Flat Hunting in London: A Teacher’s Guide

The London Flat Hunting guide for Teachers.

Congratulations! You’ve applied to be a supply teacher in London, procured the appropriate visa and have those flights booked, but now comes the hard part: hunting for a flat in London.

As the capital is the largest city in the UK, London has so many flat and house shares on offer that the flat hunt process can be daunting. World Class Teachers offer this handy guide for those looking for a London flat, especially made for teachers from overseas.

Where to Live in London

London tube map depicting why you should teach in London

Flickr Creative Commons / Megan Trace

First, a few facts about London geography. London is made up of several boroughs, but most commonly designated into North, South, East and West London. Not one area is ‘better’ than another – each has its own history, unique markets, set of vibrant neighbours and set of schools requiring teachers.

While it is nice to live near to where you work, it’s not necessary as London’s extensive transport system can connect you to any point within Greater London.

Let the Flat Hunt Begin

Now, the fun part begins. If you are coming over with a friend or already know someone who is/will be in London, you’re half way there. There are plenty of people looking to fill a room in a house or who need an extra flatmate, and using sites like Arrive Homes are great ways to find them.

Property websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla give you a chance to virtually view properties before arriving in London and can give you relatively realistic expectations.

Flat Hunting in London

Flickr Creative Commons / delara_photos

Most letting agencies aren’t keen on working with people residing outside the UK, and you should always try to view a property before agreeing to any contract.

While viewing flats, use a flat hunting check-list or one similar to the house hunting list advised by NUS to make sure all your bases are covered.

Extras to Keep in Mind

Once you’ve narrowed down your options from the whole of London to a select group of areas, remember to keep a few bits and bobs in mind. While flat hunting it is easy to momentarily forget about extras such as council tax, external bills, letting agency fees and transportation costs.

Flat Hunting in East London

Flickr Creative Commons / Antonio Acuna

 

That cosy flat in Zone 1 may be the one of your dreams, but that other cosy flat in Zone 3 and transportation to schools may end up the same price. Keep a Google Doc or notebook of all the different aspects of each viewed property and add up the total costs as soon as you can.

Watch Out For Hidden Fees

If you do go with a letting agent, they may charge you for extras that they have not mentioned before, such as a fee to hold the property. Some landlords may also want a few months’ rent in advance from overseas flat hunters, especially those without a UK guarantor.

Central London flat hunting

Flickr Creative Commons / Shawn Clover

 

If you have any questions about renting a house or flat in London or are concerned about the costs of a room or property, just get in touch with us.

After all, we here at World Class Teachers already live in London and have a good idea of what is standard.

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