First Time Renting In London

Published: 18/12/2018

Renting a place to live in London has become increasingly popular over the past 20 years. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 60% of Londoners will be renting by 2025 as opposed to owning a home. As a result of this huge demand for apartments and houses, the market is incredible competitive, and you have to be firmly on the ball when looking for a new place to live.

In London the best time to start looking to move is the start of the year, as there are many apartments available to rent with less people moving in January / February. Generally, the most in-demand period for renting an apartment is the summer months. During this period, it is generally a bit more difficult to find a new home, simply because so many people are looking to rent at this time for multiple reasons:

  • Recent graduates finish their degree and relocate for their new jobs.
  • Families move during the summer break, so the moving process doesn’t interfere too much with school.
  • The summer months are generally when corporate relocations occur.
  • Students move to start a semester or internship at a different location.

If, however, you need to move within these summer months, I’d advise starting to look early – at least four weeks prior to your move-in date to be ahead of the game.

It is important to have a structured approach and understand your own requirements as it will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Here is a list of questions that you should probably consider before you start your search:

  • What is your budget for accommodation? It seems like a no-brainer but try to have something definite in mind that you won’t deviate from too much.
  • What size property do you require? How many bedrooms should it include?
  • What are important factors when it comes to areas to live? It could be the distance to work or university, family friendliness, or something else. This is very important when living in London as if you haven’t lived here before, the scale of the city can be quite daunting.
  • Are you willing to share a flat or do you want your own place?
  • Do you require a furnished apartment or is unfurnished also an option?
  • Will you be bringing any furniture or other large items with you?