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How to find a rental place in London

Congratulations on securing the job of your dreams in London—exciting times ahead! Now, as you prepare to embark on this new journey, it’s time to focus on finding your new home. Don’t fret, though; we’ve got you covered with the ultimate guide to securing a rental place in London in record time (well, at least within 4 weeks)!

Week 1: Exploring London Neighbourhoods and Setting Your Rental Budget

First things first, let’s establish your timeline: Are you starting your job immediately, or do you prefer to settle into your London rental before your first day at work? Perhaps you’d like temporary accommodation initially, allowing you to conduct a more thorough home search later on.

Assuming you have the right to reside in the UK—whether through your passport or sponsorship from your employer—it’s time to dive into the rental hunt. If not, reach out to your employer promptly, as they’ll need to assist you with the necessary documentation.

Whatever your timing, you will need to decide where in London you want to live.

  1. If you don’t know London, or have only ever visited London as a tourist, then do take the time to do some research on London neighbourhoods: check out the best places to live in London as a young professional.
  2. Ideally you will have identified 2 or 3 areas that you would like to explore. Check out our videos on the most popular London neighbourhoods.
  3. Your next step will be to make sure that your rental budget enables you to live there. Take a look at our areas guide that includes average rental prices for each area we present.

Week 2: Selecting and viewing London rental properties

Once you have defined your potential London neighbourhoods, and your rental budget, it is time to do the property search.

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Your objective will be to set up viewings for London rental properties in a short time frame, ideally one day – the market is extremely reactive, and you will not want to see one property per day, because by the time you see the property on Day 5, the first three will have gone already.

You do want to be able to compare areas and properties immediately, in order to make a quick but funded decision.

  1. You will need to call each estate agent for each property you will have identified, to clarify whether the property is still available, and whether it matches all of your criteria.
  2. Don’t forget to check when the property will be available! Some properties are available immediately, others later on. You can decide which ones to choose depending on your own timing.
  3. You will also need to set up your viewing at a time that is convenient and not too far away from the next viewing (tip: use Google maps!)

Before going to your rental viewings, you will want to understand how the rental process works – you will have to negotiate with the agent, so you better be well prepared. Check out our FAQ to have all information at hand:

Week 3: Securing the London rental home of your dreams

Your negotiation is complete: you are now asked to pay a holding deposit to secure the property. Check out our article on paying holding deposits.

You will also enter the referencing process, whereby you will be asked to present documents to the agent to prove your identity and credibility as a potential tenant.

Once this is completed, you will be sent a draft tenancy agreement: check out our guide to tenancy agreements.

Week 4: Moving in and becoming a Londoner – the easy bit

A date will be set for you to move in. You will need to have paid all monies before that date, otherwise you can’t move in, and there are no exceptions to this.

You will meet the inventory agency on site, they will complete the inventory and hand over the keys – that’s it!

You can move in and become a Londoner – well, not before you have read our tips on settling into life in London 🙂

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Good luck with your move to London!


Looking to understand the London rental market, and master all the steps required to rent a property? Buy and download our Guide to Renting in London!

This guide gives you all the detailed information to help you understand renting in London, including:

  • How to decide where to live in London
  • How to find a home to rent
  • How to make a rental offer
  • How deposits work and how much they cost
  • Understanding rental contracts, and how to check your tenancy agreement

Click here for a preview of this fantastic guide!

Guide to Renting in London
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