Searching for accommodation in the UK
Before starting the search for housing, you should realise, what kind of accommodation you are really looking for and how much you are willing to spend. Obviously, everyone would like to move in a private flat, where he or she would not have to share the bathroom and common spaces with anyone, but you must be ready to pay a big amount of money for that, particularly in London.
If you are planning to stay longer in London, for example to work, I can help you with finding long-term accommodation for reasonable price.
It is quite similar to find accommodation in most of the big UK cities. The prices are also comparable, even in London where the costs are in average similar to Brighton, Manchester, Birmingham or Leeds, etc.
It is important to start looking for accommodation for the summer or autumn seasons is at least two or three months in advance (e.g. to pay the deposit). Be aware that nobody is going to guarantee you a concrete place, room or area. Especially, during the season when there is higher demand than supply of free places. Therefore, my clients are always allocated according to the free places available on the day of their arrival.
I have more than four years of experience with renting houses and communicating with people from all over the world, who are looking for accommodation in London. Moreover, I know how to deal with agencies or private lessers.
Due to the high number of clients, you can only get to know your address several days before your arrival, sometimes only on the arrival day.
During the summer season, most providers usually rent new houses for new clients. Renting and refurbishing the house might happen only a few days before your arrival or even during the first days of new clients in the house. Therefore, the providers might promise you a place in one of their houses in February, however, they are going to rent just before your arrival.
3 Main ways how to find accommodation in the United Kingdom
Personal recommendationsIt is ideal to find a place for living based on a recommendation from your colleague who has already lived (or is living now) in the UK and have practical experience with the respective owner or agency. Then, you only communicate with the lesser and agree on conditions (arrival, time period, etc.).
Agencies providing housingYou can find many agencies in London and other big UK cities. In most of the cases, they have several rented houses that they maintain and offer for further rent.
In London, it is mostly the eastern part of the city, houses are located from the zone 2 to zone 6.
It is almost impossible to guarantee a specific place for living due to high number of houses and people coming at the same time. Your fellow tenants staying with you at the house are also very important. A new house might be relatively soon turned into an unpleasant place for living. There might be people who are not used to cleaning, which might change the house into a place, where you are almost afraid to eat, shower or live altogether. You must report these things immediately to the lessor and communicate with the owner, agency or the landlord. In short, it is a shared type of housing, most of the people with previous experience with dorms know how it might look like.
Thanks to high number of my clients, I have an opportunity to get discounts while dealing with the agencies providing accommodation, for example you might get a part of the non-refundable deposit back.
AdvertisementsIt is enough to look for advertisements on Google or in various Facebook groups that propose different kinds of accommodation in particular town or city in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, you have no guarantee of the accommodation. In majority of the cases, the advertised places are free only in the coming days. If these are not the advertisements belonging to the agencies or private owners, it is not worth responding to them at all.
Example:You find an advertisement offering a place in two-bedded room since mid-February. However, you are interested in getting the place on in June. If you decide to react to these offers, in most of the cases you never get the reply.
Another problem is the logistics and you being in a different country. If you find an advertisement offering a free room and respond to it saying that you are still in a different country only arriving in 4 or 5 days, the providers only reply if they are in a desperate situation. Alternatively, nobody did really fit well to the lesser, or the accommodation did not meet the expectations of other lessees.
Example:You are interested in an advertisement offering a place in two-bedded room for a certain price. You contact the lesser that you are interested in that particular type of accommodation, but you only come several days later. He replies that you might come to visit. Nevertheless, other people are looking at the flat at the same time as you. It is an open market and you are looking for other options as well as others. If anyone else comes to the accommodation earlier, he or she gets the place. The winner takes it all.
It always depends on the communication, if there is a deposit and many other things are in play. Communication only via email is usually not sufficient for you or the lesser.
In case you are interested in the advertisement, (I am not saying that it must be like that every time), it is ideal to arrive a few days earlier and pay a few nights in a hostel or hotel.
Only this way, you have enough time to explore the houses or flats and agree on the conditions, etc.
Bear in mind that speed and fast reactions to the advertisements are crucial. Especially, those advertisements that are offering good accommodation for reasonable price (every day, there are dozens of applicants – especially in big cities).
You should agree on the guide as soon as possible. However, if you also have other tours, do not agree on anything. First, visit all the places and only then select the most convenient place for you, measuring in price for location.
Again, take into consideration that if you agree on letting the lesser know in two hours, he might have another applicant just five minutes after you. He or she could give the place to the other person.
Me personally, I am in charge of some of the houses, cooperate with the agencies providing housing and also private owners who have free rooms for rent.
I can guarantee the place for my client almost every time for 100 %. Nevertheless, I often cannot say where exactly and who is going to provide the specific place.
I cooperate with number of different people and subjects who offer their accommodation in different qualities and places, which corresponds with the price as well. However, it is always at the bottom of what I state in the information about prices of accommodation.
The advantage is that it is suitable for the so-called ‘start housing’ (e.g. share houses) and the agreement is valid only for four weeks or a month. Therefore, if you are not satisfied due to any reason and you would like to change the accommodation and there is no alternative proposed by the lesser, you might simply give the notice and leave. Also, you will already know the city well and you can easily find new place, for example following the advertisements in the respective region. In case of any questions or interests concerning the accommodation do not hesitate to contact me.