips:

  • Have a look at previous sold prices. These can be found on Rightmove.
  • Property can either be bought freehold, shared freehold or leasehold.
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