Apartments in a hive city on the outskirts of a large city inhabited by migrant workers

We are currently recruiting for a UK company based in London for technical workers from Ukraine and are facing the challenge that the employer pays only 2 weeks of hotel accommodation. Wouldn't be a lot easier to know how to find housing in London for migrant workers?

I was wondering how our candidates could find very fast affordable housing in London as migrant workers.

It would be obvious and fair to say that renting an apartment in London is quite a difficult thing to do and expensive whenever you are looking for a single room flat, especially for migrants. 

There are three ways to search for an apartment in the UK: apply to real estate agencies or to refer to ads from landlords/homeowners (look for landlords who are accredited by a group) and you can also submit a free advertisement that you are looking for housing in London. But if you are looking for your first home after moving to the UK and your aim is to find an affordable place to live, you should immediately pay attention to more economical housing options with furniture.

Generally speaking, if you want to find an affordable one, you should start your search by considering options for renting a single room or so-called subletting directly from landlords or subtenants. You will find such on our recommended websites, and also in groups for ex-pats on social networks. You will find our suggestions useful. On Rooms in London, you can find a nice tidy single room in London starting from 400 £ or make your ad for a room. Also, check out where you can take advantage of free advertisement to rent furnished rooms without an agent. This could save you time and money.

We will discuss each of the options below and answer questions such as, How much each of them might cost? Where to apply for? What resources can do free advertising?


What is the general budget housing situation in London for migrant workers?

We are about to start by introducing you to the general situation on the rental market in London to give you a picture of what you may have to face as you seek to settle in the UK.

London continues to hold the top spot for the most expensive rental accommodation in Europe for expatriates, with an increase of £121 per month. The average cost of a three-bedroom, mid-range home for expatriates is now £5,308 per month (USD 6,959), according to the latest Accommodation Ranking report published by global mobility expert, ECA International (ECA).

The image below shows you a visualization of the price range in the UK to compare the situation in different cities to London.

In London, rental property prices greatly depend on the area. Housing is more affordable in the southern part of the city, the northern suburbs, and in some parts of East London. While a 1-bedroom rental in Notting-Hill costs £ 1,300-2,700, a similar apartment can be rented at Crystal Palace for £ 750-950. In Tottnem or Wembley, the rental cost is £ 700- £ 900, in Walthamstow – £ 700- £ 800. You can find the average rent for any part of London on this website .

According to The Telegraph, Bexley is the most affordable location in London. You can rent a 2-bedroom apartment for £ 919 per calendar month. Bexley is a nice area. It's close to inner London and has a lot of parks and open spaces. The average home value is £ 281,341, the average rent is £ 919.

Another popular area is Croydon. There was a rental boom in the area in 2014. The median home value is £ 320,123 and the median rent is £ 1,253.

Barking and Dagenham have the lowest real estate prices. The median home value is £ 270,256, the median rent is £ 1,063.


What are the rental rules and laws in the UK for renting flats?

Renting an apartment is more troublesome than renting a room. You will need to present documents such as employment contract, certificates of financial solvency, wages, recommendations (from landlords, from an employer), national insurance number, passport, resident card, bank statements for the last 3 months, if you have benefits, you will need a statement of benefits payments for the last 3 months.  

Do you have your documents ready? Landlords and agents will want to confirm your identity, immigration status, credit history and possibly employment status – GOV.UK

The contract is usually concluded for 6 – 12 months. You can find an option for 3 months.

When you are renting an apartment, you pay a month of accommodation, an agency fee, and the so-called inventory check – an inventory of the property and a deposit for its safety. A deposit is of 1-2 months rent is also made. The deposit will be refunded when the apartment is vacated and no damage has been made. There are cases when the landlords try to keep this money to themselves under one occasion or another, so when you are settling, it would be a good idea to make a record listing down defects and damage already existing in an apartment.

Look for landlords who belong to an accreditation scheme. Accreditation schemes provide training and support to landlords in fulfilling their legal and ethical responsibilities. (Guidance -How to rent: the checklist for renting in England) 

Some agencies require a guarantor – the signature of the guarantor, who is most often a citizen of the UK, who will fully assume the payment of housing in case the tenant cannot pay for some reason. The absence of a guarantor can lead to the fact that you have to pay the full amount for all months of housing at once. You may also you can consult Shelter for advice as recommended on GOV.UK. For for more information visit their website and read Guidance – How to rent: the checklist for renting in England. 

Will you need a rent guarantee? Some landlords might ask someone to guarantee your rent. If you don’t have a guarantor, you can ask Shelter for advice.

The contract is usually concluded for six months, and you are required to pay again for the extension of the contract. The system is rigid. The landlords also want to insure themselves. After all, it will be very difficult for him to evict the tenants if something goes wrong.

Aside from the rent, tenants will also have to pay for the monthly utility bills – water, electricity, gas, and council tax.


How to search for housing solutions in London?

