‘Sorry, there is no more room available.’
‘The monthly rental is 10x what you can afford.’
These are just some of the things that will break the heart of anyone looking for a rented space in London. From looking to visiting properties, everything seems overwhelming.
Finding a space that you will love and would fit your needs is hard, but with careful planning and a little help from others, it is not impossible. Here are things you can take to make sure that you will find exactly what you want:
1. Sit down and decide what you want
You probably have an idea of what you want — a flat, a shared room, or a house. However, there are a lot more things to consider when figuring out what will fit your needs. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is your projected monthly budget? London properties are known to be expensive, so factor in other monthly expenses, such as bills, food, transport, and council tax.
- Do you want to be near a transport hub?
- Do you want any private outdoor space like a lawn, or would you be okay with just a nearby park?
- Do you want something furnished or unfurnished?
2. Check if you are eligible to rent in London
Before you take this further, you have to make sure that you are allowed to rent in London. This part involves a lot of paperwork, but it is better to take care of it before you do any house hunting.
Here are some documents you need to prove that you are a citizen worthy of a rental space in London:
- Any proof of identity — A valid ID, an Electoral Register entry, an official letter such as a tax or utility bill dated within the last three months
- If coming from abroad, a copy of your UK visa and other documents
- Proof of employment (to prove that you can pay rent) like pay slips or current employment contract
3. Decide on the area you want to live in
Of course, you would most likely want to live near your university or office. If you do not know London that much, it is best to research the characteristics of each neighbourhood and know which ones suit your taste best.
4. Look for listings on websites, newspapers, or magazines
When you have a specific idea of your dream home, it is time to look for listings. If you are not in London yet, online websites are your best option. If you are already in the area, local newspapers and magazines could also work.
A word of caution: The rental market in London is extremely fast-paced, so if you see something you like, contact the owner as soon as you can.
5. Pay a local estate agent a visit
Do this step sooner to make things easy for you. Local real estate agents like the Harrisons Property London have enough local knowledge and expertise to help you through the entire process. They know areas that may suit your preferences, listings that fit your budget and criteria, and what documents you may need.
Plan everything at least four weeks ahead of your move so you have enough time to find a place you really like. If you have friends in London, ask for help. London offers rewards that other cities do not, so giving this your best shot is going to be worth it.