london areasWe’re getting quite a lot of enquiries from students who have been accepted at London universities and are relocating to the city, in time for the September start of the school year. Whether you’re a post-grad MBA student at the London School of Economics or a fashion student at Goldsmiths University – your needs are exactly the same:

Find a Flat/Apartment/Home/Accommodation in London… Right Now!

Unless you’re planning on living in a tent, the most significant and probably the first thing you’ll have to do after accepting your place at university is to find a place to stay, and the biggest factor is: LOCATION!

Of course there are many variables and personal factors that come into how you chose the location of your new London pad. One of the most important, and certainly one of the most requested at LR, is the proximity to public transport. London is a massive city and it meanders, twists and turns without the help of the ‘grid-system’ in New york, which can be used to demarcate areas and differentiate between neighborhoods. London neighborhoods sort of bleed into each other and it’s sometimes difficult to understand – unless you know your London postcodes (We’ll be blogging about this next week).

Safety is a concern for many single students moving to the city and it’s a valid concern. For all the quaint, picture postcardness of London – it is still a big city with the possibility of crime – watch out for pickpockets! You’ll want to choose a flat that is close to the transport system – less than ten minutes walk, and one that is on a central route that is well-lit at night. You also may want to be close to your university, but depending on where it is, you might have to adjust your budget quite significantly.

Party Animal or Quiet Nights at Home?

Yes! It is important to factor in your social life when you’re planning your move. Many students love the fact that they can experience the bustle of city life and student life just by choosing a flat in a specific area. A lot of expat students choose South-West London areas like Brixton, Clapham and South Lambeth – relatively affordable, good links to travel options and a mega nightlife. Very funny Buzzfeed article – and very accurate according to our Moving Coach Devon Lampard! Many Americans tend to stick to traditional ‘American expat areas’ like Notting Hill, South Kensington and St. John’s Wood – though you can expect to pay quite a bit for a flat. It can be hard to choose…

Property Search in London – It’s a Challenge

Or rather, it can be. Many students do decide to search for private rentals or flat shares to cut costs, but do yourself a favor – check EVERYTHING twice…Before you move in. From the state of the boiler and the pipes in your new flat to the fine print on your contract. Seriously. If you have friends or family in London – get them to help you and do some of the legwork before you arrive.

I have two top tips for today and neither of them are about moving!

Get yourself an Oyster Card immediately after moving to London. You’re going to need one from day one. Don’t research it – just go here and then here and get it sorted out.

Get Mapped! Download the Tube Map and purchase the London A-Z. You’ll need it from the very beginning of your stay in London to the very last day.

Happy Moving – Belinda