London’s real estate market is notoriously ferocious, and if you’re coming from another city or looking to move to your first flat, you will have to be prepared for it. You can’t expect to get the perfect flat overnight, and you will have to be smart in your searches if you don’t want to end up with a raw deal. Finding a nice place to stay in London is not impossible, however, and if you’re willing to make compromises, you might be able to find a decent flat reasonably quickly. Let’s take a look at a few tips that will help you find a good flat in London.
Rent a Room First
If you need to make a move immediately, then you may have to get a room in the city first. Finding a room to rent will be much easier than finding a flat. Many websites will help you find rooms to rent in London and some of them will even have job boards to help you get settled. Many of those sites will take the time to vet the landlords too.
Make a List of Musts and Nice-to-Haves
There’s a strong chance that you won’t be able to get the flat of your dreams in the exact area that you wished for, so you will need to make a list of areas you would prefer to live in, as well as some plan B options. You will first need to make a list of things you absolutely need in the area, such as good restaurants, access to a tube station, or good shopping options, and things that you don’t need but would be nice, like green space and bike lanes, for example.
Interview a Few Landlords
Once you have your list of places you would like to live in, you can start your search for different apartments and get to know the landlords. Your gut feeling will tell you a lot when looking for an apartment, so if things hit off with the landlord, then you can feel a bit safer. You will then have to discuss the terms of a possible lease, the EPC, the gas safety certificate, the deposit, and any other important documents.
If the flat is being rented out by a management company, do your research on it. And never agree to put money down until you’ve signed an agreement.
Visit at Different Times of the Day
You also have to be mindful of the time when you look up flats. You need to go at different times of the day and go there on the weekends as well. Some areas may seem very quaint during the day but become much busier later at night. Or they may not feel as safe as you thought they were. Going during the night with someone will give you a good idea of whether you can live in this area long term.
All of these tips should allow you to find a great flat in London in a reasonably short period. Make sure that you vet anyone you intend to rent from thoroughly and get as much intel on the location of your choice as possible before finalising your move.