London is one of the world’s great cities and has something for everyone. Living in this city is an ambition of many people; however, with the cost of buying a home in the capital is more than many people can afford; therefore, renting is the best option. However, once you have made the decision to rent, how on earth do you find somewhere suitable? London is a huge city and if you are not familiar with the various boroughs, finding a nice property in a good location can prove virtually impossible. Fortunately, we are here to help, so here’s what you need to know about renting in the capital.
Finding a property
London has an abundance of houses, flats, apartments, and bungalows available to rent, so you don’t have to worry about finding something that suits your tastes. What is trickier is finding the ideal property in an ideal area; to do this you will need to consider several factors:
- Time to central London – the chances are you will not find a place right in the centre of the capital, so instead you will need to look for something within close proximity.
- Transport – driving in London is a pretty stressful task, so you will probably need to look for somewhere that has good transport links.
- Green areas – life in the city is not for the faint-hearted, so having parks and open spaces close by will be beneficial.
- Safety – some areas of London have higher crime rates than others. Safety is paramount.
- Cost – the most important factor. Ideally, you’ll want to find a property that meets all of the above preferences at the cheapest possible price.
With those factors in mind, you can narrow down the search to several areas.
North London is considered an established and trendy area to rent. Within 10 minutes of central London is Highbury, in the Borough of Islington. The transport links here are excellent and there are plenty of restaurants and bars with a real multicultural mix of people. Average rental in this area is around £310 per week.
Battersea (home of the power station and famous dogs and cats home) is south of the River Thames and is considered an up-and-coming place to rent, making it more affordable. This ‘urban-cool’ area is a buzzy place to live and has plenty of pubs and bars to enjoy. Average weekly rent is around £310 per week.
Shoreditch and Bethnal Green
Over in east London, Shoreditch and Bethnal Green blends corporate lifestyle with bohemia, as bankers and arty types live side-by-side in one of the London’s trendiest areas. Given its location, Shoreditch and Bethnal Green is one of the most in-demand rental areas in the capital, with average weekly rent somewhere in the region of £380.
Renting a home
Before you rent a home in the capital, it is essential that you view the places that you like before moving in. With rental and deposit significantly higher than most other places in the UK, it is also wise to request that the landlord carry out a property inventory, or else have one done yourself. There are several property inventory services in London that can provide you with an in-depth inventory, ensuring that any pre-existing damage is flagged.
While we are on the subject of inventories, you should make sure that one is carried out just before your tenancy ends – this will prevent you being blamed for any damages that are not your fault and will simplify the exiting process.
The final thing to do before you move in is sign the rental agreement. A property inventory will also be part of the agreement, so that will need to be signed too. A tenancy agreement should include:
- duration of tenancy
- rental cost
- your responsibilities
- your rights
- the landlord’s responsibilities.
With all of the paperwork in place and the property inventory signed, you will then be ready to move in to your perfect London home!
Photo sources: Julian Osley
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