…it probably is, as they say. We have mentioned this before in past blog posts, but the message bears repetition: BEWARE PROPERTY SCAMS!!! The World-Wide Web presents a whole new arena in which con artists can scavenge for unsuspecting prey.
Quite often, I am left with the difficult task of delivering the sticker-shock of London rent to prospective clients. Almost as often, I receive incredulous responses citing ads they’ve seen on Craigslist that are to the contrary…at which point, I am again left to the dreaded task of explaining these scams. I always feel bad doing so, too, as though I’m making people feel foolish for falling for such ads–this is SO not the case, I promise. After all, how else is anyone to know when first researching flats? No one expects it to be cheap, but it’s only natural to expect property to be valued at what you’re familiar with at home. Sure thing, but buyers (er, renters) please beware.
If you see, for instance, any sort of flat in Zones 1-2 of London advertised for £80 or £100 per week, HELLOOOO, SCAAAAM!!! Nothing, but nothing, goes for that cheap in central London–I’ve seen a bedsit in Notting Hill go for £150 per week, but it wasn’t even big enough to qualify as a studio flat (picture a tiny single bed–smaller than an American twin-size–within 3 feet of the kitchen counter with a shared bathroom down the hall. Nice for a crash pad in the city if you have a spacious country house to return to, but it’s not for full-time living). The fact is, for a decently sized studio in central London, expect to pay at least £250 per week, maybe £325-425+ for a 1-bedroom, £450+ for a 2-bedroom, and £550+ for 3. And yes, that’s PER WEEK, not month. To convert to monthly terms when viewing weekly prices, multiply the weekly rate by 4.33 (i.e., multiply by the 52 weeks in the year and divide by 12 months). So I’m sorry to say, if you’re paying 500 USD per month in your hometown, you won’t be able to live here for the same. It sounds snobby, but it’s just the reality that the demand for property is still high enough in this market for landlords not to see the sense in drastically reducing their rent–there’s always someone out there willing to pay it, after all.
Last word to the wise: Never under any circumstances wire funds to a “landlord” for a property you’ve never seen! There are many such scams out there on Craigslist that ask people to wire their monees through Western Union; those who do never see it again…that’s the only thing that is guaranteed in that circumstance. So do your research, be informed, and never hesitate to contact London Relocation Ltd. if you have any questions or concerns about the cost of London, and if you employ our services, you are assured of protection from property scams altogether.