Securing your perfect property can be a daunting task, especially in a competitive rental market like London. However, with a little preparation and diligence, you can increase your chances of finding and securing your ideal home. Here are some tips to help you on your journey to find an apartment to rent in London:

Determine your budget and needs

Vantage Point 1 Bedroom Apartment

Before you start looking for an apartment to rent, it's important to have a clear idea of what you can afford and what you're looking for in a home. Consider factors such as location, size, number of bedrooms, and amenities. Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves so you can prioritise your search.

Research the rental market

Searching for rental apartments

It's a good idea to get a sense of the current market conditions and rental prices in the areas you're interested in. Look at online listings and talk to estate agents to get a feel for what's available and how much you can expect to pay. You can also check out websites like Zoopla and Rightmove for information on rental prices and availability.

Get your documents in order


When you start looking at properties, you'll need to be able to prove that you're a reliable tenant. Gather together proof of income, employment, and references from previous landlords or employers. You may also need to provide a credit check, so make sure your credit score is in good shape.

If you’ll be renting in the UK, you’ll also need to complete a right to ro rent check, to verify that you can legally rent a home in the UK. For many, all you’ll have to do is provide a valid passport, birth certificate or a valid UK driving licence to your lettings agent. If you’re a foreign national, you’ll need to supply any official documentation that proves you have the right to live in the UK.

Start your search

There are a few different ways you can look for rental properties in London. One of the most popular options is to use online platforms like Rightmove, Zoopla, and Gumtree, which have a wide range of listings. Otherwise, you can approach local estate agents in the areas you want to live. Finally, you can check out local newspapers or social media for rentals advertised directly by landlords. If you’re moving to a big city, it is likely that there will be various Facebook groups where people are advertising house shares or apartments to rent.

Be prepared to move quickly


Viewing a rental property

The rental market in London is competitive, so it's important to be prepared to act quickly when you find a property you like. Being available to view at short notice can give you the edge as you’ll be able to view the property before others and make an offer. Have your documents ready, and be prepared to put down a deposit if necessary to secure the apartment and take it off the market. It's always a good idea to have a backup plan in case your first choice doesn't work out.

Negotiate the terms of your tenancy


Negotiate Tenancy

Once you've found a property you want to rent, it's time to negotiate the terms of your tenancy. This includes the length of the lease, the rent amount, and any additional fees or charges. It's a good idea to have a written agreement outlining the terms of your tenancy to protect your rights as a tenant.

Take care of your responsibilities as a tenant


As a tenant, it's important to take care of your responsibilities and maintain the property to a high standard. This includes paying your rent on time, respecting your neighbours, and not causing any damage to the property.

Prior to moving in, you’ll usually be expected to pay a tenancy deposit of a maximum of 5 weeks’ rent (or 6 weeks’ rent if the rental value is more than £50,000 per year). This is to cover the cost of any potential damages beyond normal wear and tear that may occur while you’re in the property. If you take good care of the property, you’ll receive your tenancy deposit back in full and may be more likely to receive positive references from your landlord when it comes time to move on.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding and securing your perfect property in London. Remember to do your research, be prepared to act quickly, and negotiate the terms of your tenancy carefully to protect your rights as a tenant. Good luck on your search!

Josh Sebastian


Josh is an experienced London resident and stellar local guide. With his finger on the pulse of things to do in London, he's constantly sharing lesser-known tips and recommendations with readers.