How to Rent an Apartment in the UK From Nigeria

  | 7 min read
How to Rent an Apartment in the UK From Nigeria

Are you a Nigerian looking to travel abroad or you have already gotten your visa approved? you should know that the next important thing to consider is securing your accommodation.

Securing suitable housing in the UK can prove to be difficult in the absence of prior arrangements upon arrival in the country. The selection of a short or long-term rental, furnished or unfurnished dwelling, depends on various factors such as your budget, the number of individuals accompanying you, and the duration of your stay.

We provide information on housing and properties for rent or sale on this page and we believe this helpful piece of content on getting an apartment will serve the needs of many Nigerians too.

Types of Houses/Accommodations in the UK

There are several types of houses or accommodations available in the UK, depending on your budget and preferences:

  • Detached house: A standalone house that is not connected to any other building.
  • Semi-detached house: A house that shares one wall with another house.
  • Terraced house: A row of houses that are attached to each other.
  • Apartment/Flat: A self-contained unit within a larger building.
  • Studio apartment: A small apartment that combines the living room, bedroom, and kitchen in one room.
  • Maisonette: A two-story apartment with its own entrance.
  • Bungalow: A single-story house.
  • Cottage: A small, cozy house usually located in the countryside.
  • Townhouse: A multi-story house that shares walls with other houses in a row.
  • Converted property: A property that has been converted from its original use, such as a church or warehouse, into a residential property.
  • Short-Term Rentals: In case you have a limited duration to stay in the United Kingdom, you can locate interim apartments on platforms such as Booking, Homestay, Gumtree, TripAdvisor, Homeaway, Airbnb, or VRBO. These furnished short-term apartments are more convenient to secure.
  • Self-Catered Halls: If you aim to save money and prepare your own meals, you might want to consider the self-catered alternative. Choosing a self-catered option allows you to have privacy, but you will share a communal kitchen.

These are just a few examples of the types of houses or accommodations available in the UK. Each type of property will have its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to consider your own needs and preferences when choosing where to live.

How to Rent a House in the UK

A rental home in the UK comes with advantages including landlord-provided repairs. For instance, a landlord can fix problems with your apartment’s façade and construction, drainage, wiring, and other things.

If you intend to stay in the UK for a while, you can also discover more about the various housing choices.

Rental Process in the United Kingdom

To gain access to a UK apartment, it is mandatory to sign a rental agreement and carefully review its contents. Additionally, you will be required to provide a security deposit equivalent to one month’s rent.

Landlords may also request various documents such as proof of identity, references from previous landlords, confirmation of employment, legal work permits/visas, proof of earnings, and a copy of the employment contract.

However, first-time visitors may not require all of these documents. The rental contract will contain crucial information such as the name and contact details of both you and your landlord, the rental property’s address, rental review dates and frequency, conditions for receiving back the security deposit, start and end dates of the rental contract, rental fees and payment dates, deposit protection scheme details, and any additional fees. Additionally, the contract will specify who is responsible for repairs and subletting rules.

Typically, a UK rental apartment requires a guarantor who must be a UK homeowner. However, if you lack a guarantor, you can utilize rent guarantor agencies such as RentGuarantor. It is important to note that as a tenant, your landlord is entitled to verify your visa and other documents.

Factors to Consider When Searching for accommodation in the UK

When searching for a UK apartment, there are several factors that you should consider to ensure that you find a suitable place to live. These factors include:

  1. Location: Consider the location of the apartment, including its proximity to your workplace, schools, shops, and public transportation.
  2. Budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend on rent and factor in additional costs such as utilities and council tax.
  3. Size and layout: Consider the size and layout of the apartment to ensure that it will accommodate your needs.
  4. Amenities: Check for amenities such as parking, laundry facilities, and outdoor space.
  5. Safety and security: Ensure that the apartment and its surrounding area are safe and secure.
  6. Lease terms: Review the lease terms carefully to ensure that they are fair and reasonable.
  7. Landlord reputation: Research the landlord’s reputation and read reviews from previous tenants to get an idea of their management style.
  8. Pet policy: If you have a pet, make sure that the apartment allows pets and if there are any restrictions.
  9. Noise level: Consider the noise level of the area, especially if you are a light sleeper.
  10. Accessibility: Ensure that the apartment is accessible, especially if you have any mobility issues.

Deposit requirements for accommodations

There are two primary deposit requirements to consider when seeking off-campus student accommodations in the UK:

· Tenancy deposit: You provide a rental agreement to your landlord to ensure compliance with all tenancy laws. Additionally, you must submit a tenancy deposit which varies in cost depending on your location.

· Holding deposit: A holding deposit or ‘first-month’ rent payment is a fee charged by landlords to hold the accommodation for you, alongside your signature on the rental agreement and a refundable fee token.

How Do You Find Accommodation in the UK from Nigeria before relocating 

1. Homestays

You may discover accommodation in the UK using Homestays. This website provides real housing possibilities, so regardless of whether you’re a student or just want to visit the nation, it may be used. Additionally, you can use the mailing lists for “insider travel tips” to find the finest option.

· Pros: The best local housing options and chances for cultural immersion are available.

· Cons: They may have technical or customer service issues.

2. AmberStudent

More than 100K rooms in the UK, including shared en-suites, private studios, and various single and dual occupancy rooms close to some institutions and colleges, are available through AmberStudent.

Pros: AmberStudent offers a user-friendly interface, a no-cost cancellation policy, efficient and courteous customer service, a selection of properties, and a strong word-of-mouth recommendation from previous clients.

· Cons: This platform only has a few properties in the rest of Europe.

3. Nestpick

On Nestpick, you may find furnished homes. Use Nestpick if you don’t have the time to confirm whether or not an apartment is equipped. You can narrow your search for lodging by city and neighborhood.

· Pros: Whether you prefer an apartment furnished or unfurnished, Nestpick offers a quick way to find a place to stay.

· Cons: Unfortunately, the platform does not allow direct bookings.

4. Study Abroad Apartments

You may locate dorms, whole apartments, shared flats, and even roommate options with Study Abroad Apartments. To get assistance with your accommodations, you can also get in touch with the local representatives in the cities listed by SAA.

· Pros: The website offers a helpful live chat feature, a roommate matching service, a local knowledge representative, a pleasant page style, verified listings, fully furnished listings throughout, and a “Only for couple” filter option.

· Cons: It has limited search.

5. 4stay

Over 100,000 postings are available on 4stay near more than 3,000 foreign universities. Reputable magazines like Forbes and the Washington Business Journal have featured the platform.

• Pros: It provides numerous accommodation possibilities, a guarantee for the insurance, no deposit is necessary, flexible cancellation policies, numerous lodging options, and more.

• Cons: 4stay has repeated page loading errors for advanced search.

In conclusion, finding accommodation in the UK from Nigeria can be a challenging task, but with careful planning and research, it is achievable. Begin your search by selecting the type of accommodation that best suits your needs and budget, and then use reputable online platforms to locate available options. Be mindful of the necessary deposit requirements and any legal agreements before making a final decision. It is also advisable to reach out to local estate agents for professional assistance. By following these steps, you can secure a comfortable and convenient place to stay while pursuing your academic or professional goals in the UK.

Christian Nduaguba