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Moving into a London rental property: how much does it actually cost?

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Whether you're a seasoned London renter or a first-time mover, it's essential to be well-prepared for the financial twists and turns that come with relocating; let's get into it! 

Rental Deposits

First things first, let's talk move-in monies (otherwise known as deposits). Now there are two types of deposits you'll have to pay; a holding deposit and the main deposit.

A holding deposit is a payment you make to secure your offer on the property; it's typically the cost of one week's rent, so if you offer on a property at £2000 per month, your holding deposit will be £461. But don't worry; this particular deposit isn't held; once you move in, it'll be deducted from your first rental payment. 

The chunkier payments of the two is the main deposit; in the UK, this stands at the cost of five or six weeks' rent. If the total annual rent is less than £50,000, your deposit will be five weeks; if the total yearly rent is above £50,000, your deposit will be six weeks.

For example, if you rent a home at £2000 per month, your main deposit cost will be £2307. Your deposit will be held in a government-authorised protection scheme; you can find a list of the schemes

If all works out well when you vacate the property, they'll return your deposit within ten days; however, if you find yourself dealing with any disputes on deductions, it could take longer. So you could be faced with losing money from your deposit and having to fork out for another deposit to secure your new property. 

A round-up

  • The cost of a holding deposit to secure your property is one week's rent 
  • The cost of a main deposit will be either five weeks or six weeks rent
  • You could face deposit deductions 
  • Don't rely on your old deposit to pay for your new deposit 

End of tenancy cleaning

Ah, the end of tenancy clean – a crucial task for every resident bidding farewell to their rental home. You have two options here; roll up your sleeves and go DIY style or pay a company to clean the house professionally. 

You're looking at the cost of £200 and up for a professional clean (depending on the size of your home), but there are major pros. End-of-tenancy cleaning is no quick task, so you'll be saving a load of time.

More importantly, the last thing you need is a deposit deduction because the cleaning wasn't up to standard, so getting a professional in will avoid a potential big chunk coming out of your deposit. 

Moving and storage costs

Buying furniture is also going to be a cost. Are you walking into an unfurnished or part-furnished property? Which furniture will you need to buy? Read our blog on what unfurnished, part-furnished, and fully furnished means in the UK rental world. 

So the big moving day is on the horizon, and it's time to consider how you'll get your belongings into your new home.

It's well worth mentioning that if there is a gap between your tenancies, you'll need to factor in the cost of a storage solution. For a 50 sq/ft locker, you're looking at between £55-£75 per week depending on location, but it's worth checking out sites like
 Big Yellow and Shurgard as they usually have offers. 

Fast forward to moving day, and you now must consider how you will get your belongings to your property.

You can either opt for renting a van and driving it yourself or, if that's not an option, you'll need a man with a van. I did some detective work on
 Anyvan, and to hire a van with a driver to move a double bed and mattress, a two-seater sofa, and a wardrobe would cost between £110-£150. If you opt to drive the van yourself and get help from a friend, the cost is between £75-£85. 

The Tenant Fees Act

So now that we've got all the major costs out of the way, let's end on a good note. The Tenant Fees Act began in 2019, intending to reduce renters' costs from the outset, so you no longer have to pay things like admin fees or agency fees.

The only thing you may be charged for are things like, for example, if you're sharing with a friend and they decide to leave, and you have to find someone else, you'll be charged for the substitution.

These kinds of charges have now been capped at £50, so you won't be faced with a hefty bill. For more information on the type of costs you can and can't be charged, check the government website

So there you have it, all the costs associated with moving rental homes - did we miss anything? Let us know! We want to hear from you! 

Whilst you're here, why not read "Why are rents rising?""A guide to property jargon" or "Our latest rental market update"


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