The housing search market in London, as in the whole of Britain, is quite transparent and regulated. However, this is so in the case you apply to real estate agencies that are registered in the state legal program. All real estate agencies must be registered so it gives you peace of mind about contacting almost any major agency in the UK. You should start by choosing several housing options on the agency's website, such as Zoopla, Findaflat, or Moveflat, and then arrange a view of the apartments. If you find a suitable apartment with the help of a realtor only then you pay 15-20% of the monthly rent for his services. 

If would rather not pay for the realtor's service, you can try services that have ads from landlords/owners such as OpenRent, Friday-ad, Gumtree.

OpenRent offers legal support in drawing up a lease agreement, protecting both the owner and the tenant.

A short-term apartment or a room can be found on the websites: holidaylettings, spareroom, easyroommate.

You can also search through ads, for example, on this site

Also, you can find advertisments from the owner, or make your own advertisement indicating that you are looking for apartment on the in the section I will rent a room, an apartment, housing. You'll also take advantage of free advertisement on Spareroom is a website in the Russian language, which is pretty easy to use. You can call the apartment owners. You will definitely find much cheaper options (starting from 400 £ per month) on this website. Take note though that you will need to be mindful in discussing the terms of entry and signing a lease without an agent. 

There are other ways where you can find opportunities in the search of a place and save you time and money. You can post on Facebook groups for expats in the UK that you are looking for a sub-leasing or a room. We highly recommend you start with Rooms in London. Other groups are UK4RU, Russians in London, London | Accommodation | We help ours! , Accommodation in London, 

The pictures below are a good example of a single room or similar that you can rent for 90 – 100 £ per month (all utility bills and taxes included).

You can even rent a place in the room which will cost approximately 55 – 80 £. Such options and more you can find on this board for Russian-speaking in London RUTUMBA.COM 

Alternative budget housing solutions in London?

Shared housing

Renting a room is a very common solution to the housing problem. Of course, this is primarily due to the high prices for apartments. Consider a one-room apartment/studio apartment in remote areas will cost you about 1200 – 1500 pounds, compared to a one-room where you pay only from 400 pounds (sometimes even with utility services, if you're lucky).

 And fewer documents are required for such an arrangement. You do not need bank statements. Recommendations are also not needed.

“Room hunting” (search for a suitable room) can take a long time – there are a lot of people willing to rent. Landlords can even take applicants to court for tenants in the remaining rooms in the apartment so that they decide who to move in with.

There's a website dedicated to Russian-speaking people where the pricing more relevant for those who are just moving to the UK. In the single room section, you can find options with a price starting from nearly 150 pounds per month. In the advertisements on this website, all utility bills and taxes are mainly included in the total price for renting. You will find and rent the apartment with furniture which is good. 

Living in a motorhome

In the UK, there are no laws that can stop you from living in a motorhome, camper van, or van full-time all the time. But of course, there are restrictions on where you park your vehicle. To be sure you'd better consult The Highway Code guide. 

Here are some of the places where you can park…

  • Abbey Wood Caravan Club Site Abbey Wood, London. …
  • Crystal Palace Caravan Club Site Crystal Palace, London. …
  • Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park Edmonton Edmonton, London. …
  • Lee Valley Campsite Sewardstone Chingford, London.

As we have mentioned previously you can try the cheapest way to rent accommodation in London. You can rent a place, in other words, you can share the room. As was said these kinds of offers are available on and on the forum.russians-in-london and on groups on Facebook that we mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Check out as well to find shared accommodation or someone to share accommodation with (flatmates).

Couchsurfing is an initiative that allows you to find a place to sleep. That is, someone who lives in the city in our case in London, provides a sofa (or bed, or mattress, or floor) of his house to accommodate travelers from around the world. It's a secure system (you have to create a profile on the site which is on a referral system), and although television and newspapers try to tell us otherwise, the world is full of good people and willing to help us.

This may seem like an absurd idea, but it is absolutely real! You can camp in the gardens of London houses, just like that. In exchange for sterling (in some cases included a tent and sleeping bags). To find an available place just go to the site and find options and the ability to choose locations and conditions.

If you have not found the best option among private landlords, try Serviced Apartments – it's mini-hotels or mini-pensions. They will cost an average of £ 150 cheaper than renting an apartment in London. Accommodation services and meals are already included in the price. The average lease term is from 2 to 6 months.

The first and one of the most important requirements is that all tenants have to sign the tenancy agreement and landlord/owner of the apartment. All participants obliged to be in possession of a copy of that agreement. 

A lodger is someone who lives with you in your home and shares living space with you, such as the bathroom or kitchen. They might have their ‘own' room, but they live in your home with your permission and have agreed they don't have the right to exclude you from their room or any part of your home.

Lodgers may receive extra services such as cleaning, laundry or meals. The main difference between a subtenant and a lodger is that a subtenant has exclusive use of their room.

It can save you money by subletting. You can rent the apartment with a landlord (as a lodger) or with the present tenant (as a subtenant). In practice, lodging and sub-tenancy are nearly the same. 

The first thing which has to be done if your tenant wants to share accommodation with you is to get a landlord's agreement first and better do to it in written form.

