Searching for a property

Introduction

Arranging accommodation when outside the UK can be difficult and is often not the best approach. Many Crick staff make arrangements to stay in temporary accommodation while they search, as this allows them to get a feel for an area, and understand London a little more before making a decision about where to live.

Some key things to note:

  • It may take around two weeks to find an area and a property, and have an offer accepted.
  • There is no wrong or right season to look for accommodation in London. The property market moves very quickly, with properties coming and going in weeks. When viewing tenancies, make an offer at the viewing: do not wait, as it may be snapped up by others.
  • Be aware that most renting is subject to inspections and constraints about what can be done with a property, which can stop tenants from making modifications to the property to make it feel like home.
  • It is worth bearing in mind that the majority of London housing is dated, with modern fittings added later. Be prepared for the different quality standards, as well as the higher prices.
     

Finding a property

Three ways to search for properties are:

Finding a property detail

Viewing a property detail

Viewing a property

Before viewing properties it is advisable to have all references and supporting paperwork in order that an offer can be made without delay. Having copies of past pay slips can also be beneficial for reassuring landlords.

To arrange a viewing talk to the estate agent handling the property; they will set up a viewing and be able to provide advice and answer questions about the area. It is usually acceptable to take photographs when looking around the property; however, it is worth checking. Some suggested questions are listed below:

  • How much is the rent and what is included in the rent?
  • Is the property furnished, unfurnished or part furnished?
  • How much is the deposit?
  • Are there any fees to pay?
  • When is the property available?
  • What is the local area like?
  • Are pets permitted?
  • How long did the last tenants live here? (If a relatively short period, it is a good idea to find out why.)
  • How long has the tenancy been on the market? (If it has been on for a while the landlord may be willing to accept a lower offer.)
  • Have they received any offers so far?
  • How much is the council tax for the property?
  • Can I have a final look around without any distractions?