Finding a place in London for a month on the east side?


#1

I’m planning to stay in London for about a month in August-September, to coincide with an industry workshop that’s happening there at the beginning of September, and would really love to find a spot in or near the Brick Lane/Whitechapel/Bethnal Green area. AirBnB seems pricy, but I’m unsure of how easy it is to get a place via SpareRoom.

Factors/Questions

  • Budget: hoping to stay under £700, willing to go up to £800 for a perfect place right near Brick Lane
  • Looking for a furnished private room in a flatshare; I’m pretty okay with a closet with a bed, so long as it’s a clean, cozy closet.
  • Solo lady, so nowhere too dodgy. (My tolerance is about “New York at night in the hipster areas”-level. Mexico City in the historical district at night was a bit much for me.)
  • Anyone know how easy it is to get a space in SpareRoom without actually being in the city? Or am I better served getting a hostel for a few days and accommodation-hunting then? I worry about not finding a space if I put it off until I’m there, as evidenced by my thinking about this six months beforehand. :stuck_out_tongue:
  • On that note, is that a time around when it might be harder to find accommodation, like university term starting or something?
  • Is it easy enough to find a place from mid-month to mid-month, or is it mostly going to be whole months? (I guess this wouldn’t be as much of a concern if it’s a week-to-week.)
  • Is it easy to get a space without a local bank account? DNing and all. Cash wouldn’t be an issue.
  • How is the cafe-working culture in London? Is free decent wifi and outlets a common thing in coffee shops? I’m not super-thrilled with the idea of coworking spaces; the prices feel a bit high for me, and I actually kinda like working with a bustle around me, so long as there’s power and internet. I’ll probably look into it if it turns out there aren’t really a lot of cafes equipped to do that sort of thing though.
  • … are there any questions I should be asking or issues I should be considering?

I realize it’s a lot of questions, but anything helps! Thanks!


#2

Hey, seems like you definitely found the coolest spot to hang out in London. AirBnB is definitely overpriced in that city, even with the monthly discounts. If you can’t find anything on SpareRoom since your stay is only going to be about a month long I’d suggest checking out Facebook groups for flatshares. I think you might find what you’re looking for over there. Just type in “London flatshares”, “London roommates” or whatever on the FB search box and you should be able to find something good. Also, I think you’d be fine without a UK bank account especially if you’re looking six months out in advance.

As for coffeeshops, the Whitechapel area is loaded with them! All of London City really. My go-to spot was this place called Java’U right by Brick Lane… always seemed to be a really workable space whenever I camped out there. And East London just has that vibe. :sunglasses: But, another thing I would do was head out to more bougie parts like Camden and Kensington to work out of Costa’s chains. All in all, I think you could totally do the coffeeshop thing over coworking spaces if your set on it.

Anyways, best of luck and hope you enjoy your time there! Londontown is really like no other. Btw, really diggin’ the artwork :v:


#3

Ah, thank you for all the info! I’ll take a gander at FB groups as well, that hadn’t occurred to me. If I can find a spot near Brick Lane, Java’U looks pretty great as a working spot. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the compliment on the art, too! :smile: Looking forward to my time in London, fell in love with the city a few years ago and always wanted to come back.


#4

I used to live here and go back very now and then definitely one of my fave areas. But the regular monthly rentals for sublets are at least £800 around here these days as it’s tech-central (or Silicon Roundabout as we call it, after Old Street roundabout) with everyone working there pushing eastwards looking for better rents, you’re more likely to get a better deal out towards (but not in) Stratford (trace along the canal looking for neighbourhoods). Whilst commuting will add to your costs it’s still not much different than most coffees, and frankly anywhere along the canals are a delight to walk/cycle.

You may however find a summer sublet, take a ganders at GumTree, Craigslist and it’s not entirely unheard of to see people on Couchsurfing list places (if there’s a London flats group) I like to find sublets this way, but FB is indeed the obvious choice. (Potentially you might qualify in LondonStartupFlats…)

An alternative to these is The Collective, which is organised coliving (like WeLive) and just about within your budget yet includes a coworking space etc! :slight_smile:

The pressure on cafés from laptop is enormous, if you rotate a few hours amongst a bunch you might get by, although power sockets are not common. There are endless awesome coffeeshops (such as The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Timberyard, Store Street Espresso, edgier little places like The Old Shoreditch Station … check out FourSquare of course, and there’s also a bunch of WiFi/coffee apps), you really needn’t ever set foot in a chain.

Google Campus is a proper coworking space and is free, if you get there first thing after they open you’re pretty much guaranteed a space. Otherwise only if you’re lucky…

London is not dodgy, you’ll be fine anywhere north of the river. (And is one of the safest places to push your tolerance a bit :wink: )

If you’re flexible on timings and willing to wait a bit longer, you’ll find mid-month short lets but otherwise it’ll almost entirely be month-to-month, however always ask the person leaving or going away might want some flexibility too. Late September onwards will be difficult (new semester) if you move your dates forward a bit it should easy getting rooms when students are away over summer. Personally I’d want to see the place, but some street view and a skype walkaround should pass muster.

A private sublet won’t be a problem without a bank account just use TransferWise or whatnot to settle up, but make sure you’ll get your deposit back similarly or as cash. Forget agencies.

Since the last time I was there it seemed everyone was using contact payments, I didn’t once need cash. (Thus a bankcard with contactless is desirable, else a smartphone/ApplePay; works on transport too.)


#5

Hmm, the Collective sounds interesting, but it seems like they only have 9-month lets (or a short-term 3-month one that’s completely sold out). Not sure if I qualify for Google Campus, being neither a startup (nor employed by one) nor an entrepreneur - but I’ll dig around and see. :slight_smile:

The rest sounds like it’s eminently manageable, otherwise! Thank you for the help!


#6

Have you tried to contact with any local afency or to find some help in a Facebook group?