It’s no secret that London is not the cheapest city to live in, in fact, London has currently been named the most expensive city to rent in Europe for three years in a row. Studies indicate average Londoners spend a whopping 50% of their income on rent. But it is expensive because of how fascinating it is and because of just how much it has to offer. The infinite pop ups, markets, nights out, adventures, and dining options just to mention a few. 

If you are renting in London the first thing you need to ask yourself is “What am I looking for?”

Finding a place in London becomes challenging and time-consuming when you consider the size of the city and to make it easier it’s good to have an idea of whether you would prefer to live up north, east, south or west. If you are feeling doubtful we suggest you explore different areas before making such an important decision. But what are the important factors when it comes to areas to live? It could be the distance to work or university, family friendliness, or anything else.

Make sure to make a checklist of what to look for during viewings: the general condition of the property, if the place is currently occupied, look at the surrounding of the place and if you have close proximity to what you need, such as supermarkets, a gym, station, etc.

Second thing you need to ask yourself is “When do I want to move?”

If you are planning on moving in 3 months, don’t waste your time looking for a place right now. Properties to rent in London are always on high demand so when you find your dream home you will need to be ready to move within the next week or two. Some of the places available to rent in London are only available for hours! Keep in mind that generally, the most in-demand period for renting an apartment in London is the summer months. 

Another important matter and question you should ask yourself is “What is your budget?”

The price you will pay for a room in London will depend on how many people you’re willing to live with. The more people that you live with, the more you can divide out the bills.

The agency or landlord you are renting with will need to make sure that you can pay the rent. To ensure this, they will check you meet the so-called affordability criteria set. Usually, this means that your monthly gross salary has to be at least 2.5 times more than the monthly rent. If you move in with more people, the total salary requirement can be split between all of you.

When you have finally found a place to live in and are ready to move you’ll be expected to provide:

  • Your deposit (usually 4/6 weeks rent which you get back at the end of the tenancy). Make sure your deposit is protected by the deposit protection scheme. 
  • First months rent
  • References (bank / work / previous tenancy) 

London is an amazing place to live whilst you’re young or have the energy to keep up with it. Good luck on your search!