WE ARE SO EXCITED FOR YOU AND NOW it’s time to look into housing and find yourself your new home. London is a big city and it can be overwhelming trying to narrow down the options for where you should live so we’ve put together a guide of everything we think you need to know to help you make a fully informed decision to find that special new place to call home.
WHERE TO LIVE?
London is split up into zones, with Zone 1 being the most central and zone 9 being the furthest away. Zone 1 includes most of the well-known tourist attractions such as Buckingham Palace and the London Eye, as well as the Oxford Street Shopping District and the theatres on the West End. Zones 5-9 are considered to be part of Greater London, as they are a further distance from the centre of the city and they usually have non London postcodes. Below is a map of the London tube, overground and railway stations that shows what zones they are in.
In general, the more central you live (e.g. zone 1 or 2), the more expensive your accommodation is likely to be. Most dancers tend to live in zones 3 and 4 as they are more reasonably priced areas to live in than zones 1 and 2, but not as far away as the outer zones. From most areas within zones 3 and 4 you can generally get to central London within 20-45 minutes on public transport.
It is also handy to note that when using public transport and buying weekly or monthly travelcards, the price of the travelcard will increase depending on how far out in the zones you are travelling. This also applies to daily and weekly pay as you go capping, so it may be worth taking into consideration how much you could save on travel vs. accommodation. More detailed info on London travel info can be found here.
Once you have a rough idea of how far you want to be from the centre of London you can then decide what area you want to live in. There are multiple boroughs (neighbourhoods) in London that are split into locations – North, East, West, South etc. When searching for properties the postcode will help you determine where the house is. For example, a postcode that starts with N is North London, a postcode that starts with SE is southeast and so on.
Green – North London
Purple – East London
Red – South East London
Blue – South West
Lime Green – West London
Brown – North West London
Orange – East Central London
Turquoise- West Central London
Because there are a few dance studios in the South East (red) area, a lot of dancers tend to live there. It is also one of the cheaper areas to live. Info about the main dance studios is detailed on our page about dance studios.
The next areas where more dancers tend to live in are East and North London. Both of these areas are well served by public transport links and have easy access into Central London on the tube.
WHERE TO LOOK?!?!
There are a few websites and Facebook pages you can use to help you find your new home depending on if you’re looking to rent just a room or a whole studio/flat/house and if you’re moving alone or with other people.
Rent a Room
If you’re looking to find an empty room in a house already filled with people, we suggest checking out:
Spare Room is a house share platform for people of all ages and jobs. It has lots of search criteria so you can narrow down your search field and be specific on who you want to live with, for example vegans, age ranges, smokers etc.
The Hustle Homes is a Facebook page where other performers post any available rooms in their house. The advantage of this page is that the people searching for new housemates are usually all performers, which may be helpful when settling into your new London performing life.
With both of these websites you may often find shorter term lets and private landlord agreements which can save you money on agency fees and deposits.
If you’re wanting to rent an entire flat or house, then we would suggest the house search websites -
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Moving to a new country or city is going to be extremely exciting! Once you’ve narrowed your search down and found a few properties you’re interested in it's important to remember a few things to make this process as easy as possible on yourself.
If possible try to see any flats in real life, even via a video call. Pictures can be deceiving and may make rooms look bigger or different to how they appear in real life.
Check out the local area before you commit to renting. Whether that’s on google maps or in person, you’ll want to make sure you’re happy with the distance to transport links and shops, and that you get a good vibe from the area. Get first hand feedback from facebook pages or current tenants if possible.
ALWAYS sign a contract that protects yourself as a renter. Some details that should always be included in a contract are; if you’ve paid a deposit for the accommodation, the condition of the property when you took it over, the length of your rental and the amount you pay per month/week. This applies to agency AND private rentals.
If the property is being let by a rental agent there will likely be agency fees to consider on top of your upfront deposit. These vary depending on agency and landlord so be sure to ask for that information as soon as you can.
NEVER pay any money upfront without having signed a contract or having it in writing first. This includes for a ‘reservation fee’ to take it off the market. There must be proof of all monies exchanged.
The London rental market moves quite quickly, so if you think you’ve found the perfect place make sure you contact the landlord or agent as soon as possible to let them know how interested you are.
But with this being said, don’t allow anyone to force or rush you into a decision. There will always be another room or flat to rent and you have every right to take your time to make that choice.
In general when looking for housing if something seems too good to be true, it often is! There are of course always exceptions to this rule, but unfortunately there are scammers looking to take advantage of people in need of good quality but inexpensive accommodation, so please be vigilant and use the websites suggested.
This is going to be a really exciting time for you! Hopefully we’ve given you some helpful tips and info that will make this process as easy as possible. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us or using our forum.
We look forward to seeing you around the studios soon,
WELCOME TO LONDON
Both of these websites have search engines where you can narrow down your search criteria and get results specifically for your needs. You can also find some single room lets on these websites. They will likely be properties that are being let by agents so will have some agency fees attached.