For many living in London, renting is their only option. Property prices are skyrocketing and even small starter homes and flats are becoming too expensive for people to realistically buy without family help that isn’t accessible to everyone. While some are able to afford to get on the property ladder with the help of inheritance windfalls, it’s not an option you can either predict or look forward to.

Until a radical change of circumstances or a decision to move out of the capital, then, many will be renting homes. It’s worth thinking about how the system works to make sure you can optimise your rental experience and have the best time with the least stress.

Choosing Housemates

Whether you’re moving in with friends or strangers from the internet, personalities are important. Sometimes you can be the best of friends with someone and still find living with them a nightmare. When you’re choosing to live with someone, don’t just consider if they’re a fun friend on nights out. For a stress free life, you need someone who is conscientious, who can be relied upon to pay their share of the bills on time and clean up after themselves. If you’re the main organiser, cleaner and all the bills are in your name you might feel like more of a parent than a housemate.

If you’re moving in with people you’ve never met before, make sure you check them out as well as the property. Have they been keeping it clean or does it look like quickly hidden clutter and rubbish before you arrived? Ask them about the bills: if they know the amounts you’ll be paying for gas and electricity and who currently takes care of it, it’s an indication they’re organised and on top the situation and won’t leave you doing their admin.

A Smaller Home

Consider downsizing: if you’re trying to save money, opting for a single room in a shared house will net you a sizeable discount on rent. You may not be comfortable there in the long term but if you have a specific goal in mind, this is a great way to cut your expenses. If you need storage London has plenty to offer to keep some of your bulkier items and furniture safe until you can rehome them somewhere larger after you’ve met your savings target and can move out.

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