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Longer Term Accommodation

The UK and London especially can be expensive as we can see in our cost of living report. However there is a lot you can do to reduce the costs, and one of the primary ways is through smart planning and selection of your accommodation.

By far the most popular type of longer-term accommodation for working travellers in London is renting a flat or a room in a house/flat. However, depending on location, size and your willingness to share the space - costs vary widely!

Of course, before commuting a couple hours each day, it is always advisable to get a job first.

To find out what is available, your best bets are by word of mouth or through a variety of publications and websites.

There are some great free publications designed specifically for working travellers, including TNT Magazine (Out every Monday), In London Magazine (Monthly) and the Southern Cross Magazine (Wednesdays). These can be picked up at pubs and London hostels in the UK; and list available accommodation in the classifieds section.

Before you get too carried away, you can save a lot of time by knowing what types of accomodation are available.

Types of Longer Term Accommodation

There are variety of options for working travellers seeking longer-term accommodation in London and the UK. What suits you best will depend on budget, work plans and lifestyle. If you already have friends in the UK or are travelling in a group you’ll probably want to find a place to live together. This can be difficult depending on how many people are planning to share the house/flat, as many vacancies advertised are for rooms rather than whole properties.

If you are travelling on your own or as part of a couple you can either look for a studio or flat to rent on your own or for a vacant room in a house or flat with other people. This may seem daunting if you’ve never lived with other people, but is a great way to meet other working travellers and hopefully make new friends.

Couples may have some difficulty finding a vacant room in a share house or flat as many advertised vacancies will specify it is for a single occupant only. This is usually because the room is only suitable for one person or the people already living there feel there is only enough space for one extra room mate.

Also don’t be surprised to find advertisements for vacant rooms that specify male/female only occupants. They may either be trying to even up the genders in the house or keep to one sex only.

There is a great camaraderie among working travellers in London and many people you meet will be willing give you tips on the best places to live or tell you about any vacant rooms/flats they know of.

Generally, the options for longer-term accommodation are:

  • Flats are generally apartments with one to three or more bedrooms which are to be let or rented as an entire unit. This is a good option for a group of friends who want to live together.

  • Studios are self contained flats with a cooking area and bathroom. The bedroom is often part of the living room or even just a sofa bed. This is a good option for singles or couples whose main priority is privacy, but can be expensive and cramped.

  • Flat-shares are probably the most common and popular type of longer-term accommodation for working travellers in London. Flat-sharing is when a flat is already occupied and one or more bedrooms become available for rent. This means you'll be sharing common facilities of the flat such as the kitchen, lounge room and usually bathroom. This is a good option for singles who don’t want to live on their own or couples who don’t mind sharing living space.

  • Bed-sits are interesting and popular in the UK. Usually an old multi-level house will be split up into mini-apartments. This mini-apartment will generally just be a bedroom with perhaps some room for a sitting area; sometimes there are sinks in the bedrooms as well. Bathroom and kitchen facilities are generally shared with either all those in the house, or just the tenants on the same floor. This can be an inexpensive and convenient accommodation option. Usually council tax is taken care of by the owner of the house which makes this set-up a kind of hybrid between a guest-house and renting a flat.

  • Houses can be rented, but renting a detached house in greater London can be cost-prohibitive, not to mention hard to find. For families wanting a house it might be a good idea to consider regional areas of the UK, or settle for a larger sized flat in greater London.

  • London Hostel UK often offer good deals for longer-term guests. This might be reasonable for a month or two but any longer it is more cost-effective to find a flat to share.

Some common terms used when searching for accommodation:

  • F/F – Fully Furnished
  • F/M – Female/Male
  • N/S – Non-smoking
  • S/C – Self Contained
  • O/R – Own Room
  • S/R – Share Room
  • PCM – Per Calendar Month
  • £80pw/inc – Cost per week inclusive of bills
  • £80 pw/exc – Cost per week exclusive of bills
  • DEP – Deposit Required
  • AGY – Advertised by an Agency (this can mean extra charges or fees)

Arm yourself with other WORKgateways' useful tips and information.

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