London is an expensive city and housing costs can loom large in your budget. That’s why it’s vital to think carefully when you’re moving out of halls and into the private sector. First of all, living in London is a big part of being a student at UCL. You’ll want to live somewhere that enables you to enjoy the experience but it’s also essential to consider affordability and practicality. For example, it’s often cheaper to live further from campus, but the savings need to be balanced against travel costs.

In this series of videos, you can find out what to ask the landlord and what to look out for when viewing properties. Our advice helps you take the right steps to find the right place to live – and get a good deal. With University of London Housing Services‘ free legal advice, you can also check that your contract is fair and reasonable.

Finally, it’s important that you protect your own interests. Put all your communications with the landlord or agents in writing. Check the inventory properly. Take pictures of any damage or repairs you want to be carried out. Otherwise, you may be blamed for the damage and money deducted from your deposit.

Thinking about your finances

  1. Make sure you know exactly who’s paying what rent and when.
  2. Take meter readings as soon as you move in.
  3. Sort out your council tax exemption.