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Flat-hunting in London can seem like a daunting task, especially when you are looking to move at short notice – so we have compiled a list of tips for you down below to make the process a bit easier and less stressful. 



Letting Agents

Letting agents have access to a large number of properties and landlords, and can make the process easier. They will charge fees for their services, but these fees are strictly regulated. 

However, it is important to note that letting agents work on behalf of the interests of landlords NOT tenants, and they cannot always be trusted to be completely honest about properties they are letting. A good way to ensure letting agent is trustworthy is to check they are a member of a redress scheme, a member of a client protection money scheme, they clearly display fees and memberships in their office/on their website and they have a complaints procedure. Some are also members of professional bodies or accreditation schemes, these agents tend to be the best.

Some of the most popular letting agencies in London are Foxtons, Savills, Dexters and Chestertons, but you can also work with more local ones in the areas you’re looking at. 



University of London has a dedicated database of student properties and should probably be your first port of call. They also have a flatmate finder Facebook group, which you can use to find other students to look at flats with, or to find someone who has already secured a flat and is looking for other students to move in with.

Websites such as On The MarketRight MoveUnihomes and Zoopla all have properties advertised and are popular amongst students. For individual rooms or flatshares, SpareRoom and Gumtree are by far the most popular.


BEWARE OF SCAMS! If something seems too good to be true then unfortunately it usually is. Scammers target students, particularly international students who are new to London and can only view properties online. Signs to look out for include cheaper than average rent price for the area, asking for payment before viewing, communicating exclusively over WhatsApp, and asking for money for ‘extras’. If you are concerned, consult an expert!



Unlike with Halls where most, if not all, bills are included in the rent, in the private sector you will more than likely be responsible for paying these bills (unless the property is advertised as ‘bills included’ but that is rare). Therefore it is important to factor that into your thinking. Use a budget calculator like the one from Save the Student to work out what your monthly budget will be and then think about the below.



There’s no getting around it, London rents are expensive, particularly in the areas close to LSE Campus. If you have a reasonably high budget this may not be an issue, but if you are on a smaller budget you may have to be prepared to look at properties a bit further away. This is not necessarily a bad thing - London is a hugely diverse city with every borough offering something different for students. Transport services are very good, meaning it is quite easy to get around. However, remember that commuting costs can also add up, so do keep this in mind when looking at accommodation further out. Remember that you will be entitled to an 18+ Student Oyster Card, more info on which can be found here. This will give you 30% discounted travel across TFL. 



You will be expected to pay a number of bills in most private rented properties. These include Water, Electricity, Gas, Broadband, TV Licence and Contents Insurance. Some of those such as Contents Insurance are advised but optional. Make sure to ask your prospective landlord what bills you will be expected to pay and how to go about paying them before you sign anything.

If you are living in a house where everyone is a student then you will be exempt from Council Tax. However, you will need to apply for this exemption by getting in touch with your local borough council and sending in your LSE Certificate of Registration which you can get from Student Services.


Additional information

Both the LSESU Advice Service and University of London Housing Service offer a contract-checking service for free and it is 100% worth having a ten minute meeting with either as it can save you a year's worth of stress and annoyance.

We have also published some additional blog posts you might find helpful: 

Finding a Home: Viewings 

Finding a Home: References and Guarantors, Deposits and Contracts 


This blog was written by Gerda Kovacs.

Gerda is an Advice Assistant in the LSESU Advice Team.



The LSESU Advice Team is based on the 3rd floor of the Saw Swee Hock Building and we provide free, independent and confidential advice to all LSE students on academic and housing matters. We also administer the Hardship Fund, the Childcare Fund and the Graduation Gown Support Fund (GGSF).

Our service is currently operating using a hybrid working pattern. We are still open and can be accessed by emailing You can also book a telephone or Zoom appointment with an adviser through Student Hub.