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Roommates, budget and location: Your guide to finding accommodation in the UK

by Leanne Shrosbree | Aug 11, 2017
  • The key to finding the perfect home in the UK is to start searching as early as possible, gauge what’s out there and create a list of requirements before you move. It’s overwhelming when you’ve just arrived, but fret not, we’re here to help.
  • Three friends having breakfast

    Rent and furniture

    Rent is most likely going to be your biggest expense while you’re in the UK. You must consider what your budget for rent is going to be and how this will impact your other expenses.

    When looking at a place, check whether utilities and Wi-Fi are included in the monthly rent. If not, you’ll need to budget for these things over and above your rent.

    You’ll also need to know whether the place you’re moving into will be furnished or unfurnished. If it’s furnished, you need to check that you’re happy with the quality of the furniture and appliances. It’s a good idea to use a renter's inspection sheet to notify the landlord about problems and get them fixed right away to ensure you are not held liable.  

    Get to know your hood

    Whether you choose to stay in the city centre or somewhere nearer to the countryside, it’s best you do some research before taking the plunge. Spotahome is a great tool to gauge pricing, offering accurate property descriptions and photos of accommodation in the UK. All you do is enter your budget and date, and you can get searching.

    Properties tend to become larger and less expensive the further you move from central London and other major metros. However, living on the outskirts means your commute might be longer and more expensive. You’ll need to decide what’s more important to you before making this decision.

    Roommates: Sign on the line and live and let live

    If you’re moving in with people, it is vital that you ensure every housemate signs the lease. If one or more of your roommates don’t do this, it could get you into serious trouble down the line. If someone stops paying rent or decides to up and leave, there’s nothing you can legally do except pay on their behalf. It’s simple – if someone doesn’t want to sign the lease, find another roommate.

    Not everyone you live with is going to become your best friend, and that’s okay, but it’s great to live with people who are a similar age to you and share some common interests.

    EasyRoommate and RoomMatesUK.com are two sites that help you find the perfect room and roommate. People put up profiles on the site with their photo, age, occupation and a short description of themselves. Those seeking roommates and rooms can then get in touch with one another based on what they’re looking for in a room and roommate.

    Keep your deposit close and your estate agent closer

    It’s a known fact that nice places go quickly in the UK. Sometimes flats are put up in the morning and are gone by the evening. You’re going to need to be able to view properties quickly, and have your deposit at the ready. There’s no time for hesitation when you’ve found something you like; chances are there are three other people who like it too.

    Lastly, remember to be nice to your estate agent. A good relationship can make the difference between you getting your dream spot or not. 


    Our Kickstart packages have everything you need to get your life in the UK off to the right start. Get in touch with us on kickstart@1stcontact.com or +44 (0) 2077597536 to kick-start your life in the UK.

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