Rent a house or an apartment in London

Renting a house or an apartment in London turns out to be a complex task, due to the strict requirements.

It is important to note that these steps can only be carried out since the only thing you are going to get is that they cheat you. The owners will always want to see you in person and ask for a lot of documentation to make sure that you will be able to face the rental cost. Suspect who does not ask for references and do not even think about sending money in advance because you will never see it again.

That said, here I leave you with the 10 steps to follow:

Search in advance

Contracts usually include a clause in which the owner of the apartment must be notified about six weeks in advance if the contract is not renewed.
This means that flats are usually rented for about six weeks before they are vacated by previous tenants, so it is best to start looking for a flat about one and a half months in advance.
Obviously there are exceptions and sometimes you can find a flat to move into a week, but generally, contracts are usually signed at least one month before you can move in.
This is something very important to keep in mind, since during that time you will have to have a temporary alternative accommodation to stay.

Decide the area, type of housing and rental price
Decide the area, type of housing and rental price

London is a very large city and rental prices vary enormously, so one of the first decisions you must make is where you want to live, what kind of housing you want and how much money you are willing to pay for it.
The price is usually marked mainly by the location of the house. The more central or closer to a metro stop, the more expensive the rental will be. The neighborhood is also often an important factor to consider or proximity to colleges or universities.

Real estate agency or private

Opting for a real estate agency is the best option because although it will cost you some money, it will end up saving you a lot of headaches.
In London the real estate market is so dynamic that many of the houses that you have seen in the aforementioned websites are no longer in the market, so contacting each of the owners individually can end up being a loss weather.
Real estate in London usually charge a fixed price of about £ 350 and is only paid once you have signed the rental agreement. Otherwise, the real estate by law can not charge you.

The search

It is advisable that once you have decided on the area, type of housing and price, go personally to all the real estate agencies that have offices in that area and tell them exactly what you are looking for.
The real estate agencies will offer you everything they have available at that moment, they will take you to see the houses that most interest you, and most importantly, they will keep your data and will notify you whenever something comes up that suits your requirements. If you have chosen to search between individuals, all this you will have to do by yourself through the web.
All these steps are completely free and it is best to contact all possible real estate to cover as many houses as possible. Real estate can be found in the main streets of all neighborhoods.

Visiting the homes

As you have available houses that suit your requirements, the real estate will notify you to arrange a visit. It usually stays in the offices, and then they take you with their own cars to see the different houses. Once again, this service is totally free.
During the visits, they will show you the whole house inside and also, you will be able to take advantage of all the questions you want. It is important that you ask all the necessary questions and that everything is clear to you, since then once you sign the contract there will be no turning back.

Once you have found an apartment that you like, the agents will ask you to tell them how much you are willing to pay for the apartment. The prices of rentals are not closed and you can always make a counter offer.
The usual thing is to try to reduce the price by £ 50 or £ 100 of the monthly cost. The agent will also guide you on how much it is ideal for you to get off, because you know how much the owner is willing to give up.
Once the counter offer is decided, the agent will contact the owner and after a few hours (or days) will tell you if the owner has accepted. During this period of time, the agent will continue to show the same house that you like to more people, so if someone offers more than you, you will be left without it.


In London you do not have the option to see many houses and then after a few days decide which one you like the most, since it is most likely that they have already been rented.
Some landlords or real estate agents will offer you the possibility of paying a ‘holding deposit’ to reserve the house in case you want to look for more. This deposit is not refundable in case you notice you are with the house and is not protected by any third company as the deposit. If you are interested in the property, sign the contract directly and pay the deposit as such. If you’re not interested, keep looking, but do not pay reservations, since you can end up losing a lot of money.

The decision

Once your documents are accepted, it is very important that you read the contract in detail and ask any questions you may have before signing. Make sure there are no abusive clauses. If there is something you do not agree with, you can always ask for it to be modified or even add a clause. Real estate contracts are pretty standard but I still recommend reading it in detail
It is also important to make sure that the deposit is going to be deposited in one of the bail bond protection programs authorized by the British state.
Remember to ask for a copy of the contract, which I recommend you to keep as gold in cloth during the term of it.

The contract and the deposit

At the moment of signing the contract you will also have to make the first payment, which will be the sum of the cost of the first month of full rent plus the cost of the deposit. The deposit deposit is usually the equivalent of 6 weeks of rent as a general rule.
The payment is usually made through a bank check, since the amount to be paid usually exceeds the limits of the debit or credit cards. Some real estate companies also accept payment by bank transfer.

The pay

Finally, the day you start your lease, you just have to go through the offices of the real estate to make you delivery of the keys.
From this moment you can enjoy your house until the end of the contract.

Delivery of keys
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