Most people will fondly remember their student days, living in Halls of Residence or digs with friends and being away from home for the first time. Now a new breed of student is moving to London. They are hunting for the best apartments, in the best streets.
“There is a strong student let market across south west London. We are seeing an early surge of students from Germany, the US, Turkey and Italy,” explains Steve Cook, Head of Lettings & Management at Henry & James. “Demand is already high, as students start their search early to secure the right flat for the new academic year.”
And it is no surprise. London offers some of the best universities that are recognised throughout the world. Here Steve Cook shares his top tips on London’s luxury student lets.
Q: When do students start looking for properties?
A: Students start searching for properties in early July and throughout August, just before the peak in September as a new term begins.
Q: Can you recommend any top universities?
A: There are numerous leading universities in London from King’s College, to the University of Westminster, but here are three local universities that particularly standout:
- Imperial College London, in South Kensington, is a public research university specialising in science, engineering, medicine and business. It appears in the Complete University Guide. Students will follow in the footsteps of Alexander Fleming, HG Wells and Brian May. For more information, visit www.imperial.ac.uk.
- The Royal College of Music is a magnet for gifted musicians from around the world. It is located in South Kensington, just near the Royal Albert Hall. The conservatoire is steeped in history, dating back to a royal charter in 1882. Whether the budding musicians play the tuba or trumpet – this is the place to study. For more information, visit rcm.ac.uk.
- The Royal College of Art (RCA) is one of the world’s most influential post grad schools for art and design. The college has two campuses – one by the Royal Albert Hall, while the other is located in Battersea. Its alumni includes: Quentin Blake, Edwin Lutyens, Gertrude Jekyll and Ridley Scott. For more information, visit www.rca.ac.uk
Q: Which nationalities are attracted to the capital?
A: The capital attracts students from across the globe, making up London’s rich tapestry of cultures and nationalities. Currently, we are seeing a number of students from Germany, the US, Turkey and Italy, who are aged between 18-25 years old.
Q: Do students have to pay the rent in advance?
A: Many international students pay all of their rent in advance, while others may have a UK-based guarantor. The bank of mum and dad is continuing to help many students secure a rental property. They often pay one-year’s rent in advance, because many students don’t have a source of income.
Q: What are your tips for students who are looking to rent in London for the first time?
A: Start your search early. Make contact with a good local agent, who knows the area and has insights on properties that may come to the market over the coming weeks and months. Then stay in touch with your agent, so you are the first person they call when a new property is available. Don’t leave your search to the last minute.
Q: Which properties are the most popular with students?
A: One-bedroom properties are the most popular. Occasionally students rent two-bedroom flats to share with friends to spread the cost.
Q: What streets should they target?
A: The best streets for students are near good transport links. This includes Sloane Square for the Tube station, Victoria for the mainline station or Knightsbridge Station to travel to the heart of the capital.
Q: Should students be concerned about Brexit?
A: Brexit is having very little impact on the student market. They continue to choose London for its quality of life, amenities and excellent education system.
Q: What’s included?
A: To meet students’ high expectations everything can be provided: from full-linen and kitchen packs, to a weekly cleaning service.
Q: How much for a flat in Belgravia or Knightsbridge?
A: One-bedroom flats start at around £600 per week. Occasionally, studio flats come on the market for less, so start your search early, in order to find the best properties.
Q: Any other tips for those who are thinking of moving to London for the first time?
A: Study the market. Spend a week or two getting to know London and take a long-term view. Many students continue to rent with Henry & James after they have finished their studies. Some tenants who started off as students have now been renting with us for almost 10 years. London is a great place to live, study and launch a new career.