Renting in London is notoriously expensive, so finding an affordable room bigger than a shoebox is a challenge for many students and young people. According to a CBRE Global Living Report from 2016, London is one of the priciest cities to rent on the globe – more expensive than New York City, Hong Kong and Dubai. The only city in the world where the cost of renting is higher is currently Singapore, where rents are increasingly rapidly.
Londoners and people living in the city temporarily are always looking for ways to reduce the cost of living. Overseas students need to think carefully about their accommodation budget, as they are unlikely to be allowed to work around their studies. Finding a room in a flat share or a house share is usually the most popular choice. However with monthly rent and rising utility bills – not to mention overcrowding and sharing your home with 6+ housemates – this option has its disadvantages. Additionally, even if you choose a cheaper neighbourhood it is likely to be on the outskirts of London, and you’ll end up paying more for travel.
Sharing with the Landlord
A lot of people focus on being a tenant rather than a lodger – but living in a home with the landlord can actually have many benefits. This type of live-in accommodation is available across London, and can be much cheaper than the average flat share.
Because buying a house in London is just as difficult as renting, many homeowners cannot afford the mortgage repayments alone. If they have one or two spare rooms, they can rent these out in order to share the living and running costs of the home. Homeowners can privately advertise for a lodger or work with an agency to introduce them to temporary London residents looking for a room.
In addition to the cheaper price, living with the landlord has a number of other advantages such as:
- Fewer housemates – the accommodation is more likely to be a small family home rather than a huge townhouse with multiple bedrooms. You’ll feel safer if there are less people sharing the house and tenants aren’t constantly changing
- Better looked after – the landlord will care about the condition of the property they are living in, so if anything needs fixing you won’t have to complain ten times before it’s fixed.
- Cleaner and more comfortable – a house full of tenants can quickly become messy, as nobody has a share in the ownership of the property. By becoming a lodger you’ll find the accommodation is usually cleaner, warmer and the shared areas are more comfortable.
Homestay is a form of sharing with your landlord. However, homestay or “host family accommodation” provides more than just a room in your host’s home. Your homestay host is there to provide a “home from home”, usually on a short or mid-term basis. You can also book meals with your homestay and there is no minimum stay.
Homestay is often taken up by international students or interns who book their accommodation from abroad, however, you do not have to be a student to book host family accommodation.
So, if you are a student, intern, professional or tourist – get in contact with us if you’re interested in finding a host family in London and living in a well presented house for a fair price.