Finding a place to live in London is probably my least favourite task ever.
There are times when I ask myself why the hell I thought living in London was a good idea. It’s infested with completely crazy people, rats and insects. The place I currently live in caters not only to my boyfriend and I but also to a family of mice and a crap load of Ants. Sanitary.
So I thought I’d write up a mini guide of the most important things to consider when hunting for a place to live in the capital.
1. No Bugs Please
When you’re first starting out finding somewhere to live in London, the top requirement is most definitely to find a place that is CRITTER FREE.
Living in the capital means you do have to lower your health standards to a certain degree but I genuinely can’t afford to hire any more teeny tiny hearses for another Mouse Funeral. I think anyone who has rented a room in London probably has at least one bug infested story.
Don’t get taken for a ride rent-wise.
It does cost a fortune to live in the capital but it shouldn’t cost everything you own. ASK for a contract. ASK for information if rent seems high. For the price you can pay for a room in London, you could find an entire studio flat in other parts of the country. I flat out REFUSE to pay a grand for a room- if you are paying that, consider why. Is the room really that big? I’ve been taken for a ride rent wise before so make sure if you’re making an agreement with the current tenant, you see the original contract.
3. Meet the flatmates!
London is multi-cultural in so many ways. So many people from so many different walks of life come to spend time in London so I’m pretty sure it’s not just me when I say I have lived with some right characters.
When I moved into my boyfriend’s flat, he was living with an alcoholic drug abusing bartender who was in major debt. We eventually found out that he hadn’t paid any of the bills in eight months when a hand delivered letter threatened to cut off our electricity. It was then we realised that all the money we had paid him for bills had been swallowed up by his overdraft and several pay day loans.
We also lived with a Lithuanian guy who probably only spoke to us twice the entire time we were there. Once when we moved in and once when he wanted the toilet in the middle of the night. That second time, my boyfriend was perched on the side of the bath, blood streaming from a broken nose, scratches all over his torso after being beaten up and mugged inside the hallway of the flat. The guy just looked at us, said ‘I need to use the bathroom’ and waited for me to wipe the blood off the sink before we left to go to the hospital.
You might have to live with some kooky characters but try to make sure you’re not living with a serial murderer at least.
There are certain code words often used when describing properties and these aren’t just ones in London- it’s just they tend to be more prevalent here in the capital.
If it’s cosy, it’s small.
If the flatmates are lively, they’re probably party people.
If it’s ‘close to Central London’ it could be anything up to an hour away from Central.
So bear in mind those top tips when finding a place to live in the city. It’s an urban jungle out there!
Londoners, what other tips are there for property searching in London?