Living in London Accommodation

I grew up having my own room in a house with a front and back yard and when I went to London on a working holiday I thought I would have the same. How wrong I was.

I was extremely new to flat/house hunting when I arrived in London. I had the belief that finding somewhere to live was as simple as making your choice from an advertisement, contacting the advertiser and advising the current tenants that you wanted the available room and then, move in. But this is far from the case. There is fierce competition for decent accommodation, particularly your own room, and you must be prepared to be interviewed to ensure you are compatible with the current occupants – this can be very daunting. In fact I found finding somewhere decent and affordable long-term to live one of the hardest things I ever had to do in London.

To make life cheaper, many people, particularly travellers share a room. Having always had my own room I was a little hesitant about sharing a room however, I decided there were two positives: having an affordable place to live and meeting new like-minded people.

My new abode was a spacious, modem flat within a five storey Victorian terrace. We had the two top-floors with a balcony (which you accessed through a window) offering great views over West London and came with all the mod cons. It had three double bedrooms where two people lived permanently in each room, but we always had visitors or dossers staying so there were at least 10 of us at any one time. People came and went as we each had our own travel plans.

I shared my room with a few different girls during my time in the flat. On my very first night there I didn’t know what to do when my room mate changed in front of me but I soon got use to it. Initially I thought I wouldn’t have the right personality to live with so many other people because I was on the shy side, but I shouldn’t have worried. In fact, I think it made me a more outgoing and relaxed person.

The biggest plus for this type of living is that it is cheap. But I also found that when I came home from a hard day’s work there was always someone there who’d ask ‘how was your day’, and if I was feeling down the others would soon have me feeling up again.

I guess I was lucky that I found a friendly household that shared the cooking, bills and chores equally without too many squabbles. At times we socialised together, so I expanded my group of friends. Unfortunately, some flat shares have personality clashes and a friend’s flat share saw a punch up one night. Some occupants can also skip town without paying their rent and share of the bills.

Ah, ten people in a three bedroom flat, as one of my Irish flat mates once said ‘it was good craic (fun)’ and I’m glad I experienced it for the great friends I made while on my working holiday in London.

If you are coming to London on a working holiday and have nowhere to live I would suggest firstly staying in a hostel which you could book through Hostel World. I would suggest you book for at least 1-2 weeks cause by the time you recover from jet lag and do some sight seeing the two weeks can almost be up and you will need to look for somewhere longer to live and believe me, this can take a while sometimes.

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