A quick guide to finding accommodation

A quick guide to accommodation options in London

Broadly speaking, there are three main categories of accommodation in London:

  1. Student halls of residence
  2. Private housing
  3. Student Homes scheme (this scheme is unfortunately not available for 2020/21)

1. Student halls of residence can be separated into three types:

  • University of London Intercollegiate Halls, with rooms allocated to the different member institutions of the University of London, of which LSHTM is one (most of the rooms allocated to LSHTM are within walking distance to the School or a very easy and short commute by public transport)
  • University of London managed properties, such as the Gower Street apartments (these are more expensive but located right next to LSHTM)
  • Independent halls, either privately-owned or run as charities (located all around London)

2. Private housing is the most popular choice for LSHTM students, due to the limited number of available rooms in Intercollegiate Halls and Student Homes, and rental prices being generally cheaper than in student halls of residence.

Students generally look into renting an individual room in a shared house or flat, or renting an entire property with a group of students. You must be in London to find private accommodation - you should not pay for a room before you view the property in person (with the exception of the Student Homes scheme).

LSHTM subscribes to the University of London Housing Services (ULHS) which offer a number of services to help students who are looking for and living in private accommodation in London, such as a housing database and Property Platform, contract-checking, legal advice on disputes and housing issues, flat hunting events, Flatmate Finder Facebook group and Private Housing Guide.

3. The Student Homes scheme is managed by the University of London Housing Services in partnership with trusted private landlords to provide good quality homes in the private sector for full-time students.
Students sign up with individual tenancies and don't have to deal directly with landlords, as the properties are managed by the ULHS. Other additional major benefits of the Student Homes scheme is that you don't need a UK based guarantor and you can safely secure a room in one of these properties from abroad, making this a great option for international students.

Where do our students live?

This map shows the number of students living in the most popular postcode areas in London for 2019-20 students.

Where students live 2019-20

Further information and general things to consider:

Do you want to live with other people?

If so, you should focus on a flatshare in private accommodation or Student Homes. Some halls of residence offer rooms in apartment-type accommodation, or you can have a single/double room with a shared kitchen and shared communal spaces.

Do you want to live alone?

Some halls of residence offer studio-flat type accommodation, with a small kitchenette and en-suite bathroom. Alternatively, a privately-rented studio flat (a small flat which combines living room, bedroom and kitchen into a single room) could be an option, although this is relatively expensive.

Decide your budget

Depending on what you are used to, London can seem moderately or hugely expensive so you should be realistic about what you can afford. Household bills (gas, electricity, etc.) are generally not included in the rental price.

Typical private rents for a room in a shared 3-bedroom property start at £500 per month (the average being £700+ per month). A single room in an inexpensive hall of residence starts at around £175 - £200 per week (which equals £760 - £870 per month).

As a general rule, living further from the centre will be cheaper (including factoring in travel costs). Sharing properties with more people (e.g. 4 or 5-bedroom properties) will also be cheaper. It is common for properties to have the living room transformed into a bedroom, to bring individual rental prices down, but that means of course you wouldn’t have access to a living space.

This student rent calculator is a good resource to help you determine your budget.

Tip: rents are usually quoted as either price per week (ppw) or price per calendar month (pcm). To calculate the monthly rental cost when prices are advertised per week: multiply the weekly rent by 52 (the number of weeks in a year) and then divide by 12 (the number of months in a year).

What accommodation does LSHTM provide?

LSHTM does not have its own student accommodation, however we do have a limited allocation of rooms in the University of London Intercollegiate Halls, offering a range of different options – catered and self-catered accommodation, en-suite rooms, studios and single bedrooms. 

LSHTM students also have access to private accommodation via the University of London Student Homes scheme which offers rooms in private houses within easy commuting distance to the School.

Where to live?

If you’re not familiar with London it can be hard to know where to start your search. Take a look at our area guide and familiarise yourself with London’s public transport network. Bear in mind that most Londoners don’t live in zone 1 – it’s very normal to live in zone 2 and beyond.

LSHTM is located in Bloomsbury, Central London. The following tube stations are all within walking distance to the School, so looking at accommodation near tube stations in zones 2 to 4 (or beyond depending on budget) that are serviced by the relevant tube lines would ensure a relatively easy commute to the School:

  • Goodge Street (Northern line) = 350 metres
  • Russell Square (Piccadilly line) = 550 m
  • Euston Square (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan lines) = 600 m
  • Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern lines) = 600 m
  • Warren Street (Victoria and Northern lines) = 850 m
  • Euston (Victoria and Northern lines) = 900 m
Close-up of the London tube map highlighting the six tube stations nearest to LSHTM

The above distances are in relation to the LSHTMs main building in Keppel Street.

The bus lines 24, 29, 73 and 390 all stop near LSHTM’s main Keppel Street building (Goodge Street station stop). Several other lines also stop nearby (1, 8, 14, 19, 38, 55, 59, 68, 91, 98, 134, 168, 176 and 188). Check out the TfL website for bus routes and maps.

Is there anything I should have with me when looking for accommodation?

Before you leave for the UK:

  • Sufficient funds to pay your deposit (up to 5 weeks' rent) and the first month’s rent
  • References from previous landlords (in English) - not essential, but a good idea
  • Bank statements (again not essential, but a good idea)

Once you are in London:

  • Tube map (available at all underground stations, as an app, and on the TfL website)
  • London map (e.g. Google maps, Citymapper app)
  • Oyster card (see the Transport section)
  • UK mobile (cell) phone 
  • Internet access (many cafes offer free Wi-Fi)