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Louise Savage, Sales & Marketing Director at Residential Land writes a monthly column for City AM offering readers advice on renting properties in the capital. Some of the most recent questions include:

Dear Louise, What are the best ways to go about looking for a house share in a good part of London that is easy commuting distance from the City?

London is such a big and diverse city, you really need to narrow down your search to area and price. It is easy to commute into the city from most places that are near a tube station, so look at a tube map, preferably with someone who knows London well, and choose a few key areas to focus on that will suit your personal needs.

Work out what your living priorities are, such as price, size of accommodation, being near your friends, being in a ‘young’ area with lots of good bars, being in central London so you can walk to work, being in a greener, leafier area or being close to a park. If you will regularly be travelling to family or friends in another part of the country, you may want to be within easy access of the relevant mainline rail station. A number of websites, such as www.stuckinlondon.com  www.livinginlondon.net and www.upmystreet.com can give you more specific information on different areas in London.

Loot or other local newspapers often advertise for suitable house share opportunities and there are numerous websites that match house sharers such as:  www.gumtree.com  www.intolondon.com/houseshare and www.roombuddies.com. Again, have a list of criteria that are important to you so you can check them off before making a big mistake. E.g. do they like loud music / will they be able to tolerate yours? Are they tidy / will they be able to bear your mess?

Finally, if you are looking to house share don’t forget to meet the other sharers at least twice before you move in, understand how the rent and bills are split between you and make sure you won’t be liable for their rent if they default on payment.

Dear Louise, my Pimlico landlord is dragging his feet in getting someone in to mend my broken boiler and I have no heating or hot water Can I legally threaten to withhold rent until it is sorted out?

A Landlord has an obligation to supply uninterrupted heating and hot water to a tenant, but there is also an obligation for a tenant to pay rent in full without withholding for any reason (a common clause in most Tenancy Agreements). While you are paying your rent, you are legally in a stronger position as the landlord is in breach of contract and you aren’t. For a serious problem like this, he should really provide alternative accommodation for the time that you have no heating and hot water.

You have three options. Firstly, you can give the landlord a deadline and tell him that if it isn’t mended by a given date you will arrange for it to be fixed yourself and deduct the amount from your next month’s rent. Make sure you have copies of all letters, receipts and proof of postage (send it recorded delivery).

Secondly, you can contact the Environmental Health Department at the local council. For example Westminster’s ‘Department of Community Protection’ deals specifically in such matters.

If you did, as a last resort, decide to take the option of withholding rent you would be in breach of your lease and there is a risk that the landlord could take you to court for non-payment of rent. If you have proof of your broken boiler and evidence of the landlord failing to get it mended, this would usually be taken into consideration by the court.


Residential Land are prime central London’s largest private landlord.  Properties to rent througout the capital with flats available in Bayswater, Marylebone, Pimlico, South Kensington and many more.