One of the biggest complaints we get from people about the rental search process in London is that they didn’t know the neighborhoods before they started. There are some not-so-good neighborhoods in London, there are even not so good areas in really great neighborhoods in London. It’s important to do as much research as you can before you embark on your flat hunt. Small details make a difference.
• Is your walk home from the station/bus stop well lit?
• Have you checked overall crime stats in your London neighborhood?
• Is your neighborhood deserted after sun down?
• If you have children, how much traffic is there on the streets?
• Same goes for pets moving to London – can you keep your pets secured and secure in your new home?
Part of safety when renting, is not getting ripped off by an unscrupulous landlord. It happens, more then you’d like to think, though probably about the same amount as in any big city. The problem comes in if you’re a foreigner… It’s a sign that you may not know your rights, or be certain of your position as a renter. Also you may be pressured into signing a lease just because you have to have a flat before your new job starts in a week. Do NOT sign a lease that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you’re desperate, we can find you a place in less than 36 hours, so there is always a solution.
There are some things you can do once you’ve moved into your new flat. The first is to keep quiet about it. I know, I know it’s so hard when you want to take photos of the ‘cute’ under the counter fridge in the tiny kitchen, but the more noise you make about it on social media #newflatinLondon #americanjustmovedtoLondon #hereIamcomeandburgleme the more chance you have of being robbed. Sad, but true.
Pay attention to your locks, remember you ARE in rented property. If you feel safer, get the locks changed after your move. Be sure to get any changes in writing first and signed by your landlord before you go ahead. Get home insurance. This sounds like an obvious thing to do, but so many people assume that London is ‘totes’ safe and they don’t need insurance.
There are so many things you can do once you’ve moved in, but hopefully your property search will help you find a flat, or home in London that ticks all of the safety boxes that you have. Staying safe when renting in London is important to your peace of mind as much as anything.
If you in any way feel unsure, give us a call – we can help.