West London two-bed flat search.
August 15, 2008 6:46 AM   Subscribe

LondonFlatSearchFilter: Ms. Kreiger and I need a two-bedroom flat in West London. Where should we be looking for leads?

We know what areas we want to live in (broadly speaking: Hammersmith, Shepherd's Bush, Acton, Ealing), when we need to move (2008-08-28), what we want to pay, and what we should expect for our money in each area.
What I want to know is whether we're missing any possible sources of apartments. Right now we're getting the Loot, looking on FindaProperty.com, and browsing a few letting agencies' sites directly (Haart, Dexters, and a couple of smaller places). Craigslist hasn't turned up anything interesting for us, nor has Gumtree, so we're not actively using either of them.
Are we missing any double-super-secret search methods here?
posted by Kreiger to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Finding a flat in London, I've had luck with moveflat.com and the aforementioned Gumtree and Loot. Also pounding the streets of the area talking to estate agents, although steer clear of bloody Foxtons.
posted by handee at 6:59 AM on August 15, 2008

Nothing beats pounding the streets. Make friends with all the local lettings agents - you'll see them advertising on the web and in Loot. By registering with all of them, and calling them regularly, you'll stand a good chance of hearing about properties before they've even hit Loot.

I don't live in West London but most areas have a local community website or messageboard upon which private landlords will advertise. You can also check local shop windows for private ads. FindAProperty.com might also be worth a look.
posted by skylar at 7:10 AM on August 15, 2008

london-flat-rental.co.uk (a.k.a.moveflat.com) -- is awesome. It was started by a guy who was pissed off by bad flat adverts and he rejects a lot of adverts that he doesn't think are informative enough. We moved recently and ended up only using this site as the quality was much higher even if the selection was smaller. All the places we looked at were good, and we were dealing with landlords directly.

You can also try nestoria which aggregates search results from across different sites.

I have a page on my personal wiki which contains lots of information pertaining to finding housing in London.
posted by tallus at 7:17 AM on August 15, 2008

Gumtree and Loot.
posted by k8t at 7:18 AM on August 15, 2008

Gumtree does seem to be the best, I wouldn't give up on it just yet.
I'm currently advertising my own flat on Gumtree, and even though the ad has been buried by others for some time now I'm still getting a lot of response. I put an ad on Craigslist but had just one response, from an American couple. (It's a one-bedroom in Islington, so probably wouldn't be of any interest to you)
posted by Flashman at 7:42 AM on August 15, 2008

Seconding the pavement pounding. There's really no substitute for calling up estate agents, getting on their books, and letting them do their thing (with a bit of pestering from you). Even Foxtons... (sleazy, but plenty of inventory.)

I've had some luck poking around with rightmove.co.uk. They have a neat search tool that allows you to search by the tube map, if proximity to tube stations in a concern.
posted by generichuman at 7:53 AM on August 15, 2008

Pavement pounding isn't fun, but it is a requirement.
posted by k8t at 8:02 AM on August 15, 2008

I also recommend rightmove.co.uk in preference to findaproperty.com. You are getting a bit too close to the moving date. Email lots of agents who seem to have stock and try and arrange viewings for stuff as soon as it hits the market, but before it gets advertised.
posted by roofus at 8:17 AM on August 15, 2008

I got my rental in Bethnal Green through facebook marketplace.
posted by freya_lamb at 8:24 AM on August 15, 2008

The last time I moved, I had a great experience with the agents Fitz-Gibbons. They only do rentals and know their stuff. After listening to what we were looking for, they suggested a few areas we hadn't considered and within the week showed us 5 places, 4 of which we would have happily moved into. That's how renting should be. West London seems to be their patch, so you'll probably do well with them.
posted by outlier at 9:03 AM on August 15, 2008

We took a week off, hired a car and drove around to visit all the estate agents in the area in which we were interested. Ended up getting our (perfect for us) flat through Ludlow Thompson in Acton.
posted by goo at 11:03 AM on August 15, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all. As it turns out, we found the best place I've seen in London in the Loot today.
Everyone who suggested hitting the local letting agents is completely right, as well. The only good places we saw through agents came from getting in touch with the local offices.
posted by Kreiger at 1:02 PM on August 17, 2008

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