Finding accommodation for students moving to London is never easy. With prices being so high and the quantity of student housing being so low, competition is fierce! Last Thursday I was tasked with the responsibility of finding a new apartment in London for three students studying at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
The three girls did not know each other beforehand and had met virtually through the student portal of the university website! With this in mind, I knew I had to find the perfect apartment so tensions would not be strained!
We recommended the girls book into the Vancouver Apartments in Bayswater for 1 week to allow enough time to find an apartment, sign a lease, transfer move in monies and open a bank account. With Sotheby’s Institute of Art located in Bloomsbury along with University College London, 3 bedroom student-friendly apartments are extremely hard to find. With that in mind, we settled on the areas of Bayswater, Notting Hill and Marylebone for our search. Bayswater and Notting Hill because the areas are vibrant and the Central Line speeds in Tottenham Court Road in 9 minutes! Marylebone with the wonderfully atmospheric Marylebone High Street with its discerning stores and eateries is walking distance to the girl’s school also.
London Relocation shows on average 18-20 properties in one day, and often our clients fall in love with either the very first property they see or the very last property of the day! The girl’s search was a testament to this. Our first apartment of the day was a super modern new build apartment in Paddington Basin, right beside Paddington Station. The girls appreciated the bustling area with every amenity on their doorstep. The building comes with 24-hour concierge, great peace of mind for single female students. The apartment itself was fully furnished down to linen, towels, crockery, pots, and pans. This immediately appealed to the girls as they could move straight in with just their suitcases! Normally apartments in London are not fully furnished to this level, even though we had just started the search, the girls were in very high spirits!
We continued our morning viewing some great apartments in Bayswater and Notting Hill. With the Paddington apartment firmly in the back of our minds, I threw in a wildcard apartment in Kensington. With a large option plan kitchen living area and equal size bedrooms just off Kensington High Street, this was really like putting the cat amongst the pigeons!
We grabbed a quick lunch at Pret a Manger on Notting Hill Gate, not the most imaginative choice for lunch but very practical to refuel our energy for more flat viewings! After lunch, we headed to Marylebone where the girls felt immediately at home (despite the torrents of rain showers!). In general, the apartments did not compare as favorably to our morning’s choices but one apartment stood out. Located on Portland Place, this lower ground floor 3 bedroom was in immaculate condition, one problem, it was completely unfurnished. Having done my research in advance, I advised the girls that a full rental furniture package could be rented for only £50-£60 per week! Taking this into account and the fact the property was £50 below budget, our choices got even harder!
We finished up in Marylebone and decided to second view our top options, always a great thing after seeing so many flats! This clarified everything for the girls and the first apartment of the day was a clear winner! We wasted no time and offered the full asking price to get the property off the market as soon as possible!
Kenneth Walsh is our Property Finding Guru and a certified Global Mobility Specialist.