One of your first concerns when moving to the UK will probably be finding accommodation.
Here are several popular options that overseas teachers have been using successfully over the years.
Accommodation in the UK
A Star Teachers have been bringing Australians to teach in the UK and particularly London for over 15 years so our experience can greatly assist here. We were founded by Australian supply teachers!
Unless, you know someone in the UK, finding accommodation can be a stressful experience. It is best to be prepared and have a basic knowledge of what to expect. There are advantages and disadvantages in sole renting, buying your own property (you must be serious about staying) or a shared household. Sharing with friends already over in London is the most popular option for starting out. As a rule of thumb, the more central the accommodation, the more pricey it is. However, if you live further out, you will often pay more for transport.
We can offer you links to a range of accommodation services or point you in the right direction to find a great house share.
Pre- booking accommodation
You can pre-book for long term accommodation before you arrive, but this can prove difficult with lettings agents and it is hard to properly assess form across the world if you are happy with your new "digs" and if you are getting value for money
Some teachers choose to pre-book temporary accommodation initially and then hunt for permanent accommodation after they have become more familiar with value for money and have clearer idea of where they want to live.
Many teachers will decide to live in shared accommodation. London is have a large market for shared housing as it more cost effective than getting your own flat.
Search for professional shared housing options when searching for the right place. Always check what the rent includes and any other bills eg council tax, TV Licence, gas, electricity, water, phone, internet etc. If there are no bills included, ask for an approximate cost per month. Ask about any fees involved, the terms of your let agreement, and whether a place is furnished. Expect to pay a deposit upfront, which is the same as ‘your first and last’ or paying your ‘bond’.
Room rent will vary depending on location, flat size, room size, number of bedrooms in flat or house, garden / no garden etc. Very generally a room within a house share in London, outside the centre (but between zones 2-5) will rent for roughly an average of £600 -£650 /month with bills included.
We can assist you Which ever option you choose to search on for a place to stay, please be careful and be aware of internet fraud and scams, particularly if they ask you to transfer money.
Where to start?
Come to our Teacher Recruitment Roadshow, contact us or just talk to one of our consultants. They have been here, done that and have the T-shirt. They can fill in on the do's and don'ts of finding the right accommodation.
It is also useful to join and post on our facebook page. We are creating a teachers support network to assist teachers throughout the journey. Post your questions, accommodation suggestions and get in touch with other like-minded Aussie teachers who are getting ready to teach in the UK too! You maybe to network with flatmates before you leave home.
"Backpackers" hostels can be as little as £60 to £80 per week, but most are in the region of £15 to £20 per night. This accommodation is usually dormitory style and is therefore impersonal and not very secure.
There are several publications which can help you find accommodation - two of the most useful and popular are Loot www.loot.com and gumtree www.gumtree.com both are excellent sources of information about renting in London and carry advertisements which are searchable by price and area. See our Accommodation Tips for more info.
There are a wide variety of properties to let and most places are fully furnished. If you are coming to Britain on your own, renting can be quite expensive and many people find renting with others a more affordable option. You can either rent through a letting agency (some are free, others charge a small fee) or through a private owner. We can help arrange accommodation for the long term, and short term when you first arrive. If you do rent then find out if you are liable for council tax and factor that into your budget. It can be quite expensive; it is paid monthly or yearly. Also ensure public transport is easily accessible to where you want to live as you do not want to travel 2 hours to school i.e. 4 hours travelling per day.
How much and how long? You should expect to pay more than you are used to, rental agreements are usually for terms of 6 to 12 months and the initial outlay required is the first month’s rent in advance plus a deposit of 4 to 6 weeks. As with any agreement DO NOT SIGN unless you are 100% committed to staying for the time intended, cancellations of lease agreements can lead to loss of deposit.
What are the flats like?
You will probably find them much smaller, older and closer to your neighbours than you are used to. Look at a few places for comparable price in each area to get a feel for what is good value. However do not hesitate, if you have found accommodation you like take it or someone else will. Make sure you have the essential items, stove, washer, dryer, hot water if fitted, operational central heating.
Some of the terms used in London will be different from those used at home. For example:
Bed-sit: A room, which is a bedroom with a small cooking area. The bathroom is usually separate and communal (prices range from £65 – £100 per week).
Studio and Flat: Totally self-contained with private cooking area and bathroom. These can be expensive, but are private.
Flat/House Shares: This is a very common way of living in London. Essentially you rent a room in a house and share the facilities (living area, bathrooms and kitchens).
Short Term Accommodation:
Air BnB: www.airbnb.com
Hostel Bookers: www.hostelbookers.com
Hostel World: www.hostelworld.com
Room Paddy: www.roompaddy.com
Equity Point: www.equity-point.com
YHA King’s Cross: http://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/london-st-pancras
Piccadilly Guest House: http://www.piccadillyguesthouse.com
The Dictionary Hostel: http://www.thedictionaryhostel.com/
University of London Halls: http://halls.london.ac.uk/
Long Term Accommodation:
House Pals: www.housepals.co.uk
Prime Location: www.primelocation.com
Elite Lettings: www.elitelettings.com
Flat Share: www.flatshare.com
Spare Room: www.spareroom.com
Room Buddies: www.roombuddies.co.uk
University Rooms: www.universityrooms.com
Arrive Homes: www.arrivehomes.com
London Shared: www.londonshared.co.uk
Accommodation London: www.accommodationlondon.net
Spare Room: www.spareroom.co.uk
Sterling De Vere: www.sterlingdevere.com
City University London: www.city.ac.uk
Room Hunters: www.roomhunters.co.uk
Capital Living: www.capitalliving.co.uk
Easy Roommate: http://uk.easyroommate.com/
Find a Flat: www.findaflat.com
Move Flat: www.moveflat.com
Flat Share: www.flatshare.com
Into London: www.intolondon.com
If you decide to buy your own place, you can look in newspapers, approach estate agencies, or look on-line. This option is only for those who are able to stay long term or indefinitely.