As you are no doubt aware, rental prices in London are crazy enough and if you want to live anywhere close to the centre then you will probably need a 6, or even 7 figure income to back you up.
However, there are many properties in the areas surrounding central London that freelancers might find suitable and affordable, but a lot of people appear to be struggling to find anything at all.
There are even reports of freelance professionals sleeping on their friends couch. Not something you want to be doing really is it.
Why is this happening? One expert suggests it might be the fact that independent landlords are becoming a thing of the past in and and around the London area, and instead, it is the rental agencies that are taking over.
Unfortunately, many of these agencies are not "freelance friendly" when they do their eligibility checks, which means the self employed are getting declined even though they have more than enough income to cover the rent.
It just seems that many rental agencies prefer to take on tenants that are conventionally employed with a job and salary, rather than a freelancer who isn't able to provide the same kind of guarantee.
While I can understand that many freelancers are not impressed when this happens, at the end of the day it is just how the market is right now.
Demand for property in London, both buying and renting is like nothing we have ever seen before, and this means rental agencies have become extremely choosy about who they want to do business with.
In other words, if you can't jump through all their hoops and show guaranteed income, then don't be surprised if they turn you away.
It doesn't matter if you have thousands of pounds in the bank and a folder full of references that all say what a wonderful person you are. The fact of the matter remains that many agencies just don't want to know.
So what are your options? One is to move away from London of course, to another city that is more friendly towards freelancers. I reported about the 10 best cities for freelancers recently, and the best UK city is Bristol. You might want to give it a try.
Another option is to offer the rental agency payment upfront. So for example, if you get a 12 month lease you could offer 6 months rent upfront. This only works if you already have that kind of money in your bank, although I doubt many people would be comfortable paying rent upfront like this.
It doesn't really put you in a good position. My advice is to try and make the best of it. There are still independent landlords out there who welcome freelancers, you just need to look for them.
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