So, you have found the job of your dreams in London, and you are starting soon?
Congratulations! Now you have to get serious about finding a home in London.
Fear not, here is the ultimate guide to finding a rental place in London in no time.
Step 1: London neighbourhoods and rental budget
Set up your time frame: when are you starting your job? Do you want to move into your London rental before you start your job, or do you want temporary accommodation first, and then organise your home search?
We are assuming you will have the right to reside in the UK, either thanks to the passport you hold, or because your employer sponsors you and provides you with a valid visa. If not, you need to contact your employer first and foremost as they need to help you with that.
Whatever your timing, you will need to decide where in London you want to live.
- 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 6 best places to live in London as a young professionnal.
- Ideally you will have identified 2 or 3 areas that you would like to explore. Check out our videos on the 15 most popular London neighbourhoods.
- 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.
Step 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.
There are different types of rentals in London – you can be looking for the “classical” long term rentals, but you could also consider co-living options if you are keen to meet like-minded professionals in a community space, whilst keeping your independence and your own kitchen! Check out the differences between these two types of rentals.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Step 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 FAQ about 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:
Step 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 this guide to becoming a Londoner 🙂