Hope you’ve been having a lovely week so far!
I’ve been living in London for about two years now, and so I thought it would be the perfect time to write a post about my experience of living in London as a student. But before I get into, I just want to say that everyone’s experience is different, and that just because I like/dislike certain aspect of living in London doesn’t mean other people will feel the same way.
This series, Life in London as a Student, is going to be split up into shorter posts, each looking at different aspects of living in London, starting off with house hunting and renting as a student.
For me, the whole house hunting process was pretty stressful, mainly because there were so many things to take into consideration, and a lot of which you don’t really think about until you start looking for a place. And I think that’s because you’re trying to find the perfect place for you and your friends to live in, and so you’re not going to just say yes to anything.
One thing I noticed about housing, especially if you’re looking to rent in London, is that a lot of renters prefer when the tenant move in as soon as possible. Now this doesn’t seem so bad, but when you’re looking to rent from August/September just in time for the next academic year, it means that you might struggle to find a place until late May/June and sometimes as late as July. This was definitely something I didn’t realise until we started looking for a place mid-February, and it was quite stressful looking for houses when you’re constantly being told you may have to wait a while to find a place and then also being told to start looking as soon as possible.
Another aspect of the whole house hunting process I was surprised by was the number of houses you look at before you find the right one, I think we saw an overall of 6/7 houses before we made anything official. Out of those, we made about 3 offers which were all declined either because the renter wanted the tenants to move in as soon as possible or they weren’t willing to fully furnish the property.
The hardest aspect of finding a house was probably finding something everyone loved and that had everything we wanted, or as much of it as possible. We wanted to find a place which was close to university, close to a tube station, that included 3 decently sized rooms and was relatively well priced. We found so many places that were perfect but were either overpriced or were too far away from university. And I think at some point, we just had to compromise on things, especially if our main priorities was to stick within our budget and find something relatively close to university.
And in the end we found what I would say now was the perfect student house for us, it was close to university (walking distance close!), the rent wasn’t crazy expensive for London (about £500ish each without bills) and we got the garden we wanted, and relatively close to central which is always an added bonus. But there was a compromise to make, the house we finally went for had three unequally sized rooms, which meant one, we had to decided who got which and had to have the awkward conversation about the rent and how to split it. When you have three unequally sized rooms, one having its own bathroom and the other being a single-bed room the rent between you changes a fair bit and so the topic of money becomes something quite comfortable for everyone to talk about. I think it’s important to have the money conversation and make sure everyone is happy with how the bills are split, how the rent is split and just to make sure everyone is in financially ok place.
If you have any other questions on renting in London or house hunting please feel free to message me, because I’m happy to help. I hope this post was helpful and if there is anything I haven’t answered then leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer them as best as I can.
Love Sharuni xx