how do I find a cheap place in london quickly?
January 14, 2008 3:27 PM   Subscribe

how do I find a cheap place in london quickly?

I touched down in london last friday and got myself scammed. (the person who should have put me up did not but kept the money. my fault but there's nothing I can do about it now.)

so, being suddenly tighter with money than expected, I found myself a hostel while doing job interviews. I'm trying to find a decent flatshare somewhere in the northern part of the city that doesn't require me to put down a massive deposit at once (I can swing a month's rent of up to 400 GBP but that's about it right now) but obviously that's kind of tough. I've been through gumtree and up and down craigslist.

hivemind, do you know where I could find a room in london? even a temporary place is okay, so please do share those resourses as well.

(btw: I'll be working a lot in the shoreditch area...)
posted by krautland to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: also: I'm considering ... anyone know if they are legit?
posted by krautland at 3:38 PM on January 14, 2008

Try Easyroommate (or google flasthare london for similar services). Loads of rooms on your price range but I guess their availability will depend on how long you're willing to stay. I've used it before but it was kind of hard to find one in the area I wanted for only a couple of months - which was all I needed. I'm guessing your requirements are a bit looser than mine were given the situation you're in...
posted by lucia__is__dada at 3:59 PM on January 14, 2008

you could try the accommodation offered board at if you don't mind sharing with a lawyer!
posted by patricio at 4:26 PM on January 14, 2008

I've used and had a middling experience; be aware they will typically want the full amount for your stay on arrival, no refunds partial or otherwise. The rooms/houses were mediocre and probably not a place you want to stay more than a few days to a week -- mid-range hostel level. Their checkin/out process is pretty efficient, cleanliness about what you'd expect for a place that turns over every few days. The kitchen is typically a mess, but individual rooms are OK, shower/toilet facilities are pretty junky if you're used to American plumbing. Since you're in London already, definitely ask to take a look at what you'd get before signing up.
posted by kanuck at 5:25 PM on January 14, 2008

surprised that no-one has mentioned
posted by randomstriker at 8:33 PM on January 14, 2008

posted by sagwalla at 1:20 AM on January 15, 2008

I have a page on my personal wiki that has lots of info on finding housing in London. It includes links to many sites that people on various London based forums recommended (and that I used) as well as links to information on the legal situation. There's a South London bias on it, because thats where I live, but the sites will be good for North London as well.
posted by tallus at 1:54 AM on January 15, 2008

more flatshares than you can shake a stick at (mostly with working holidaymakers from Oz and NZ)
posted by wayward vagabond at 3:19 AM on January 15, 2008

oops, missed that you'd already checked that one - ignore!!
posted by wayward vagabond at 3:20 AM on January 15, 2008

Best way to do it always used to be to get a copy of Loot early in the morning, and a wad of cash for deposit. Ring round and visit places that seem suitable, and if it hits the spot, put the deposit down straight away (good places go fast in london). I think you'll struggle to get somewhere that doesn't require two months rent in advance though (1 month deposit, 1 month rent).
posted by bifter at 4:40 AM on January 15, 2008

Response by poster: yeah, just to drive the point home once more: I can't put down a month's deposit. no can do right now.
posted by krautland at 6:21 AM on January 15, 2008

You're screwed, then.

This hostel is very cheap and very central. Stay there and save up for a deposit, or go home now and cut your losses. You are very unlikely to find any other options barring if you can't stay on someone's couch for a month.

I assume you've reported the crime to the local fuzz. You get no points of any kind if you haven't.
posted by genghis at 3:31 PM on January 15, 2008

No deposit makes a lot of difference and sadly Genghis probably has it right. Squatting might be an option in your situation -- its legal in the UK, doesn't cost anything, and is one of the few ways you have of putting a roof over your head when all else fails and you are not entitled to other help. You can give the Advisory Service for Squatters ( a ring:
office hours are 2-6 Monday to Friday, as usual. Please ring first.
Phone:- 020 3216 0099 ( or 0845 644 5814 land lines outside of London )

The ASS don't keep empties list, and you will need someone else to squat with but they may be able to put you in contact with local groups who can provide these things and/or other possible options. I'm out of touch with the London squatting scene now, but I squatted for years. Feel free to Mefi Mail me with any questions. It might not be for you, but its certainly worth considering.
posted by tallus at 4:29 PM on January 15, 2008

Response by poster: okay, I set everything based on your advise in motion and found enough to cover one month's rent and a similar deposit. phew.

I am getting a lot of requests through easyroommate from people to first send my scanned id and make a payment to "show I can pay the rent" before even seeing the place. when prompted, these people insist it's the law and they cannot let me see the place without doing this first. I assume those are scammers, right? (if so -- I found a bunch of them)
posted by krautland at 7:53 AM on January 16, 2008

Response by poster: I assume you've reported the crime to the local fuzz. You get no points of any kind if you haven't.

yeah. and boy, did they care. I have few hoped the douchenozzle is gonna get caught.
posted by krautland at 7:54 AM on January 16, 2008

Response by poster: for the record: easy roommate is filled to the brim with nigerian scammers trying to get you to western-union money to them. very weird. moveflat seems to be solid.
posted by krautland at 11:56 AM on January 16, 2008

Actually it's illegal in the UK to demand up front payment for finding or renting rooms.
posted by tallus at 3:00 PM on January 16, 2008

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