Accommodation Guide — London

Renting student accommodation in London made easy with this comprehensive guide, complete with commuting options and popular localities preferred by students:

London

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is the country’s most populous city. It is a leading global city that is home to some of the world’s most renowned and sought after colleges; UCL, Imperial College, LSE, University of London and many more.

Safety: London is a fairly safe city to live and study in but its advisable to practice common safety measures. Avoid travelling alone at night and take care of your personal belongings. Its recommended that you practice extra caution at public ATM’s.

Transit in London can be extremely expensive and very time consuming. Travelling everyday by a personal car or by cab can be taxing to both, your time and your pocket. That’s why we recommend that you consider traveling by public transport. There is a 24 hour Bus service with routes around the whole city, and 12 Underground Tube lines that make the entire city very easily accessible. The tube is also interconnected with the Light Rail service that runs in London. Trams and Cycle Hire services in the city connect the areas that aren’t connected by prominent public transport services.

London is an expensive place to live in and thus students prefer to live in the suburbs and the very good underground lines help to make the travelling very easy! It takes the same average time to travel from the suburbs to the universities and from areas around the university to reach the colleges.

Weather: London does not usually hit extreme temperatures. Summer’s are warm and bright with highest temperatures being about 25°C. July is the hottest month in London with average temperatures of 19°C. Winter’s are cold and damp with lowest temperatures hitting 5°C. Coldest month of the year is January with average temperatures of 8°C.

Popular Locations:

Following are some localities that student prefer while searching for accommodation. These areas are relatively near to the universities and safe too.

Near UCL: Walthmastow, Belsize Park, Kentish Town

Near Imperial College: Battersea, Camden, Chelsea, Ealing

Near LSE: Dulwich, Camberwell, Elephant and Castle, Covent Garden

Housing Options

There are various to consider in respect to student accommodation (both on-campus and off-campus). Following are some of the most prevalent housing options that are available to students looking for housing. Off campus housing is usually given out by the room.

On-Campus Housing

University Residence Halls: Hostels or Dormitories that are managed by the University. These options are provide expedient access to the amenities rendered by the college on its campus.

Off-Campus Student Housing

Halls of Residence: Some Universities tie up with public housing societies and run off-campus Residence Halls. Residence halls can be privately owned as well. These dormitories provide rooms in large housing societies, these rooms can be personal or shared by 3–4 people depending on the size of the accommodation. The amenity lounges for these hostels are common and used by everyone that lives in the student society.

Flat Share (En-Suite): This type of accommodation lets you share a flat with other students. The occupants usually have their own rooms but shared bathroom and living facilities.

Apartments: Private houses and apartments are usually not a preferred choice as it is too expensive to live in an apartment by yourself in UK.

Home Stay Accommodation: Under age students who are not eligible to live alone opt for this kind of housing. They stay with a family. These accommodations are in close proximity to the campus grounds.

Generally on-campus accommodations are limited in number and also relatively expensive as compared to off-campus accommodations and also have restrictions in place. Most international students applying for higher studies opt for off-campus accommodation to save extra Rental Costs as this is a major part of the total living expense.

Student housing options with furnishing are usually a little expensive than their unfurnished counterparts. Hence it is suggested that you opt for an unfurnished apartment and rent or free-cycle the furniture as per your needs. Renting furniture costs can go upto £100 to £200 per month. You can rent furniture via these services — Roomservice by CORT, Bradbeers, Emblem Furniture.

Security is an important aspect of choosing an accommodation. Some housing societies provide additional security by gating its premises and prohibiting entry to outsiders. Automatic burglar alarms are also an additional feature you can look for safety.

Guidelines to Choose a Roommate:

Ask yourself these questions while deciding on your roommate:

  • Do they have a reliable source of income to pay rent and utility bills?
  • Do they have pets?
  • Can you trust them to be around your personal belongings?
  • Are they willing to sign a lease and abide by the terms and conditions?
  • How do you plan to split up home responsibilities?
  • Who will they have over as guests?

Usually, room sharing is closed over Whatsapp groups or social media.

Amenities to Look for

  • Apartment Amenities: Wifi, Microwave, Heater, Refrigerator, Storage, Washer, Dryer, Fireplace. These amenities are basic needs and it is strongly suggested that you look for an accommodations that fulfil the basic appliances and services. Residence halls usually have common lounges and kitchens that provide the basic amenities.
  • Community Amenities: Swimming pool, Fitness Centre, Study Area, Garage, Courtyard, Bike Storage, Public Transportation, Laundry, Pet Policy.

Common Issues

  • Bed Bugs — These are common. To prevent bed bugs you can avoid using used/old mattresses.
  • Roaches — Safety against roaches can be assured by making sure that the pest control is carried out before you moved in.
  • Commuting — Here’s a link to sort you out in London.
  • Language or cross cultural barriers — Certain accommodations provide single community housing.

Leasing Terms

Deposit: Is a security fee that is paid to the landlord in terms of a fixed amount of money. Deposit is refundable at the end of your stay tenure. Average amount for deposits is £100 to £300 (or in some cases one month’s rent).

Pet Charges: Varies from apartment to apartment. Can range from £10 to £20 per month per pet.

Booking Charges: The total cost that you end up paying at the time of booking stacks up as follows: Deposit + Application Fee (selective) + Pet Charges (per pet). In certain cases the apartment may also ask for the first month’s rent.

Number of Tenants: The max number of people who can stay in an apartment is mostly mentioned in the apartment guidelines. Generally, 2 students are allowed per room in the apartment. Often, to save rental costs, students accommodate guests for permanent basis without informing the apartment management. This is not advised and may lead to cancellation of your lease agreement. However, you can accommodate guests for temporary basis without any issues.

Tenancy Agreement (Renting Agreement): The tenancy agreement varies depending on the number of people that are signing up. Joint and Individual agreements are made by the land lord. A joint agreement makes you liable to pay for the other signers if they decide to leave before the agreement ends.

Lease Duration: In formal leasing agreements, rental periods typically break down accordingly:

  • 21 Weeks
  • 44 Weeks
  • 51 Weeks

Usually a longer leasing period will significantly drop your monthly rent amount. Abandoning a lease can mean serious financial and legal consequences.

Guarantor: In certain cases, the landlord/housing management may require a lease guarantor which acts as a third party to help provide security in terms of the rental. You can get concession in deposits if you have a guarantor.

Agreement Document Requirements: Following are the documents required to process the rental agreement:

  • Passport (mandatory)
  • Visa (mandatory)
  • Bank Statement (in certain cases)

The agreement needs to be attested (digitally signed or hand-signed soft copy) along with the verification documents for each of the boarders mentioned on the lease agreement.

Rent and Utility Pricing

  • En Suite — £240-£400/Week
  • Studio — £340-£500/Week
  • Deposit Range (1 months rent) — £250–£300/Week

Utility, Water and Gas bills are exclusive. Here are the average costs of some of the expenses:

Popular Apartments

(links here are clickable)

You can browse more accommodations in and surrounding areas via this link: Click Here

How AmberStudent will help you

AmberStudent provides you with 24x7 assistance for apartment search and booking in and around London, to make your renting experience easy. The representatives help you find the perfect apartment as per your preferences. With over 100+ apartments around UCL, Imperial College and LSE you can pick the accommodation of your choice at affordable prices.


-Jashanpreet Kaur Mangat