With rents in most parts of London upwards of £1,000 a week, looking for rooms to rent London area can feel pretty intimidating especially for someone new in London. Rents in London are not cheap, so you have to be in the know of a few tips to get decent rooms to rent that are affordable. How do you go about it?
Know what you want
What are you looking for, a house share or flatshare? Do you want to be North or South of the River? How close do you want to be to the tube or other commuter options? There are several tools you can use to study the different regions of London. The Office of National Statistics has a map tool offering information on different neighbourhoods. You can Google the areas too, or use the crime map to find out the level of risk in each area.
Search the web
There are several good sites that have info on properties to let across London. However, do not be tempted to take shortcuts that could prove expensive later. There are plenty of housing scams. You should view the property before you pay anything.
You could also use real estate agents. They will often have the information you need, but there is a cost for that. Some will charge as high as 10% of the rent on top of administration costs. Private landlords can be reached through the ads. Be careful of offers that are too good to be true.
Questions to ask
It is very crucial that you clear some issues with the agent or landlord. How much is the deposit, and how soon do you get it back after moving out? Who manages the property? If you choose shared rooms, ask about the bills. Are they included in the rent? Look out for hidden costs. Some low rents do not include council taxes or bills.
Read and understand the tenancy agreement
Do not skip this crucial task. If you are moving into shared rooms, ensure that the agreement does not place a burden on you for the deeds of your roommates. Get clarification on the notice period needed before moving out and your liability in case you need to move out in a hurry.
Ensure that there is a detailed moving in inventory report showing the state of the rooms before you moved in. Ideally, anything that needs fixing should be fixed before you move in, for example, non-functioning locks, broken windows, leaking taps, etc. You can find some of the best Rooms to Rent London by visiting Flatshare websites such as Room Hunters.