If you're planning on heading for the bright lights of London, you probably already know that the rental market can be hugely competitive. To help stay ahead of the curve and limit your stress, check out our top practical tips for finding the best flat for you in London.
1. Get out and about
Rather than relying on the web, get out on the streets! Check out the window displays of any rental agencies you come across, and pop inside to register your details. You never know: if your perfect flat crops up, you might be among the very first to know about it.
2. Move quickly
If you spot a good-looking option, don't sit on your hands. Competition is fierce so to make it yours, get right on the phone (rather than emailing or filling in online forms). Be flexible and available for viewings as much as possible and have your deposit ready to go if you want to snap the flat up.
3. Go direct to your agent
Check out email signatures or web pages to find the name and details of the person who's likely to be arranging your viewings. By going directly to them and building a good relationship, they'll be far more likely to contact you first with prospective apartments.
4. Location, location, location
There's no point making a compromise here. When you move to London, it's all about location. If you're looking for a fun social scene, ask local friends where they'd recommend. Also make sure you're close to decent transport links, so that you can get out and about and discover the city with relative ease.
5. Ask around
If you have friends already living in London (or friends with relatives in the city), ask them to spread the word that you're moving. Private rentals are in huge demand as many people prefer to deal directly with the landlord. In many cases, a private rental means you don't have to pay estate agent fees to get the tenancy organised. By spreading the word around your network, you'll be the first to know if a great flat is coming up for private rent.