Life in London and tips for moving there

266 posts in this topic

Thanks for the replies! :)

 

So, spending 40% of my salary on paying the rent (bills included) in London would be fine? :rolleyes:

 

Cheers

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The average person I talked to was paying around 1500GPB a month for rent. I paid 1200GPB for a shitty studio and on top of that it cost me around 50GPB a WEEK in the winter to heat it. There are a lot of crappy, run down apartments (like the one I had) that are rented to new foreigners because it is so difficlut to get an apartment there. Most of the time an Estate Agent is required, and they charge about 400GPB.

Ok, its been 2 years since I lived in London, but unless things have radically changed you were getting seriously ripped off. I used to pay 866GBP for a 2 bedroom (the second was like a closet, but still) apartment in Camden Town. Its not the greatest area, but its pretty central. Further to that, I didn't have to pay the real estate agent anything, and there was heaps of choice. Unlike here in Munich where you have to pay the estate agent, in London the landlord always pays them. I have never heard of anyone having to pay a real estate agent anything to rent a property in London, except for a few fee's like inventory when you rent the place, which is normally no more than 50 pounds.

 

Further to that, I was paying about 40 pounds a month for electricity which included heating and everything. I actually think that that is one thing that was cheaper in London than in Munich.

 

London is expensive, but its no where near as expensive as you make out.

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@Hutcho,

 

My reading of Kotenai post was someone who ended-up in the rip off side of London designed to take Newbies money from them!!!

I have a studio/bedsit in London right now and went thru some of those type of agencies because I needed to be West central and didn't mind staying in a shitty bedsit (as it is just during the week). One Agency charged £75 before they'd even look for you (I new it was a potential rip-off) but wanted to take the chance and of course they were shite... - In the end I found myself my own rip of bedsit without their help!!

 

So those newbies to London be warned...

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Tell me about getting ripped off! I rented an apartment from the University and it had one shitty little heater (think a piece of shit that you have to plug into the wall.) The building was so poorly insulated that I had to keep the heat cranked (hance the 50 GBP a week). I tried to rent a flat bymyself but being a foreigner with no job, as I was a student, I had to rent from the university. It was close to the Hospital I was working at which was the only plus. I met with some of those agents that you are referring to that rent shitty bedsits to foreigners. Three of them asked for 6 months rent up front, cash if you can believe it. I wonder how many people they manage to sucker.

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They would have only wanted 6 months up front because you were a student and had no income. I know when I first got to the UK and had no job I had to pay 6 months up front too. If you have some income, then you don't have to do this.

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Does anyone have any new suggestions for good London-based flat-hunting websites? www.gumtree.com seems pretty decent so far, but any other input is welcome.

 

Am also taking recommendations on agencies.

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Then you must have an active bank account (which is another cart and pony show) and a letter from an employer and references, ect ect.

Exactly why I am never giving up my UK bank account. Had to jump through too many hoops to get it. Plus its quite nice to have £££'s whilst shopping there! ;)

 

For looking for a place to live, another website you can try Craigslist as well Craigslist London

 

EDIT: Wheel beat me to it!

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Does anyone have any new suggestions for good London-based flat-hunting websites? www.gumtree.com seems pretty decent so far, but any other input is welcome.

 

Am also taking recommendations on agencies.

Local agencies are often your best bet - any idea whereabouts in town you're looking?

EDIT: www.foxtons.co.uk if you don't mind using an agent who have recently developed a slightly dodgy image (though I suspect this was slightly exaggerated for TV)

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EDIT: www.foxtons.co.uk if you don't mind using an agent who have recently developed a slightly dodgy image (though I suspect this was slightly exaggerated for TV)

And have agents who drive around in multi-coloured Mini's looking like the bunch of tossers they are.

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@ Jimbo

I'd like to be as central as I can afford. The office is along the Thames between Mansion House and Cannon Street tube stations. But I'm not an idiot and realise that I'm looking at a commute.

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Ah, OK, nice and close to me then ;) Do you mind me asking, roughly, what you're budgeting on spending (don't forget you won't get 'warm' rates, so if you're living alone you should budget for another £150 in bills and tax pcm - perhaps even a little more).

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There is a very small agency called Jenny Jones. When I lived in London about 7 years ago, they charged the landlords and not the people who were looking for a flat. This is the address from the Internet (hopefully still up-to-date):

Jenny Jones Agency Ltd, Flat Agents, 40 South Molton St, London W1Y 1HB Tel 020 7493 4801. I don't know them very well though...

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I'd like to be as central as I can afford. The office is along the Thames between Mansion House and Cannon Street tube stations. But I'm not an idiot and realise that I'm looking at a commute.

I used to work 50m from Mansion House tube. You've got 4+ tube lines, DLR and trains within 10 minutes walk. I'd suggest avoiding living East of there (bit rough, unless you're loaded), or West (long commute, unless you're loaded), or South (transport links not great). This leaves you with North (and the Northern or 'misery' Line). My tip - Tufnell Park.

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East isn't that bad - a bit rough round the edges but it's alright! Granted West is pricey though, and South? Farking Sarf? Fuck that squire. Fuck that until it's pink.

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I would agree with Jimbo that local agencies are your best bet.

 

Douglas and Gordon

KFH

 

are both good agencies too. Have used them both in the past and was pleased (although I only have experience with them in SW London). Foxtons have a rep of being a bunch of arrogant tossers (not unfounded in my experience) but they have a wide coverage.

 

findaproperty.com is good for getting an idea of what's available in an area.

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Generally the big question is whether you wanna commute by tube, or by overland chuff chuff.

 

Tube is slow, cramped and unpleasant but OK for say 20-30 minutes - but hell if you live a long way out like 45-60 minutes.

 

Overland chuffer is generally more civilised, but depends on how far your office is from your main London station - if that makes sense?

 

There is for example a special connection that goes from Waterloo (which is no good for Cannon Street) to City, but adds an extra 15 minutes

to the journey etc.

 

Frankly the whole idea sends a shiver up my spine. Been 17 years since I worked in Cannon Street!

 

p.s. My personal tip would be Wimbledon - pretty happening bar scene, has the tube AND the overland train, but far enough out that you do get trees and stuff. Just google "Tube Map" and take a look.

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Oh yeah - KFH are good - used them once down in Bromley, though eventually went elsewhere, they were quite helpful.

 

And yes, Foxtons are flash arrogant bastards - but then they're estate agents, so what do you expect? My boss still uses them to rent out some of his flats and they do a grand job. Albeit charge the fucking Earth.

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