The BS-Free Guide To Renting In London: 24 Flats, 16 Top Tips

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IntroSlideOn the hunt for The One? You know, the flat which you love and can afford, that's also near the tube? Too much to ask for, right? Well no, actually it isn’t. We’ve scoured the city to bring you some of the loveliest flats there are—plus, the lowdown from London’s top estate agents on what you really need to know when you’re looking for that place to call home. Click through to find your dream flat — but just be sure move quickly. Here today, gone moments later, right?

Photo: Courtesy of Winkworth, James Pendleton, Knight Frank.
2 Great Studios In East London

Clerkenwell-SterlingAckroyd

Herbal Hill, Clerkenwell, EC1R, £240 per week

This brand spanking new studio is housed in a shiny new development only 0.21 miles away from Farringdon tube station. The one sticking point is that the studio and the rest of the building is for students only. Still, the dinky wet room, kitchenette, study area, and integrated Wi-Fi might just make you want to reach for the books for another time?

Wapping-Hamptons

Wapping High Street, E1W ZNX, £240 a week

If you like to be near the river, allow us to introduce to this delightful studio. While not slap bang on the banks of the River Thames, this flat is within walking distance of the river and the delightful pubs nearby. This first-floor flat comprises of a living and sleeping area, with a separate kitchen. There is an option for private parking, too, but the public transport links are good with Wapping overland train station nearby.


Photo: Courtesy of Stirling Ackroyd, Hamptons.
1 Great Studio In North London

Drayton-Park,Highbury,-N5-interior-#2

Drayton Park, Highbury, N5, £1,279 per month

If you like your gym and your bed to be within spitting distance of each other, this studio could be the one for you. Not only does it have a concierge service, but it also boasts its own gym facilities. Nifty. When you’re not breaking a sweat, you can enjoy the studio's open-plan kitchen, luxury shower room, and wooden flooring. It’s also close to Highbury and Islington tube stations. Handy that.

Photo: Courtesy of KFH.

2 Great Studios In South London

Kirkstall-Road,-bedroom
Kirkstall Road, Streatham Hill, SW2, £210 per week

If you like your living space to have just a hint of yesteryear, then this spacious studio in Steatham Hill could be just for you. This ground-floor studio is housed in a beautiful Victorian property, which has a communal garden as well as storage space for bikes. The flat is also within walking distance to Streatham Hill train station that has regular trains direct to Victoria.

Long-Lane,London,-SE1-interior-#1

Long Lane, SE1, £1,279 per month

If Borough market is your idea of foodie heaven, why not have it on your doorstep? This modern studio is a hop, skip, and a jump from Borough tube station as well as being walking distance to London Bridge. There are communal gardens and lift facilities, and the studio is tastefully decorated throughout.

Photo: Courtesy of Foxtons, KFH.
4 Great One Bedroom Flats In East London

Barbican-Frank-Harris

Ben Jonson House, Barbican, EC2Y, £360 per week

Want to live in one of London’s most important architectural spaces? Step forward this third-floor flat in the Barbican. Bonus: It has a south-facing balcony for when the sun actually gets round to showing its face.

Bloombury-Winkworth

Wilmington Square, Bloomsbury, WC1X, £460 per week

Live like the Bloomsbury set did and call this one-bedroom flat in Wilmington Square your home. The first-floor flat is in a late Georgian building with communal basement and a balcony to look over the rather beautiful square. You can walk to Exmouth market, Sadlers Wells Theatre, and the Angel tube station from here.

CityRoad---Winkworth

City Road, Clerkenwell, EC1V, £510 per week

City slickers everywhere will benefit from the edgy charms of this one-bedroom flat in the heart of Clerkenwell. With modern fittings throughout and only half a mile away from Old Street and Angel tube, you’ll always feel a stone’s throw a way from the action.

Whitechapel---StirlingAckroyd

Turner Street, Whitechapel, E1, £300 per week

The Art Deco period offered up many architectural delights. Experience living in one of them in this slickly decorated one-bedroom flat on the fifth floor. Brick Lane and Aldgate East are within walking distance and the City is just a hop-on-the-tube away.

Photo: Courtesy of Frank Harris, Winkworth, Stirling Ackroyd
3 Great One Bedroom Flats In North London

KFH-NW8-2nd-pic

Scott Ellis Gardens, St Johns Wood, NW8, £1,517 per month

Beatles fan? Then this St Johns Wood flat is for you. The elegantly decorated flat is within walking distance of the infamous Abbey Road, as well as the vibrant High Street and tube station.

Penton-Street-Winkworth
Penton Street, Islington, N1, £400 per week

For night owls who like to stake their claim on Islington’s Upper Street, this flat’s for you. Newly refurbished, it has an open-plan kitchen and reception area, plus laminate flooring throughout.

