If you’re moving to London for a short period of time, or you simply want the convenience of a furnished apartment, there are many places that you can begin your search.
Of course, the kind of furnished apartment you’ll be able to live in will depend on what you’re prepared to pay. However, we’re pretty sure that whatever your budget, there are some things that are going to be similar for everybody’s requirements, such as:
- You want value for money
- You’ll expect the furniture to be of an adequate standard
One thing to understand about furnished apartments in the UK is that the word “furnished” is open to interpretation. There is nothing fixed in law that specifies exactly what furniture should be provided.
For instance, the property might come with sofas, but no beds – or there may be beds and a dining table, but no chairs. You might think furnished should include a washing machine, but the landlord might expect you to supply this yourself.
So, when looking for a furnished apartment in London, it’s important to be clear in your own mind what you expect to be provided, and what (if anything) you’ll need to provide yourself.
So, now that you understand a little about the foibles of renting a furnished apartment in London, let’s take a look at your options for finding said property.
Top of The Range
If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury, then you’re pretty spoilt for choice in London. However, you’ll pay handsomely for the privilege.
Companies such as London Serviced Apartments have properties over the whole city, and as their name suggests, not only do you get a fully furnished apartment, but you also get servicing such as sheet changing, cleaning, and a concierge service as well.
One Fine Stay also offers similarly luxurious properties, in regions such as Kensington, Knightsbridge, and Chelsea, as well as other areas of London.
Here we come to the kind of furnished apartment that many people are looking for. You want comfort, but you have no desire to pay for such luxuries as servicing.
There are many options when it comes to finding such a furnished property. Let’s take a look at how to seek out available properties in the easiest manner possible.
Of course, never forget the value of word of mouth. If you’re looking for a furnished apartment in London, tell people: your friends, family, fellow keep fitters at the gym, the people you bump into when walking the dog… In short, everyone – because you never know who might be renting out a property, or know someone who is doing so.
Don’t forget to put the word out on Facebook too – such is the power of social media.
Each of these sites allows you to narrow your search to personal criteria such as price, location, amenities, etc.
These are the websites that agents advertise on, rather than individuals looking to rent out their property.
One of London’s biggest agents dealing in short lets of furnished properties is Foxtons. They guarantee that in addition to the property being fully furnished to a high standard, you’ll also be provided with all electrical goods, appliances, towels, linen, and crockery etc.
In fact, all you need to bring is yourself and a few clothes…
If you’re hoping to rent direct from the landlord, instead of through an agent (and therefore saving yourself a few pennies as well), then head across to Gum Tree.
Okay, agents do still advertise here, but so do private individuals. Similarly, you can sometimes find private rentals on ebay.
Okay, we’ll have to say that “budget” in London is not equal to budget in other regions. London is expensive, so this is relative to the UK capital city’s average rental prices.
One place to look is Air BnB, where private individuals advertise their property. Here you’ll find all sorts of furnished property, ranging from beautiful luxury right down to (as of October 2015) an advert for a double sofa bed in a modern flat in Bromley, for the princely sum of £15 per night.
We also found an “air bed on living room floor” in Croydon – for £7 a night in a modern 1-bedroom apartment with all amenities – a bargain, in anyone’s book!
Other ways to keep the cost of a furnished apartment to a minimum is to share with others. And the great thing is that you don’t even need to know anyone in London to be able to do this, thanks to a plethora of websites that have set up to help you do just that.
Interlet advertises furnished properties that you’ll share with other(s), generally with your own room, inclusive of all bills and sharing the amenities on offer. Such properties usually require you to sign up for a minimum of 6 months (some are a year), and start from around £150 per week.
As you can see, there are many options when it comes to starting your search for a furnished apartment in London. One important thing to know is that properties get snapped up fast in the UK capital.
So, if you’re serious about wanting to rent somewhere, you need to be in a position where you can jump into action as soon as you find the right property.
This will include having your deposit in place and easily accessible (you’ll typically have to pay between 6-8 weeks rent up front as a deposit, plus a month in advance).
No matter what your monthly rental, this equates to a lot of money. You need to be able to access it instantly, because you’ll be expected to hand it over on the day you move in.
Property moves fast in London, but don’t let that convince you to settle on an apartment you’re not happy with. There’s always going to be plenty available, so hold fire to ensure you get what you want (within reason, of course – because you’re never going to find a property that you don’t have to make some compromises on).
Just be sensible and realistic.
Most of all, happy hunting – because the next thing you know, it’ll be moving day, and that’s always an exciting time…