Tips about finding accommodation in the UK
Are there any useful tips when looking for accommodation?
Finding the ideal home can be difficult. Read the tips for finding accommodation if you are new to the UK. They should save you some money and help you avoid traps that many people who have just moved to England can fall into.
A Word of Advice
Typical row of houses in an english town. Can you tell the difference?
In many accommodation ads you will see a "No DSS" warning. That means that they don't accept people who are on welfare benefits as tenants. If you are unemployed or a student a good tip would be to rent accommodation from private landlords or through your university and not an agency. An agency will run an employment check as well as a credit check and if you are a student or unemployed at the moment they are likely to ask you to identify a Guarantor or give them several months' rent in advance. If you want to avoid that, you should try to rent from a private landlord. A landlord will probably ask you what you do for a living, but that's all. They will not ask to see any employment contracts and will not run any credit checks, as an agency would do. They will just be happy as soon as you provide them with the deposit and the first month's rent.
- If you want to see the property with your own eyes before you pay a deposit, you can consider finding some temporary accommodation in a B&B or a hostel when you arrive in the UK. Visit Hostels to find beds from as little as £6. Finding permanent accommodation once you are here is a matter of days or even hours as the procedure is very straightforward. Especially when you deal with a private landlord and not an agency, you can often move into the property the next day.
- Starting too late may not be a good idea (have a look at our countdown for more information), but starting too early is a bad idea, too. Most landlords (especially when it comes to renting rooms) are looking for tenants that want to move in right away or in a few weeks time. They do not want to lose any money by waiting for you to move in.
- Do not think that there is something dodgy with your landlord if they tell you that they don't usually give contracts to their tenants, as this is common practice in the UK. Most landlords will agree to sign a contract or a written agreement if you tell them it's important to you. Always ask for a receipt for a deposit you give them or have it mentioned in your tenancy agreement that you have paid a deposit.
- Sign an inventory with your landlord or agency and take pictures of the flat when you move in. This will be useful at the end of your tenancy, when you claim your deposit back.