A Student Guide for Renting in London

A Student Guide for Renting in London

You may be a born and bred Londoner, you may have seen Big Ben once and hoped never to return. Either way, if you’re studying and living in London, the chances are that you are worried about finding that dreaded student flat. With over 300,000* students basing their studies out of the Capital, London can be a great place to live out your uni experience if you stay canny. We’ve got you covered with this simple guide.‍

You may be a born and bred Londoner, you may have seen Big Ben once and hoped never to return. Either way, if you’re studying and living in London, the chances are that you are worried about finding that dreaded student flat. With over 300,000* students basing their studies out of the Capital, London can be a great place to live out your uni experience if you stay canny. We’ve got you covered with this simple guide.

Area

First and foremost, where on earth (or rather, London) to start? The location of any flat is always a top concern, student or not, and with a city the size of London, choosing where to live can be hard to wrap your head around. A good place to start is normally as close to uni as possible, but this is often unrealistic when you take into account price or local amenities. The best thing to do is to use a website like the University of London Housing Services to measure your daily commute into classes - trust us, a weekly 9am lecture can feel like a mountain to climb if you have to commute across London in rush hour. Also, before viewing a property and getting attached, you should research any local shops, pubs and transport links in the vicinity. If “popping” to Tesco takes longer than your daily commute, there’s a problem. Finally…neighbours. If you’re not from London, you may have heard horror stories about unfriendly neighbours and, while this may not always be true, it is good to be cautious.Make sure to pick a flat in a popular area for students rather than a quiet pocket of the city with families all around. After all, constantly being shouted at by the upstairs neighbour tends to put a dampener on your pre’s…

Flatmates

Who you live with is another huge decision forced upon you during FirstYear and this is more often than not a source of stress. Always bear in mind that just because you like someone, it doesn’t mean you can live with them and you should never enter any agreement to live together lightly. Luckily, students in London benefit from the fact that you can pretty much always find a flat to move into immediately. This means that, unlike many other unis, there is less of a mad rush during freshers week to get your house group chat sorted and snap up the best flats. Before deciding to live with someone, make sure to consider things like: how much do you really like your potential flatmate’s other half? - they will probably be round a lot - or have you ever actually seen your friend doing the washing up? You should also make sure to have discussed everything: bills, rent, how rooms will be divided up (the list goes on…) before you sign on the dotted line. This can avoid a lot of awkward group chat beef later down the line.

Agents

Finally… agents (and agencies) - cue ominous music… Student letting agents/landlords are often seen as the villains of the student market, looking to leech every penny that, as a student, you probably don’t have. Your agency contact can be harder to get hold of than your ex and many students get so carried away with the idea of signing and moving into a new flat, they forget to read the small print. Make sure to read your rental agreement thoroughly before signing - staying aware of any break clause or contract termination that may be necessary as a last resort. Make sure to query anything and everything you find unreasonable in your contract - there is no harm in asking and agencies will often be prepared to make changes if asked before signage. Lastly, before moving in, you should take pictures of and report all damages. Be prepared to be persistent and sort out any issues before they get serious - you may regret not immediately reporting a faulty thermostat when you’re trying to write an essay in a hat and gloves.

 For more tips on how to properly view a flat, check out our advice here.


Related Posts