It has been a dramatic change for me recently. My husband and I have decided to try the life in the UK for a short period of time. It has been two weeks for me since I first arrived here. Life isn't easy as I think it will be.
The first challenge for us is House Hunting. Before I come, I thought it is just like booking a room in hotel or air b&b. But no, since we are looking for a longer period of time, there is whole lots of background check, income proof and stuff before we can get an apartment. Besides, London rental market is hot, even we have targeted location and type of apartment. We might not be able to find one as it comes and goes really quickly. It took us 4 full days from 10am to 6pm to look around our target location to find agent for house viewing. Here are the things that I have learnt during the process:-
1) Target a location. There might be particular place you might of interest, like friends is around, near to central London, easier to work, shopping etc. It doesn't have to be very exact, you can only be an area like (West London, South London) and the location can spread across few underground or overground stations. It is always good to open more options as things might surprise you unexpectedly.
2) View on the net. Once you have an idea on the location, you can go to the following website (right move or zoopla) to give an idea to yourself of what apartment or house it is offering at the moment.
3) Check location. Go to google Map to understand the surrounding area and see if it is near any local supermarket, bus station, underground, overground.
4) Check crime rate. Understand the crime rate in the area via http://maps.met.police.uk. The last thing you want is to sign a rental agreement and found out the area with high crime rate when moved in. It is always good to check it before even viewing an apartment.
5) Look for an agent. Each agent may only provide you with one apartment or house for viewing depending on location and price. Do expect to go for few agents before you can get an apartment that you like. There are lots and lots of different agent in London provide properties for you to viewYou may found a more well known agent like Anthony James Manser Estate Agent or Dexter better in dealing with house renting as they would give you professional advices like letting you know the deposit needs to be given to the third party by law to ensure the landlord wouldn't withhold the deposit with unreasonable reason.