How to rent a house in London in 2024

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Are you planning on moving to London in 2024? If so, you’re in the right place. Matutto is a relocation platform that helps you move to a new city. And when you’re moving, finding a home to rent is naturally one of the top things to sort out. So, in this article, we’ll go over all the things you’ll need to do and know to find a house to rent in London.

Firstly, renting in London in 2024, like in previous years, will continue to present some challenges. London's rental market has gradually become more and more competitive, and in turn, expensive. But don’t worry! With the right approach, you will be able to find a suitable place to live. Here’s our expert tips on how to find a home to rent in London.

Step One: Determine Your Budget

The first step to renting a home in London is to establish a realistic budget for rent, taking into account your monthly income, living expenses, and potential savings. Remember that on top of rent you’ll need to pay for utility bills!

The rule of thumb that many landlords use to assess if you can afford a rental property is the following: Your annual salary should be at least 30x the value of your monthly rent. So, for example, if the rent of a flat is £1,500 per month, you may be expected to earn £45,000 per year to be able to rent that unit. You may want to use our London Cost of Living Calculator to help you set a budget for renting.

In addition, when preparing your finances to rent in London, you should be prepared to pay a security deposit, typically of the value of six week’s rent. You’ll most likely also need to pay the first month of rent upfront.

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Step Two: Find the best areas for you to live in London

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Consider the location carefully. Different neighbourhoods in London have completely different price points, so your previously defined budget will highly influence this. In addition, you should think about your workplace or university, transportation options, and the amenities you need in your vicinity. Proximity to a Tube station or bus stop is often a priority for London renters.

You can Sign Up to use our Smart Neighbourhood Recommendations. It’ll ask you a few questions and then we’ll tell you the best areas in London for you to live in!

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Discover your ideal London Neighbourhoods

Step Three: Commence your search

The London rental market is competitive, and properties can be leased quickly. So this means that you won’t be able to start your search too early - But don’t leave it will the last minute either! Starting your search 2 months before your intended move-in date should be the perfect time.

London offers various housing options, from apartments and studios to houses and flatshares. Determine what type of property suits your needs and budget, use different property portals accordingly. Popular platforms in London include Rightmove, Zoopla, and SpareRoom for flatshares.

If you’re renting a full unit, you should definitely consider engaging with real estate agents in the areas you’re interested in. If you’re renting from abroad, you may benefit from working with one of Matutto’s relocation advisors, who can do this work for you while you’re not in the UK. Contact us to request more info if you’d like to learn more about our Relocation Support services.

Step Four: View Properties

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Schedule property viewings to physically inspect the place. During viewings, ask questions about the property, lease terms, and the neighborhood before making a decision.

We always recommend to view properties in person as there’s aspects of a property that cannot be assessed online. The smell, the atmosphere of the street, the noises, etc, are things that only come to live in person. In addition, there’s a lot of scams online in the property market, and making a payment without seeing the physical apartment is a big risk and exposes you to fraudsters.

Step Five: Make an Offer and Sign the Contract

Congrats! If you’ve made it to this step, you’ve found your new home in London. To secure the home, you’ll need to make an offer, and once it gets accepted, you will be asked for a holding deposit to hold the house for you while you undergo all the reference checks. You can Sign Up to Matutto to read up on holding deposits and the Frequently Asked Questions about renting a home in London.

Once your reference checks are through, you’ll need to review the terms of the lease agreement carefully. Pay attention to the length of the tenancy, rent increase clauses, and responsibilities for repairs and maintenance.

Don't be afraid to negotiate the lease terms, especially if you believe they are unreasonable. Some landlords may be open to negotiation, especially if you're a responsible and reliable tenant.

Step Six: Move in!

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Before moving in, conduct a thorough inventory check, documenting the property's condition and sharing it with your landlord to avoid disputes when you move out.

You’ll also need to set up your new utility bills to your name if they are not included in your rent. Sign up to learn more about paying Utility Bills in London.

During your stay, make sure to pay rent on time, maintain the property, and adhere to the terms of the lease. Building a good relationship with your landlord can be beneficial during your tenancy - And you’ll probably need a reference from the landlord for your future rental…

You’re done!! Enjoy your new London home!!

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Matutto is a relocation platform that helps Expats move to a new country. Sign Up for Free to get access to Informaiton, Tools and Checklists that will make moving abroad easier.

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