In central London, pretty much everyone rents.
This is mostly because not everyone can afford to buy a place, and the only other option is commuting in from somewhere like Reading or Luton and spending up to four hours a day composing angsty messages to train companies on Twitter.
As much as thinking up different puns for train companies is probably fun the first few times, I imagine it gets quite boring after a while. So to avoid this, most of us choose to rent centrally until we have enough money to buy somewhere.
I for one am working towards this achievable goal, and hope to have enough money for a deposit by 2090, when I will retire to a large shed by the Regent’s Canal.
But for all those embarking on this intrinsic part of London life for the first time, here’s a short guide to the process.
Step 1. Decide between a one bed or houseshare
If you’re wondering whether to share or go solo, the following information may help you make up your mind.
To rent the average one bed property in the city, you need an income 30% higher than the UK average.”
That’s that decided, then. Houseshare it is.
Step 2. Find your perfect housemates
Websites like Spareroom or Gumtree have a wealth of completely normal, law-abiding, chilled out potential housemates all looking for a person like you to fill their room. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself – YOLO!
Step 3. Find an honest, reliable estate agent
For some reason, personal recommendations are hard to come by, so try Google instead. n.b. you may need to tweak the search criteria slightly.
Step 4. Work out your total monthly budget
The estate agent will ask how much you can afford to spend on rent. If you’re unsure, I recommend using the following equation:
Pick a number (any number)
Multiply by 800
Divide by two
Feed it a banana
Sing it a lullaby
Add your birth month
= this completely irrelevant number is your budget
Step 5. Start viewing properties that match your criteria
Remember to factor in the language barrier when communicating your ideal property requirements. This list of frequently used Estateagentese terms and their English translations may help:
Step 6. Sign on the dotted line
Found your perfect flat? It’s time for the paperwork! Don’t worry if the estate agent asks you to edit, proof read, amend, print and send your contract while also obtaining your own references. This is all completely normal and you should expect to pay up to £150 in administration fees for the pleasure.
Step 7. Get to know your neighbours
Once you’ve moved in and made a comprehensive list of all the mouldy spots, why not introduce yourself to the neighbours? This can be done by arranging a housewarming, popping round to say “hi”, or simply just stomping on the ceiling. It won’t take long to for you all to be on first name terms.
Step 8. Relax in your new home
Now you’ve sorted the formalities, you can finally relax in your new home. At this point, you should celebrate your renter status. Enjoy your shorter commute. Revel in your central London bolthole with all the amenities you could ever want on your doorstep.