Sublets in London?
January 8, 2008 4:47 PM   Subscribe

LondonFilter: Thinking of subletting a place in London for 3-6 months. How would I go about doing this? Is there a good website for sublets (preferably furnished)?

I've searched previous questions about renting in London but those are more focused on long-term rentals.

Followup question: What neighborhood might you recommend for someone who:
1) Wants to be able to easily explore other neighborhoods during his stay.
2) Is not too too expensive
3) Have an occasional need to head out to Reading (thru Paddington Station?)

posted by vacapinta to Travel & Transportation around London, England (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I think the biggest question is "what is too too expensive?" How much are you willing to pay?
posted by grouse at 4:54 PM on January 8, 2008

Vac: London is a seriously big place, dude. You have to be a LOT more specific than that...

Basically, as near the middle as possible. As posh/nice as you can afford seems sensible.

Anywhere with tube access is as good as anywhere else for access. Anywhere with a rail link is next best. Any tube will get you to Paddington, being on the right line (3 go to Paddington) makes it that bit easier.

This is no way enough information to give you any sort of clue as to something that will appeal. It's like saying: I want to stay in New York in a building. Where shall I go?
posted by Brockles at 5:12 PM on January 8, 2008

This is an artist related site that has a lot of sublets all over the place. You can also place your own "wanted" post for free.
posted by 45moore45 at 6:26 PM on January 8, 2008

gumtree is London's equivalent of Craigslist. Start there.
posted by caek at 6:34 PM on January 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Vac: London is a seriously big place, dude. You have to be a LOT more specific than that...

Ah ok. I guess I'm just looking for website recommendations at this point then. Or whether people generally use brokers for this sort of thing.

That is, lets assume I know where I want to live and how much I'm willing to pay. How then do I go about actually securing a place?
posted by vacapinta at 6:51 PM on January 8, 2008

One site I have had very good luck with and that I would turn to for such a search is Vacation Rental by Owner. I've found excellent, reasonably priced accommodations in various locals for anywhere from a few nights to as long as two weeks, and know people who have had success for considerably longer short-term stays - you might check the London page I linked - many of the listings are "one-offs" but some listings have accompanying websites and are part of larger property rental groups aimed at short-term rentals.

I haven't used these sites, but here are a few more short-term resources:
Studio apartments and shared houses in London and Euracom apartment rentals.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:42 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Craigslist itself works here too of course, though it's nowhere near as busy as, say, Craigslist NYC.

Of course, how much you're willing to pay affects which websites you should use, since it makes a big difference if you're able to afford corporate-type places. I'll assume not, since almost nobody can.

My general sense is that non-specialist letting agents (aka brokers), ie all of them except those specifically in business to house people from overseas for a few months, are basically uninterested in hearing from people who want to rent for less than 12 months. Subletting from people who are themselves renting is also much less common here. For short-term rentals in London I've always had far more success renting from owners via websites like Craigslist or Gumtree, or through even more informal methods (be sure to put the word out if you know anyone who knows anyone who lives in London...!)
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 12:16 AM on January 9, 2008

Loot used to be the classifieds of choice when I used to rent, but that was a very long time ago. Gumtree is good too. 6 months is a fairly standard initial contract but you may have problems getting a place for less, or it may be more expensive.

You really want to be as near the centre as possible. Places convenient for Paddington, relatively close in and perhaps not too expensive include Queens Park and Westbourne Park, or Kilburn/West Hampstead.
posted by ComfySofa at 1:03 AM on January 9, 2008

I would use but yes, first priority is decided what you can afford. That'll dictate the areas you can even begin to look at.
posted by oh pollo! at 1:45 AM on January 9, 2008

I know you've now said to assume you know where you want to live but regarding your follow-up question, you should consider Ealing, specifically near Ealing Broadway. 1) Ealing Broadway station is on the Central Line (good for the West End and the City) and District Line (good for museums in South Kensington, Westminster, and the Tower of London) for tubes, trains to Heathrow on the Heathrow Connect, as well as Paddington and out to Oxford. You'd probably also be within walking distance of the Piccadilly Line too. 2) You'd be in Zone 3 (Outer London) so rent is cheaper and you'd be only 30mins from the centre. 3) You can go to Reading directly from Ealing Broadway as the trains from Paddington all stop there on the way. This journey will be cheaper than going from Paddington.
posted by boudicca at 2:19 AM on January 9, 2008

1) Wants to be able to easily explore other neighborhoods during his stay.

As other have said, pick somewhere near a tube station.

2) Is not too too expensive

This is London, nowhere is cheap. (Leastways, nowhere you would want to live.)

3) Have an occasional need to head out to Reading (thru Paddington Station?)

The line to Reading through Paddington is much better than the line from Waterloo through Richmond, which is slow and prone to delays.

Since you're here for a short time, perhaps you might think of living close in and putting up with the expense and smaller rooms for the convenience. It you lived along Kensington, Notting Hill Gate, Bayswater you'd be close to everything, including Paddington, with good tube access.
posted by outlier at 2:24 AM on January 9, 2008

I'd also add that prices don't follow a simple radial "centre is very expensive, outer margins very cheap" rule. You might well find cheaper places right in the centre (even on the borders of the West End) than in nice neighbourhoods a bit further out, and in east London you'll find very cheap rooms and absurdly expensive townhouses and loft apartments on the same street.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 2:43 AM on January 9, 2008

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