Riceyman-House-Winkworth

Riceyman House, Bloomsbury, WC1X, £325 per week

Riceyman House is a Grade II listed ‘30s building within easy walking distance of Angel, Kings Cross, and Farringdon. The bedroom is roomy with fitted wardrobes and the kitchen is decked out with all the appliances you could dream of.

Photo: Courtesy of KFH and Winkworth.
4 Great One Bedroom Flats In South London

Brussels-James-Pendleton

Brussels Road, Battersea, SW11, £325 per week

This pretty one bedroom is in a converted semi-detached Victorian property within walking distance of Clapham Junction and Wandsworth Common train stations. The bars and restaurants of St Johns Hill are within easy reach, too.

Cathles-James-PendletonCathles Road, Clapham South, SW12, £375 per week

This Victorian garden apartment is within walking distance of Clapham South, as well as being equidistant to Balham and Abbeville Village. Clapham Common is close by, too.

Union-Road-James-Pendleton

Union Road, Clapham North, SW4, £360 per week

This ground-floor Victorian conversion flat is near to Clapham North tube station and the buzzing Clapham High street. The flat also boasts its own private garden patio space, so consider your summer BBQ plans sorted.

Wandsworth-Road,-Stockwell-JP

Wandsworth Road, Stockwell, £325 per week

If you like to live in brand-new buildings, you may want to consider this fourth-floor flat. As befits a new-build property, the flat comes with under-floor heating and a video-phone entry system as standard. There is also a private balcony from which you can watch the passersby on the streets beneath you.

Photo: Courtesy of James Pendleton and Winkworth.
1 Great One Bedroom Flat In West London

LadbrokeGrove-Hamptons

Ladbroke Grove, W10, £265 per week

Who doesn't want to pop in to Portobello Market on their way to work on a Friday? We do! With this kooky one-bed flat, that is exactly what you can do. The hustle and bustle of the market is right on your door step as are the bars and restaurants of Westbourne Grove.

Photo: Courtesy of Hampton.
1 Great 2 Bedroom Flat In East London

LukeStreet-SterlingAckroyd
Luke Street, EC2A, £400 per week

This two-bed flat is just seven minutes walk from Shoreditch and Hoxton Square. There is a large living room, a fitted kitchen, and a family sized bathroom. Wooden flooring features in all the rooms.

Photo: Courtesy of Sterling Ackroyd.
7 Great 2 Bedroom Flats In South London

Clifford-Court-James-Pendleton
Heathfield Road, Wandsworth Common, SW18, £375 a week

This two bed flat is minutes away from Wandsworth Common train station but there's unallocated off street parking if that takes your fancy too. The flat has two spacious double bedrooms, a well sized bathroom with under floor heating, and also has access to a communal garden with BBQ area.

Aristotle-James-Pendleton

Aristotle Road, Clapham, SW4, £450 per week

This first floor flat is handily located between Clapham Common and Clapham North tube stations, as well as being within walking distance of the high street. The flat also boasts numerous period features, such as a feature fire place and bay window.

NEO-Bankside-A402,-rec-1---Knight-FrankNEO Bankside, Holland Street, Southbank, SE1, £450 per week

If money is no object (we wish) then take a look at this dreamy riverside flat right in the heart of the Southbank. The flat has a winter garden, 24-hour concierge, and two bathrooms. No more waiting in line for the shower in the morning in this homestead.

Plantation-Wharf-JP
Plantation Wharf, Battersea Park, SW11, £395 per week

This flat is close to one of London's most loveliest park, Battersea Park, as well as the River Thames. There are two balconies to check out the fantastic views from, as well as well sized bedrooms, bathrooms, and undeground parking.

Prices-Court-JamesPendleton

Prices Court, Cotton Row, SW11, £600 per week

When you do win the National Lottery you may want to look up this riverside two bed flat. Yes, it is expensive but what price would you pay for riverside views, intergrated sound system, en-suite bathrooms, and a private balcony? Thought so, us too.

Shoreham-Close-JP

Shoreham Close, SW18, £335 per week

This Wandsworth Town property is a party lover's paradise. The split-level flat has an open plan layout making it ripe for parties that carry on till the wee hours. The bedrooms are generously sized and Wandsworth Town train station is a mere stroll away.

Baltimore-James-Pendleton

Juniper Drive, Wandsworth, SW18, £475 per week

This riverside apartment has an en-suite shower room, large family bathroom, and spacious living area. A concierge is on hand twenty-four hours a day and Wandsworth Town is within walking distance.

HH_REC1

Hereford House, Fulham Road, SW10, £550 per week

If you like the look of some of the Made in Chelsea's cast members' pads, then take a look at this Fulham Road property. Situated in the centre of what is known as "The Beach" the flat is a five minute walk to Fulham Broadway tube and is close to Earl's Court, Gloucester Road, and the Kings Road too.

