As a man from middle England, or as Londoners say, ‘The North’, I was faced with the task of finding somewhere to live when I first started at Accenture. I, like many other graduates, am now living in the graduate microcosm that is Wandsworth/Lambeth otherwise known as Clapham. This little ecosystem consists mainly of recent graduates, young professionals and people wearing sports gear without actually having taken part in any sort of fitness activity. It is a delightful place with a multitude of bars, restaurants and enough fitness class studios to keep you active 24 hours a day. However, finding somewhere to live here can sometimes prove difficult with properties going faster than you can view them, prices that seem to leave you penniless and estate agents who are masters of trickery and deceit. So to help you find the property of your dreams in the paradise that is SW4, here are some helpful tips:
Never believe the images! You will notice the phrase ‘partially-furnished’ appears branded into the pages of rental property websites. This is a dangerous phrase as it implies the furniture pictured in the lovely images of furnished apartments may not be inaccurate. Almost every apart I visited which had been ‘partially-furnished’ contained little to none of the pieces of furniture advertised online. Be warned!
Private is best! “That will be £420 in agents fees”, said the suited and booted estate agent as he handed me the keys to my apartment. Try to avoid the agents, use the ‘private’ advanced search option on websites to find flats that are managed by private landlords and avoid the extortionate fees.
There’s Clapham and then there’s Clapham! For those of you wishing to live in the graduate haven that is Clapham, be aware of council tax prices. There are two councils that operate within the SW4 postcode: Wandsworth and Lambeth.
These two councils are separated by an imaginary line that carves Clapham Common Park in two with Wandsworth on the West side and Lambeth on the East. Why am I telling you this? Well, Wandsworth Council tax is far cheaper than that of Lambeth, in some cases by up to £1400 per year. May be worth keeping in mind when choosing somewhere to live.
Use these tips, save some cash and join in the London life.