FarBeyondBelieving: A room/apartment in London

21 August 2012

A room/apartment in London

Some people requested and asked me if I wanted to make a post about how to find a room or apartment in London. The pictures above show a bit of where I lived for my 5 months in London. Because I was in London with 2 friends we were able to afford an apartment. (well just about) Very central, on a 10 minute walk of Brick Lane and a 3 minute walk to Underground station Bethnal Green. The neighborhood is very Indian but I quite liked that. Brick Lane has become one of my favorite spots in London. And as the apartment (or the flat) looks a bit old, it was fine for 5 months. But yes, very pricey, because that is what London is. Very expensive! In case people are wondering. We payed about 850 euros (everything included) a month for this apartment. And yes I'm serious. We all did have our own room (with double bed), a kitchen, bathroom, two floors and a living room. Plus an entirely furnished apartment. But still.. Very expensive.

But how do you find one? London is a very busy and popular city. And only if you are very lucky you will be able to find an apartment before you go there. Everyone laughed at us when we asked to make an appointment for a viewing for the next week. Because that is absolutely impossible, apartments or rooms are gone within the day.
That's why we booked a hotel for the first two days. And I would recommend a few more days if you want to take it a bit slower and take some time to look at apartments or rooms. Because two days, is definitely not enough in most cases. We tried to make appointments before we went, but as this didn't work out. We spend our first two days in London calling our asses of and surfing the internet to make appointments.

We visited about 8 apartments in two days. But in most cases we had to wait about 2 weeks before the current inhabitants moved out or we had to rent the apartment for over 6 months. And we definitely couldn't afford two weeks in a hotel. We were desperate to find something and that's why we found an estate agent in the end. He helped us to get this apartment, a free room to stay in for a few days and even some discount on the service costs. We discussed if we could afford this apartment and decided to do it. As we all got a reimbursement for travelling up to two London Underground zones and didn't want to spend to much on travelling. The extra costs for the apartment would have to do.

And finally after spending four nights in a small room with the three of us, we were able to move in to our apartment. The massive supermarket (Sainsbury's) on a 5 minute walk and everything just a few more steps away.

The things I would recommend?
1. Book a hotel for about a week before you have to start your internship.
2. Use websites like gumtree.com and CALL because e-mailing will not work in any case.
3. Make sure you're able to visit the apartment/room on the same day you're calling because it will be gone in no time.
4. Try to save up some money before you go because you'll probably not find a room under 450 pounds a month.
5. If you want to find something a bit less expensive try to look in to zones 3, 4 and 5 or maybe even outside London. But keep in mind that you'll be losing way more money on travelling.

In case you have more questions, feel free to ask. And if I forgot something.. Add your tips in the comments!

(sorry this turned out to be such a massive post, but I hope it will helps some of you guys!)


  1. to bad my appartment hunt isnt even close to london.., I have a serious issue finding a place to live now..,

  2. Zucht... Ja.. Londen.. Ik baal nog steeds als een stekker dat het niet doorgaat maar weetje, als ik over een aantal jaar dan tóch sage ga lopen in Londen dan vraag ik zeker (weer) advies aan jou!


Comments are very much appreciated. Thanks so much for visiting. :)
xx Nieke