Renting in London and the South-East — What to expect

Renting in London and the South-East — What to expect

The UK’s capital city, London, is one of the most desirable places to live in the UK and with property prices to buy being some of the highest it’s no surprise the majority of people choose to rent.

Over the last 3 years, the rental market in London has faced two major issues; a shortage of properties being available and an increase in rental prices. Rents rose the fastest on record throughout 2022 in London, leading experts to declare it the worst year for renters, but with so many more people looking to live and work in the capital, the demand has continued to grow.

If you’re preparing to rent in London or the South East, we’ve put together some tips to consider about bills, where to look and other things to expect when renting in London and the South East.

What to expect when finding a rental property in London

The first thing to expect is the competition level, as we’ve touched on, it’s a very popular place to live! If you’re looking to live in one of the most central neighbourhoods like Chelsea, Kensington and Nottinghill, you can expect to be paying the highest rent in the city. 

These exclusive locations have mansions, plush apartments and Victorian houses that sit among beautiful tree-lined streets in the heart of London. Their central location means for a one-bed flat you can expect to pay over £3000 a month to live there.

According to a study by the Evening Standard, renting a flat in Kensington and Chelsea in 2022 cost on average £3300 a month, followed by Westminster at £2950. If you’re looking for a more cost-efficient spot and don’t mind paying the tube fare, renting in the South East of London starts at around £1300 for a flat in Croydon.

Other areas such as Hackney and Greenwich are also more affordable for renters looking to live outside of central London, with rent being around £1700 a month as of 2022.

What to expect when looking for a rental property in the South East

If the rental prices in London are higher than expected, renting outside the capital in one of the popular commuter towns may be more for you. Professionals looking to strike a work/ life balance, young families and individuals who want to break out of house shares have been gravitating outside of the city to other popular areas in the South East.

The seaside town of Brighton has always been a popular spot for people looking for a slower pace of life but still want to live within easy access to London. Renting a flat in Brighton costs on average £1400, as of 2022 with the cost of renting a 3-bed house in the centre of Brighton costing £2150.

Other popular towns like Reading and Milton Keynes are within easy travel distance from the Capital but offer renters more for their money with more space and rental options. Renting a flat in Reading costs on average £1186 a month whilst a flat in Milton Keynes will set renters back £1040 a month.

If strong transport links to London and the rest of the UK are important to you, living in the South East brings lots of benefits as it’s well connected and offers people the chance to escape to the countryside, the seaside and the city within 2 hours’ travel.

As relocation professionals, we always recommend our clients go on an orientation tour before deciding on a particular area or city, as it can help make informed decisions.

The Average Monthly Bills In The UK

Once you’ve worked out the budgets for rent, the next outgoing would be the monthly bills. In 2022, the cost of energy bills in the UK more than doubled for households. This was largely due to the post-COVID demand and supply of gas and electricity not being able to meet the demand.

Whilst utility bills have increased significantly, there are other monthly bills to consider when you rent in the UK that include watching TV and council tax.

The average cost of monthly bills in the UK is:

  • Gas- £47.90
  • Electric- £63.70
  • TV licence- £13.25
  • Broadband- £30
  • Council tax- anything between £110 for an individual to £450 a month for a family

Council tax will be determined by the area you live in so if you’re looking to rent in central London as a family, council tax will be higher than an individual renting on their own.

If you’re looking to review your current utility bills and possibly save yourself up to £309 per year then check out our partner utility provider, Please Connect Me

Choosing a place to live in the UK

As well as costs to consider and the kind of property you want to rent, you’ll also need to consider your lifestyle and whether you want to drive, rely on public transport or live remotely. Making a big move at any age is a brave decision whether you’ve got a family to consider or you’re living alone, so choosing the right place to live is key.

Before moving to London or any other place, write a list of your key non-negotiables and think about your work/life balance as well as your budgets. Making the wrong move can be a more costly mistake and often with tenancy agreements, it can take a year at least to be able to move again.

If you want to discuss your move or need to speak to an expert about what to expect, get in touch with We’re happy to help discuss your move.


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