Where to find a reasonably priced studio flat or room in London?
June 14, 2012 4:39 AM   Subscribe

Where to find a reasonably priced studio flat or room in London? I've been looking for accommodation in London for quite some time now, but so far I've been unsuccessful (or.. unlucky) with searching in all the "usual" places (Gumtree.com, Findaproperty, flatland.co.uk etc.) In the meantime, I need to move within a couple of weeks, and can't seem to find anything in East Central London (close to City University) that is not super expensive and/or managed by a (what i prefer to call) "greedy agent"... very frustrating :/
posted by Vivban to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What are you calling "reasonable"? London rent tends to be expensive, about £500 per person a month and upwards. (There are exceptions but this is a reasonable average.)

I've found some agents / realtors to be no help at all while others have gone out of their way. It may be useful to look up agents that deal only in rentals - in normal real estate agents, the rental desk is often neglected or given to the junior.
posted by outlier at 5:02 AM on June 14, 2012

Have you tried Loot? Can be a bit of a scrum but has helped me out in the past
posted by fatfrank at 5:27 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

It would be good to know your budget. If it's less than £1200 p/m, you're going to have a very hard time finding a decent studio inside of zone 6, especially as we near the Olympics and the tourist season.

The best way to find something relatively cheap and relatively quickly is to look for a room in a houseshare. The best (and most trustworthy) place for this imo is spareroom.co.uk.

If you're still having trouble, consider expanding your search area. Central London is very, very expensive, but if you are willing to lengthen your commute by 10 or 20 minutes, it starts to get a little more reasonable.
posted by fight or flight at 6:03 AM on June 14, 2012

A decent room anywhere near Angel is going to set you back £600PCM upwards. A studio flat probably upwards of 900PCM. To answer your question, you probably won't find anywhere in that location for the price you're thinking of.

1) Move away from the EC area. Prior to this year your best bet was most likely East toward Stratford/Leytonstone or North East toward Hackney, but because of the Olympics prices have gone a bit mental. Head further out from there in that direction or head South toward Streatham.

2) The University might be able to help. They might have a list of people looking for room-mates or have a website you don't know about that hooks people in similar situations as yourself with each other so that they can work together to find a flat-share.

3) Look on Faceboook. A group like this might post up something.

Best of luck.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:05 AM on June 14, 2012

In my own London housing search, we discovered that brokers were essential. Despite that, we ended up finding something on loot.co.

Both of these involved waking extremely early and marching up and down the brokers' row in our desired neighborhoods. Loot required staying up one night for the launch.

Also, what's affordable to you? Bedsits are the cheapest but can be unpleasant. How many people are sharing?

I had configurations of 3, 4, 5 and 6. I was ready to ditch people.
posted by k8t at 6:06 AM on June 14, 2012

As a last ditch effort, take a look at sabbatical homes those folks are looking for longer tenancy and I have found individual rooms.
posted by jadepearl at 6:38 AM on June 14, 2012

City's accessible by 2 tube lines - northern (Angel) and metropolitan (Farringdon) and it's only a ten minute walk away from those 2 stations. I would suggest you branch your search out further to anywhere on those two lines so that you have a straightforward commute to City.

I'm not saying you won't find anywhere within walking distance of City, but those that you do find are likely to be poky and very expensive.

Good luck!
posted by Ziggy500 at 6:55 AM on June 14, 2012

If it were me, I'd advertise at City University. You might end up living with undergrads, which may not be your cup of tea, but there will be postgrads and young academics also looking for housemates too I'd guess.

City actually has some great resources for housing, including links to a rent guide. If you take a room near Old Street, for example, the map says you'll spend £94-£169 per week, getting cheaper as you go further east.

They recommend the following places (below) and a searchable bulletin board system called Studentpad.

posted by MuffinMan at 6:57 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

My friend rents a studio in Manor House (which to my mind is a bit of a dodgy part of town) for about £700 PCM not including bills.

Most young people I know, students and professionals, share places - either with their partner or with housemates. Is there a reason why you can't do this? Even then, it'll be between £400-£600 a month, but it's a lot less than a studio. London is expensive and with mortgages being out of reach for most people some share well into their thirties, so you can find a nice quiet place rather than a party house if you look about.

Be careful with Gumtree - there's a common scam where 'landlords' will offer you a cheap room if you pay your deposit and rent upfront to 'guarantee' it before seeing the place. Don't do this. However, it is a lot cheaper than going through an agency. I once found a nice place to share by putting an ad up myself with a little bio and how much I wanted to pay/what I was looking for, but if time is of the essence you might not have time.
posted by mippy at 8:59 AM on June 14, 2012

You don't expect to be close to the centre. You move to outer London and tube or rail it in. That's the only way to get an affordable rent in London, and it's what all of those who aren't well-off started by doing.
posted by Decani at 3:38 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

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