Photo: Courtesy of KFH, Winkworth, James Pendleton.
16 Things To Remember When Looking For The Flat Of Your Dreams

Have a pet? Make sure you register with a pet-friendly letting agent.
"The Dog’s Trust have set up a list of letting agencies which allow you to rent flats when you have a pet. You can search for them there.” Explains Sophie Woolfenden, head of Notting Hill Lettings at Knight Frank. “Do remember to get a reference from your previous landlord if you have had a pet in a flat before too."

When it comes to finding your dream flat, timing is of the essence. You have to be able to act quickly.
"At the moment we’re in a tenant-friendly market but when the tables turn – you will have to act quickly and have to be prepared to be flexible." Suggests Woolfden.

Get all your paperwork in order before you start looking for flats.
"You will need to have all your references ready.” Explains Sophie Woolfenden, “The references you need to have ready are a bank reference, confirmation of employment reference, and a character reference from a previous landlord or professional."

Know the administration fees you should expect to pay once you’ve found your dream home.
"The administration fee should include the price of drawing up the tenancy agreement, plus the 6 week rental deposit and the inventory check of the property." Suggests Woolfenden.

Make sure the letting agency you are working with is a member of A.R.L.A – Association Of Residential Letting Agents
"A.R.L.A is a professional regulatory agency and protects the client’s deposits through its protection schemes." Says Woolfenden. “There have been a lot of examples where people have answered ads online and paid a deposit and it’s all a scam.” Explains Liz McCallum, director of lettings at Get Living London. "With a A.R.L.A registered agency, it means that deposits are protected and the agency will register your deposit under the tenant deposit protection scheme."

Do the math – work out how much you really can afford to pay in rent in each month and let that guide your research into the area you look for your flat in.
"Landlords want to know that tenants can afford to rent and will look after the party." Suggests Penny Guest, regional letting director at KFH agents. "Don’t leave anything to chance. Go to all the main property portals, Right Move and Zoopla and see what is out there to gauge if your budget is realistic to the area you want to live in."

Be honest and tell the letting agent if you have any issues with bad credit.
"Lots of agencies will credit reference tenants. They will verify employment and see whether you’re on the electoral roll.” Explains Guest. “If you have a CCJ – County Court Judgment, tell the letting agent as soon as possible. It is up to the landlord to make a decision. The more honest a tenant can be the better."

Be prepared for the costs you’ll have to pay upfront before you get the keys and move in.
"There’ll be a reference charge, an inventory check in charge, and a preparation of expedition of the tenancy agreement charge.” Explains Guest. “The price will vary from agency to agency. Plus you’ll need between four to six week’s rent and four to six week’s deposit to pay too."

Make sure you have all of the funds in your account for the costs you have to pay out.
As Guest explains, "All monies paid have to be cleared funds. We need verification that it has been authorized before we hand over the keys."

Make sure you have all of the paperwork to hand before you sign on the dotted line.
"You need to see the tenancy agreement and prescribed information as to how your deposit will be protected. You will need to check the breakdown agreement for the move in charges. The landlord also has to provide you with a Gas Safety record, to confirm all the appliances are safe, as well as an EPC, Energy Performance Certificate too." Says Guest.

Don’t get too focused one postcode in London to live in.
"Tenants shouldn’t be too fixated on location. The rental market is very strong and people need to be flexible." Suggests Paul Spencer, associate director at James Pendleton. Not sure where to look? Check out Rentonmy’s interactive map of London, which rates each borough of London by rental price point, people type and social amenities.

Don’t let the Internet be your only search portal.
"Register directly with agents. Don’t just go online to search.” Advises Spencer. “The internet allows you to discount or overlook properties that might be suitable for you."

Keep in touch with your letting agent. Don’t be mysterious.
"Stay in touch with the agent you are working with and tell them if your circumstances have changed.” Advises Spencer. “Build up trust, as people rent to applicants that they have a rapport with."

If you’re looking for a bargain, you might want to hold off looking for a flat over the summer.
"The traditional busy time to rent a flat is July and August, as people are finishing college and starting new jobs. A lot more people are coming into the marketplace then." Explains Spencer.

Work out how long you are prepared for your commute to work to be each day.
As Spencer explains, "There’s a saying, the further you go down the Northern Line, the cheaper [the rent] gets."

Found your perfect flat? Perfect the art of negotiation.
"A lot of applicants will think it’s about the rent but there are a lot of other things that can help with negotiations.” Advices McCallum. “Think about how quickly you can move, how will you pay, by direct debit or otherwise. Or how many of you will be living in the flat. Think about what you can add to the negotiating mix."