According to The Guardian, London was voted the most desired place in the world to work in 2014.
Some may argue that this doesn’t come as a surprise since London is a wonderful city with a multicultural society, well-educated citizens and lots of opportunities for workers.
If you are planning to stay in London for a relatively longer period, whether it is for work, education, or other circumstances, finding a place to live is probably top of your priority list. It’s not easy finding somewhere to stay, and it’s made even harder if you are not familiar with areas of the city.
To help you, here are some essential tips to help you find a place to live in London.
- Beware of scams when searching online
Searching online is probably the most common approach everyone takes when it comes to finding place to live, or anything for that matter.
The first thing you need to do research a little to get a general idea of the average prices of properties in the area. This can help you to find a cheaper place and save you some money without being cheated into paying more than you should. If you find that a deal that is too good to be true, more than likely when residing in London, it probably is.
Another tip to preventing being scammed into over paying is by using a trusted agency such as Castle Estates or other agencies to help you look and offer expert advice. You might believe that renting through agents will increase the value of a property, and on many occasions it does, but it’s also true that if you find a flat without going through a letting website it will allow landlords to self-list their properties; meaning you face a higher risk of fraud because the sellers might not be and say who you think they are online.
- See the property for yourself
If you are moving to London in the near future but are still a distance away from being able to visit a property, it’s not the be all and end all, however it is highly advisable to view your potential new home when possible. Even with the beauty of the internet, everything is not always as it seems online. It is hard to tell the condition of a place and the size of a room, amongst other things through images alone, which can be very deceiving.
Also, another important reason to visit is to see the actual area itself. You need to be away of the environment and community you are moving into, as if it is a dangerous and unfriendly place it can heavily impact your decision.
- Secure important documents
When relocating, you will more than likely be asked to provide important documentation to the estate agency that is helping you through the process. Due to the paperwork contains a lot of confidential and personal information, it is important to transport them in the safest way possible online, rather than trying to get it all through a post box. One way to send these sensitive documents is through a trusted service such as getfulldisclosure, an encrypted system for increased protection from hackers, perfect for using when moving location.
- Check the flat or house carefully after you move in
This is a really important step if you want to get most of the deposit back. Why? Because many landlords may try and charge you for damages to the flat or house, even if they were there before you move in! If you are not well prepared and unaware of such short cuts landlords try to pull, you will have no evidence in proving your innocent, leaving your out of pocket.
Some advice would be to check the entire flat and every room carefully, looking for any sign of damage, using your phone to take pictures for proof, and documenting them so that if it does happen that you are being blamed and charged for damages you aren’t responsible for, you have all the proof you need.