The new academic year is upon us and the lettings market in September is peak season and more competitive than any other time of the year. Covent Garden, Soho, Fitzrovia & Bloomsbury are all extremely popular locations due to the number of excellent universities nearby – LSE, Kings, UCL, SOAS, London College of Fashion, London Film School and a plethora of top class language schools all have students vying for the best accommodation as close as possible to campus.
We’re a helpful bunch here at TB_HQ so we thought we’d share a few tips to help those looking for accommodation get ahead of the crowd and provide some useful information to ensure you’re fully prepared…
Do your research and know what you’re looking for. If you have looked online you will have a good idea of what you can get for your money. Try to be realistic with your requirements and prepare to be flexible, the longer your list of ‘must haves’, the fewer properties you’ll have to chose from
Bear in mind that most students are looking for furnished properties, so considering an unfurnished property will again give you more choice and a better chance of securing something of real quality. We can recommend a number of excellent furnishing companies from whom you can rent furniture during your tenancy. Quality obviously depends on how far you’re prepared to push the budget, but costs range from £50-200 per week (plus admin fees) so there should be a solution to suit every pocket. The real bonus is the furniture is delivered, unpacked and assembled without you having to lift a finger and then simply removed at the end of the tenancy, simple!
The best flats will be sought after and competed for, at this time of year it isn’t unusual to see properties let in excess of the asking rent due to competitive interest and multiple bids.
Be prepared to make a quick decision and have your reservation fee / holding deposit (usually one or two weeks rent) ready. Once a property is secured with a holding deposit, should the landlord decide not to proceed for any reason (unsatisfactory references for instance) the deposit is refunded.
When letting to students, most Landlords will request either a UK guarantor (who has to be employed full time and also owns a property in UK) or a lump sum of rent in advance, normally 6 months.
You will need to provide copies of your passport, visa (unless EU) and copy of your university placement letter.
A 6 week deposit against damage and dilapidations is required. This will be held with the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) so you have security and peace of mind.