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The 22 best and worst things about renting in London

4 August 2014 Cat Byers Read time: 4 min
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Cat Byers

When you rent a house in London you're going to experience pretty much all of these things. Don't say we didn't warn you! However crazy it gets in this city, nothing could stop us from loving London!

1. We've got over 7000 pubs here in London, so you’re never far away from a decent pint. Cheers!

...but with all that temptation, you're probably going to end up being permanently hungover.

Drink driving giff


2. Even if the rest of the UK is having rubbish weather, the urban island heat effect means that central London can be up to 9C hotter than the suburbs...

....but during the summer the tube feels as hot as Dante's inner circle of Hell. People have even resorted to commuting in their underwear.

HJwatermark crop

Photo credit: Cat Byers


3. Got an obscure career ambition? There’s something for everyone in London, be it experimental cocktail scientist, street food expert or Henry VIII impersonator at Hampton Court Palace...

...but there are also high levels of unemployment, so you might end up working in a coffee shop.

post graduation


4. If you ever run out of things to do (however unlikely that seems), London Heathrow is the world’s busiest airport. There's ALSO Gatwick, Standstead, City, and further out, Luton and Southend airport. Get a last-minute cheap flight from EasyJet, and fly off to Europe for the weekend. Ciao!

...but good luck getting to the airport for an early morning flight when the tubes aren't running, and the only option is a slow, expensive coach or Uber.



5. Despite the fact there are millions and millions of us in this fair city, you will bump into people you know way more often than you think...

...but sods law means you only ever bump into people you are trying to avoid, and end up spending a packed 30 minute commute making awkward small talk or attempting to hide.



6. Turns out, the London rainfall claims are grossly over exaggerated – it’s actually drier than Rome, New York, Paris and Rio de Janiero, to name a few!

...but the weather will still feel way worse than all of those places.



7. Being on a budget won’t keep you away from all the cultural hotspots, as London’s biggest museums and galleries such as the British Museum, Tate, the National Gallery, the Science Museum and the V&A are all free to enter...

...but they are always completely rammed with annoying groups of kids on a school trip.


8. That moment when you feel like you’re in a Hollywood blockbuster such as Skyfall, Harry Potter or Notting Hill when you recognise a location from a famous film on your way to work...

...but the illusion will soon be ruined by a loud group of tourists in your way who are trying to take pictures.



9. If you’ve graduated but still want to live the student lifestyle, you can always move to Clapham, which is famous for having plenty of student-esque bars, clubs and takeaways...

...but as a result Clapham is full of graduates who can't let go of university, and you’ll end up having to go to Infernos all the time.



10. London’s got a pretty impressive skyline, and there are tons of cool rooftop bars, restaurants and cinemas to make sure you can enjoy it from every angle...

...but being London, it will probably rain any time you try to visit.



11. You’ve always got something to read on the commute, due to all our free newspapers: Metro, The Evening Standard, City AM, ES Magazine, Time Out, Stylist, Shortlist...plus, you’ll be very well informed!

...but your bag, desk, kitchen table and sofa are now covered in discarded piles of paper.

book avalanche



12. The brilliant buzzing atmosphere on payday and Thirsty Thursdays, when pretty much every office worker descends on the nearest pub or bar after work...

...but the queue for the bar will be about a mile long if you get there late.



13. Dating is easy in London as there are so many places to go and different people to meet (and everyone is on Tinder) - the love of your life could be just around the corner!

...but by the law of averages, you will probably end up on statistically more awful dates in London too.



14. What other city can boast a blonde, bumbling mayor called Boris who laughs at his own jokes, gets stuck on a zipwire and frequently makes inappropriate comments?

...but we have a blonde, bumbling mayor called Boris who laughs at his own jokes, gets stuck on a zipwire and frequently makes inappropriate comments.

boris gif


15. There's no need to go to LA if you want to spot celebrities - London is full of them, particularly Chelsea and North West London. All you have to do is go for a coffee in the most upmarket cafe you can find...

...but you'll probably only ever see a D-list reality star.


16. We have every type of cuisine in the world, incredible restaurants and mouth-watering food halls and street markets so even the most fussy eaters will be satisfied...

...but the food halls charge £5 for a box of rubbish macaroni cheese.

library cafe



17. You'll never be stuck for something interesting to do, as London is home to some brilliant concepts like Hot Tub Cinema and the SS.Atlantica 1930's boat cruises...

...but you always end up hearing about them too late, when all the pictures go up on Facebook and Instagram.



18. We get the latest technology first, particularly with travel. TFL just announced that Oyster cards will be going contactless from September, so you can use your card to pay for all journeys...

...but now you will be in even more trouble when you lose your card on a night out, as you won't even have an Oyster card to get you home.



19. London is a shopping mecca, with every shop you could imagine on Oxford Street and in Covent Garden, and we also have cool department stores like Liberty and Selfridges...

...but Oxford Street is always packed and hellish, and the slow-moving tourists on Regent Street have led to the infamous 'Regent Street Rage'. Don't even get us started on trying to get out of Covent Garden station...

getting up in the morning


20. We have a huge transport infrastructure involving trains, tubes, buses, and bikes, so you can easily get to the other side of the city at any time of day or night...

...but we also have tube strikes, lines that are closed for no apparent reason, and buses that change their destination as soon as you get on (and then kick you off 5 stops before you wanted).



21. That amazing feeling when you finally find a great place to rent at the right price in the area you wanted to be in...

...but have you seen the London property market?! There are some really terrible places out there...



22. We arguably have some of the most beautiful buildings in the world all over the city...

...but we also have some really, really ugly ones.


Image credit: www.bbc.co.uk



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