Looking to rent in London? Guidance from UCL Student Funding Advisers
1 March 2018
For many students, the move into private accommodation in London can be a daunting prospect.
Here are the answers to some common questions to get you started.
When should I start looking?
Not for a while! Although some private halls will start advertising in January, the majority of students seeking to rent a house or flat will not need to start looking until much later - August or even September.
In London, private houses and flats are normally not advertised more than one or two months before they are available. This means that you really can wait until summer before starting to look for a place.
Where should I look?
The University of London Housing Service has a database where approved letting agents and landlords can advertise their properties to students.
When looking for accommodation you can also go directly to a letting agent. Either find one that operates in the area you'd like to move to, or check out the University of London Housing Service's list of registered letting agents.
Lastly many websites allow letting agents and landlords to list properties. The biggest ones in London are:
How much should I be paying?
London is famous for being expensive; however the housing market is so large that it is possible to find accommodation to suit most budgets. In our National Student Money Week survey of accommodation costs, we found one student paying £540 per month to live in N1, and another paying £1000 per month in the same postcode! This demonstrates more than anything that if you're determined to find a bargain on accommodation, you can.
It's good to figure out your budget first, then look for accommodation that you can afford. Remember to factor in travel and the cost of bills.
The University of London Housing Service have a useful Area Guide which includes the average cost of housing in each London postcode and the areas that students like to live.
Lastly, make sure that you and your future housemates agree on a price range that you are all happy with and don't look at properties beyond that bracket.
Visit the following sites for more information on housing and how to save money as a student.