Then you will be subject to migration checks. Otherwise, the landlord or tenant who is subletting can receive a fine of up to £ 3,000. If a landlord rents a room to someone he/she suspects don't have the right to rent, he/she can receive an unlimited fine or a five-year prison term.

Also, pay attention to this:

Secure and flexible tenants have a legal right to sublet part of their home with their landlord's written permission. If you sublet part of your home without permission, you are in breach of your tenancy agreement.

Your landlord cannot unreasonably withhold its consent to a request to sublet part of your home. Also, your landlord cannot attach conditions if it allows you to sublet. (Taken from )

Typical tenancy arrangements

Tenancy arrangements in shared accommodation can vary. The most typical scenarios include:

This is a joint tenancy – one tenancy agreement which each person in the property signs. You all share the property and its facilities and don’t have exclusive possession of any part, even though in practice you may agree to occupy a particular bedroom and pay individual contributions towards the rent. 

Each person in the property has their own tenancy agreement because they each have exclusive possession of one specific room while sharing other facilities such as the kitchen. In this case, each person has a sole tenancy

One person, in the property signs the tenancy agreement and has a sole tenancy. They then sub-let rooms separately to other people either as sub-tenants or as lodgers.

What are the options to find budget housing solutions in London remotely?

As mentioned in the sections “How to search for housing solutions in London?” and “Alternative budget housing solutions in London?”, there are options to find budget housing solutions in London remotely as all of them are online sources that do not require your presence to start looking for a place. You just can find and sign the lease agreement remotely anyway. So you'd better spend your time searching for suitable options on the given resource in the article. 

But if you want to use advertisement on free websites forums, you can get started on 

The board and ads for student renting are supposedly cheaper. On this website, you might find quite comfortable rooms with different prices. We would say they're quite affordable in London (from 105 pounds for a shared room and 199 pounds for a private room and higher). Visit

On, the price for a shared room starts from £425/month (No bills included).

Also, visit the website for students to find accommodation. Here you can find a room in a 4-rooms house for the sum starting from 127 pounds. 

What to do when you want to cancel a rental contract earlier?

Let's talk about sole tenancy, which we have mentioned earlier, as it is more likely the information you would be interested in. (Reminder -this is a form of sharing accommodation and having your own individual tenancy agreement)

If one of you wants to leave

If someone you share with wants to leave then they need to raise it with the landlord. Whether they leave or not won’t affect your tenancy.

The only impact it will have on you is, if they do leave, your landlord is likely to get a new tenant to replace them. It’s unlikely that you will have any control over who that person is unless your landlord asks for your input.

Tenants' notice

A valid notice to quit served by only one joint tenant is sufficient to end a periodic tenancy for all joint tenants.[2] Where the tenancy is in a fixed term, all joint tenants must consent to exercising a break clause to terminate the tenancy unless a term of the tenancy explicitly allows for any one of the joint tenants to use the break clause.

How to calculate the total cost of housing in London?

When you want to sum up a total price for a month living in an apartment you should take into account that in the ad price for rent can be indicated per week or per month. Utility bills can all be included in the rental price, but this is rare. Some of the utilities included partially (water, electricity (electricity usually accounting for 60 % of the bill), gas, internet, and municipal tax). In some advertisements, it is mentioned that you'll pay for the utilities. The municipal tax is mentioned not in every advertisement with a defined additional sum. 

To find out the specific amount for the municipal tax, you need to go to the website, enter the address of the house, apartment, and then you will find out what tax you will need to pay. If you rent alone you will have a 25% discount.

Don't forget about a deposit. You pay it as a guarantee for the landlord that any damages for a property during your lease contract will be covered. The size of the deposit can be equal to a week of rental housing to two months. This should be checked with your landlord.

It is quite difficult to tell how much you will pay for utility services as it depends on various circumstances. This is what you should ask the landlord of the chosen accommodation and discuss before signing the lease contract. But knowing what you should take into account should prepare you and help you in budgeting. Here are some examples. 

The UK average for an electricity bill is £58 a month, the average broadband bill is ££30.30 and it’s £56 for gas. If you’re paying more than this each month, could you be getting a cheaper price elsewhere? (Published byAimee Davis on

the average water and sewerage bill is £415 a year or £34.58 a month. Those up in the North West of the UK will be paying £18 more a year compared to those in the South West who end up paying £14 less a year than the average.

For more detailed information we advise you to visit and read more examples on the average sum for different utilities. 

Generally speaking, you will also have to pay for utilities, the average price of which reaches 150-200 pounds per month.

Rental agent If you find a suitable apartment with the help of a realtor only then you pay 15-20% of the monthly rent for his services.

Typical estate agent fees 

So, how much are estate agent fees for landlords? For a let-only service, letting agents tend to charge landlords around three or four weeks’ rent, while full property management fees may be around 10 to 20 per cent of monthly rent. Letting agent fees in London are often higher. On top of this, you may have to pay a setup or administration fee.

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