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An essential guide to first time renting in London

london | 3 MIN READ

First time renting in London? This thriving, hustling capital has so much to offer, but it can seem a little overwhelming or daunting at first glance. Whether it’s a career move to the big smoke or you’re studying in the city, finding that perfect accommodation couldn’t be easier with our handy guide.

In fact, it’s the ideal starting point for those looking for a place to call home. But how to rent in London? Where should you rent in London? And what do I need to know about renting in London? Well, read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.

Balancing your budget

One of the key things to bear in mind when first-time renting in London is your budget. As the nation’s biggest city, it’s full of exciting things to enjoy. As well as some of Europe’s most impressive galleries and art museums, London is home to some unique sightseeing opportunities, boasts beautiful parks and green spaces, and brings together an eclectic collection of cuisines and experiences in its sprawling range of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

It makes sense that you’ll want to be right in the heart of it all, but whatever your background, budget will always be a consideration. That’s why getting the most for your money is absolutely essential. Our rental apartments in the famous Dolphin Square, in trendy Pimlico, are luxurious yet affordable and give you the chance to love the best of London, without breaking the bank. In other words, if you’re first-time renting in London, you couldn’t do better than Dolphin Square.

Sounding out transport

London wouldn’t be London without the tube, the famous underground trains with their super-fast speed, legendary red, white and blue paintwork, and breezy, bustling stations below ground. Wherever you want to go in the city, you’ll want your rental property to have excellent transport links and take advantage of the underground network, which can connect you to iconic sights in a matter of minutes.

Here at Dolphin Square, Pimlico tube station is just a stone’s throw from our apartment complex, and Victoria rail and coach stations are a mere 20-minute walk. In fact, Victoria has three tube lines, making it one of the most well-connected stations in the city.

Aside from the tube, Dolphin Square’s Pimlico location offers riverboat services via Millbank Millennium Pier – and there are also some handy Santander Cycle schemes for those looking for a greener commute, or who just want to discover London in a more fun way.

Looking into location

Once you’ve found somewhere that ticks the budget box and is well-placed for travelling to work and beyond, you’ll want to take location into account.

Here at Dolphin Square, not only is pretty Battersea Park a few minutes away across the river, but you’ll also find some quaint local coffee shops, a handy Tesco Express and your favourite pizza takeaways all within a few minutes’ walk. Finally, the complex resides next to Pimlico library, which is an excellent bonus for those studying. As we’ve mentioned, Pimlico underground tube station is just around the corner from the Square – so you’ve also got great travel connections across the city (and beyond, if needed).

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Finding a popular spot

Of course, when it comes to first-time renters in London or in any city, some areas are seen to be more desirable than others, for a whole range of reasons. Pimlico is well-known for its gorgeous green spaces, including Churchill Gardens, and stunning Regency-style buildings. It’s also been home to famous faces over the years, from wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill to fashion and homewares designer Laura Ashley. In summary, it’s hardly surprising that Pimlico is one of the most popular options for first-time renters in London.

Getting ready for your move

Moving into a rental property is notorious for being a more straightforward, less painful process than buying a property – but there’s still some paperwork you’ll need to be aware of:

  1. References: It’s essential to have references from previous rentals. Your current landlord may be able to give you a character reference, and there should also be a payment record to prove you’re a reliable tenant.
  2. Identification: A passport or driving licence can help you secure your chosen apartment and proves ‘you are who you say you are’.
  3. Proof of address: Past bills showing your current address is also part of the ID process.
  4. Proof of income: Payslips may be needed to show you’re in work and able to make rent payments.

Other things to bear in mind

If you choose to rent with a different company, be aware of ‘rogue landlords’ and hidden fees in your contract. If you’re looking into sharing accommodation, it’s also important to consider how bills will be managed at the property, especially in situations where someone you’re renting with wants to leave. In fact, knowing what’s involved for the future, when you may want to move out of the property, is really key to pin down before making the commitment.

Finally, you’ll also need to know about a few extra things that are your responsibility legally – such as testing smoke alarms – as well as areas that may be in your contract, such as notifying your landlord about repairs and checking whether you’ll be able to decorate when you move in.

Rent today with Dolphin Square

So there you have it! The definitive guide to renting in London, covering all the essential information you need to know about the capital – and about renting too.

Now that you’ve got more of how to rent in London and what to expect, it’s time to take the plunge. Get in touch with our friendly team today, and we’ll help secure an apartment for you here at Dolphin Square that suits your needs – whether studio, 1 bedroom or multiple. With our knowledge and support, we’ll help the process go smoothly for first-time renters in London, wherever you’re moving from. Book a viewing today!