Where to look for a place to live




London is divided into 6 travel areas or zones. Zone 1 is the City or the centre of London and it is also the most expensive area to rent when looking for a place to live. Generally speaking, the further from zone 1 the cheaper the accommodation.  This is why it is important for you to decide on your budget and then choose the area accordingly. You can use a tube map to see the zone division.

The most expensive areas in London are situated in Zone 1:

Kensington , Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, West Brampton

The most affordable areas to rent in London are;

Bexley (zone 6), Enfield (zone 6 ), Redbridge (zone 4),  Bromley by Bow (zone 5)



In London the post codes are made up of letters and numbers. The letters at the start of the post code represent the geographical position of the area.

N ( north), S (south), E (east), W (west)

NW (north west), SW (south west), SE (south east)

The most expensive areas are usually in SW or W

The cheapest areas to rent are generally in N and E parts of London



You can use this as a guide to determine the affordability of the area.



We recommend you use ‘Where to Live Wizard’ on SpareRoom here you can narrow your search in regards to your budget and expectations, for example, safe, well connected, good for eating out, good for nightlife, multicultural, arty, historical, picturesque, student, family oriented etc.  See example below




A common place to look for accommodation is online. Probably the most popular site is gumtree.Access to the site and advertisements is free of charge. On the site you can choose advanced search and specify what kind of accommodation you looking for, the area, your price range and choose agency lettings or private. Once you have narrowed down your search, you can start making phone calls. Start with the latest adverts and keep refreshing the site throughout the day. It is advisable to start early in the morning due to high demand for places.

Other helpful sites:


Loot also comes in a printed form as a newspaper and can be bought in various newsagents. It usually comes out every few days. Loot consists of various adverts (similarly to gumtree) but has a vast property section.


site dedicated to property renting, buying, providing list of agents, holiday rentals etc.


Great website for finding a room or even a flatmate. You can upload your own add with specific requirements so your potential flat mates can find you.


Some newsagents advertise private lettings in their shop window. You could just take a walk in the area you wish to find a property and look at the newsagents’ windows. You can make a phone call there and then. These adverts are usually from private landlords.



If you decide to rent through an agency you can do so in person and walk into any agency without making an appointment. Letting agencies are commonly found on any high street. You can also do this online and make enquiries over the phone. Newspapers also print adverts from agents.



Local newspapers and some main newspapers also publish sections on accommodation


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