Rightmove is THE website to search for housing in the UK. The functions we found most useful were Draw a Search and email alerts. You can define the area you want on a map and it will show you all the available properties within the boundaries you set. Or, you can input your requirements including location, price, and number of bedrooms and be notified by via email whenever a property becomes available that matches your search. One other suggestion is to check specific agents’ websites as they often have properties that are not listed on rightmove.

The best method for getting in touch with an agent is by phone. We were very fortunate to have a friend already living the UK to set up appointments for us to view properties. If this is not an option for you, the next best method is to email a specific person from an agency, rather than a general email. They are more likely to respond to a personal email. In the city where we were looking, good properties disappeared very quickly and we had to act fast. Normally, real estate agents have properties that aren’t listed online yet, so be sure to ask if they have anything else you may be interested in.

Rental housing in the UK can be very expensive. One reason for this is the “administrative fee” charged by lettings agents upon leasing a property. These normally start at around 25% of the rent price per month but can be much higher. Even though the landlord is paying an agent to show their properties and find a renter, then renter is also charged by the agent for services such as drawing up a lease agreement and viewing the property. Be sure to ask what specific fees are associated with each property you are interested.

real estate terms

Here are a few confusing UK real estate terms explained:

  • pcm = price per month
  • pw = price per week
  • Hob = stove top/range
  • let agreed = the property is already taken
  • Terraced house = row house/townhouse
  • Eaves = ceiling height
  • Larder = cupboard/pantry

Short Term Housing

If you need a place to stay for a few weeks while hunting for a flat, check out serviced apartments on the following websites:

These serviced apartments usually come with full kitchens, weekly linen cleaning, WiFi, and washer/dryers. They are normally single units in apartment buildings and not extended stay hotels. They can be pricey, but it is nice to have the flexibility of a real apartment. It may also be worth doing a web search for serviced apartments within a specific city, as these websites are not all-inclusive.