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Magdalena

July 25th, 2023

Accommodation in London: My story and tips

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Magdalena

July 25th, 2023

Accommodation in London: My story and tips

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Finding accommodation was definitely a thing that stressed me the most when I thought about moving to London for my postgraduate studies.

London’s housing market is infamously tough which definitely added to my anxiety. I overcame it by doing my research which enabled me to make an informed decision.

The first dilemma I faced, universal to every student in London, was whether to live in university accommodation or rent something privately. The crucial thing to consider was, of course, the cost of each option.

As far as student halls are concerned, one has to keep in mind that they have limited spaces and there are deadlines for application. Moreover, something that was important in my consideration was that the duration of the tenancy contract, which varies from 31 to 50 weeks. This means that in the case of shorter contracts, you won’t be able to spend the whole year in London. I decided that LSE accommodation wasn’t for me, but if you want to learn more about this option, take a look at the dedicated LSE website.

Fortunately, I had a group of friends with whom I could start looking for a flat together. If that’s not the case for you, SpareRoom is a popular platform where you can find both rooms and flatmates, so it’s a great place to start.

The process of finding flatmates and/or the flat itself can be very strenuous. I recommend beginning early and being prepared for it to take 1-2 months. There are a lot of formalities that need to be taken care of so don’t be surprised when you are asked to send scans of your passport or payslips.

It’s also easier to find something when you’re in London, as this allows you to go for viewings. It’s important to see the flat itself as a whole as well as the surroundings. Is the area nice? How close is the flat to the station? What is the commute to the campus? These are important questions that you need to keep at the back of your mind when you’re checking different options.

You also need to think about your finances realistically. Apart from rent, you need to count in the deposit, various utility bills (water, gas, electricity, internet), and more. Think about how much you can spend maximum and how much you’d ideally want to spend on accommodation each month and then compare prices in different areas.

While the process itself wasn’t the easiest, I ended up finding a 3-bedroom flat in Wapping with my friends. Wapping is a nice, industrial area in East London, very close to Tower Bridge. It retains much of its historic character, with cobbled streets, old buildings and waterfront pubs. Importantly, it takes me about 30-40 minutes to get from there to the LSE campus. And I can go for a walk or a run along the river Thames which is a big perk, especially in the springtime.

Overall, while it is a lot of additional responsibility, I’d definitely recommend private accommodation.

About the author

Magdalena

Hi, I’m Magda, a Sociology master’s student coming from Poland. I’m interested in the issues of class and social stratification as well as history, which I studied for my undergraduate degree. I have an artistic soul and enjoy literature, cinema and theatre.

Posted In: Accommodation

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