Accommodation in London (flats)

5 posts in this topic


I am looking for a job in London (could be Canary Wharf, City, or Paddington) and if I do find one, I’d like some tips about areas where to rent a studio (max £800pm).

I know Paris (well, parts of it, there are other parts where I haven’t set foot since the 90’s) quite well, as I lived there for 15 years, so if anybody is thinking of relocating there, we can make a swap: my knowledge against yours!

Ideally, I would like a purpose built flat, in a building where you can get high speed broadband with Virgin or Sky. I don’t want to use BT as I’ve had too many problems with them in the past.

I’d like a safe area, i.e. I’d like to be able to walk back from the nearest Tube station/bus stop late at night, early in the morning, including at the weekend (no, I don’t go clubbing, but I do sometimes finish work late, or go to the theatre  and once I was assaulted by a mugger at 6am on a Sunday morning, as I was going to work ).

I don’t have a car, so I need a fairly big supermarket (not a Tesco Express) within walking distance (1 ½ mile), where I can do my weekly/monthly big shop, with my backpack.

I commute by public transport, so I’d like a good network of tube/train stations and bus lines. If the traffic is delayed or interrupted on 1 line, I’d like to be able to switch to another line or take a bus.

One of my top priorities is to be within quick reach (1 mile) of a swimming pool which is open several evenings a week, say, until 10pm. There is one such swimming-pool in Bristol where I live (the Lido, in Clifton) but it charges about £550 a year, and it’s a 30’ walk from where I live!

Last but not least, I’d like a part of London where there is a high proportion of foreigners, but not social cases (i.e. people on benefits, with kids and teens running amok), and at the same time I’d like the place to have a villagey feel: a bit like Blackheath.

Last of all, can anyone recommend a good agency? I’ve had problems with all the landlords I’ve had in the UK (live-in or not) and with the 2 agencies I’ve been dealing with: my current flat was repossessed by Bank of Ireland because my landlords were not repaying their mortgage, the other tenants and myself (about 30 people) had been trying for over a year to get in touch with them (there were numerous problems, including heroin addicts squatting for over 6 months in the part of the building which hadn’t been converted into flats), the various agencies (at least 3 of them) who had got us these flats would not have anything further to do with us once we had moved in, and the agency who is currently managing the building on behalf of the new landlords are just trying to get as much turnover as possible. I want to concentrate on my job, I don’t want to waste time and energy solving accommodation problems!

Thanks in advance.



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It's getting to be some time since I lived in London now and any opinion is going to be highly subjective. Presumably Blackheath / Dulwich is OK for working in Docklands. A lot of the central gyms have pools. Brockwell Park's got an outdoor pool, Hampstead another. Greenwich would be another area I'd consider to the east (not sure of its amenities but good for socialising).


If I worked in Paddington, I'd probably pick Maida Vale, Queen's Park or Notting Hill (or possibly Bayswater) particularly as those are close enough to walk to the central park areas. If I worked in the City, possibly Shoreditch or Stoke Newington or Islington (closer but less my thing that that west London lot). Supermarket access west central is pretty good these days, not so sure about the east. The south still has issues about transport links, areas like Battersea and Wandsworth are also good but just not anything like as well connected (except Clapham).


800 will pick up the base cost of a studio in a lot of these places, conversion or something, but perhaps not a high-spec deluxe purpose-build, or with all the add-ons for that price, like TV, I'd guess. Personally, I'd put better / more convenient area above apartment spec.


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Thanks Swimmer!


I didn't know about the Lido at Brocknell Park, I'll have to check it out if I do move to London. I've checked the Lido in Hampstead and since 2005 morning swimming sessions are no longer for free: they charge £2 for the entrance. Still, it is fairly value for money. Leisure centres' swimming pools usually seem to remain open till 10pm, which is great for professsional people. I do want one within walking distance of where I live though, I do not want a second commute to the swimming pool after work!


I'm travelling to London tomorrow, I'm going to check out Ealing and Wembley. There are some newish blocks of flats in these areas, with studios for rent at £800pm. I've worked in a real estate agency so I always haggle and try to get the price down: I managed to lower the rent of my current flat by 5%. And if I had known it would not be possible to get a landline, or the cable, that the absentee landlords would go bust after 1 year (i.e. my deposit is lost), and that I would have to put up with squatters in the building for over 6 months, I would not have rented the flat at all! I hope I manage to avoid such problems in London...


I'll check out Maida Vale on the way. I remember Little Venice very well: I really liked that area, but I'm afraid it's going to be a little too expensive for me.


Some of the jobs I'm applying for are on Canary Wharf, others are in the City, others in the West End and others around Hampstead, so I'll have to wait until I have a contract to start flat-hunting for good.


Thanks very much for your advice!


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I was in Ealing today, and it was lovely!

There is a good high street, with all the stores I'll need for an everyday shop, and most weekends! Besides the usual Tesco, M&S, Boots, Waterstones, etc. there are a couple of independent shops, including French bakers. It reminds me a little of the high street in Kensington, but with less expensive stores, less people (plenty of place to walk on the pavements), and without the crowds of tourists!

There is a Polish church and there seems to be quite a large population of Polish people. I've seen (or rather, heard) a couple of Russian people too. To the west (Uxbridge road) you also find Irani migrants. It's much more culturally diverse than where I currently live, and I like it much better this way!

All the real estate agencies are within a short walk of each other, and there is a villagey feel to the area. I particularly liked Pitshanger Lane.

There aren't too many bars etc. so I should be able to get some sleep at night. Not like where I am: when I walked home, after 11pm, there was a lady standing with a megaphone outside one of the bars/whatever in my street! Plus all those people screaming and the noise of the hi-fi. Even with closed windows (on the courtyard, not on the street) I can hear them.

The area is also quite green: lots of trees, little squares, and a couple of parks and commons. I got an attack of hayfever!

The 2 swimming pools look great (though if I'm right in the middle, it will be 30' to 45' walk to go swimming, each way, so I'll probably be buying a bike).

One of the big plus is that there is a direct bus line (Number 65) to Richmond, which is one of my favourite parts in London (unfortunately unaffordable). I treated myself to a 2-hour walk in the park and in the 'village' (with its lovely high street) this morning. There is a dinghy-sailing club on the Thames, near St Margarets: I'll have to make enquiries!

I've also been to Ruislip. It's a nice area, with a nice wood, lots of detached houses, but not many shops, or blocks of flats, and not very good transport links: it would be adequate for a family with children and cars.


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I am renting my small London (one-bedroom) flat from June onwards.


I am currently redecorating (new bathroom, boiler, painting) and it is almost ready to see.


Its in W9 near Little Venice/Notting Hill/Paddington on a long, leafy avenue.  Gorgeous (huge) communal gardens.


First floor, street parking, 3 mins from Warwick Avenue Tube - perfect for someone needing to get to work in town.




My last tenants were with me for three years and need more space for a baby.


Any TT-ers know anyone interested, please send me an IM!!






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