09 Oct 18

A guide to the cost of living in London

The cost of living in London is high; there is no escaping that fact. The city is expensive 💰

So, you will want to budget well to make sure that you are making the most of your income and leaving yourself with money to fund your lifestyle. Now, budgeting is no easy feat, and to the cost of living in London, we need to add the cost of moving home. There are a few costs that you need to be aware of when creating a budget to avoid being caught out 🤓

This handy guide will help you understand what the cost of living in London and moving house are, and give you a rough estimate of the price.

A girl looking confused thinking who, what, how to rent in London

Cost of moving to a new home

Let’s start with the costs that are due in the days leading up to your move:

💰Holding deposit. This is to take your place off the market and typically costs around 1-2 weeks rent. Although the good news is that it normally gets deducted from your first rent payment

💸 Security deposit. This is usually 4-6 weeks rent, and, all being well, will be returned to you at the end of your tenancy (LINK to security deposit blog post)

💷 Agency & Referencing fees. These are likely to be outlawed soon, however, for now, you still have to pay them, and they can cost anywhere between £100-400

👛 1st months rent. You will be expected to pay the 1st month rent up front.


These are just the costs associated with getting you into your new home, however, for most people, this will be upwards of £2,000, so you definitely want to make sure that you prepare for the outlay.

Someone draws money from wallet to offer women but she takes the full wallet | homie.rent

The usual cost of living in London aka bills

Even after you’re in, the money doesn’t stop leaving your account, so we really can’t stress the importance of focussing on your budget during the first month, as you’ll likely want to get out and explore your new home. To give you an idea, the basics of setting up your new house include:

🏠 Contents Insurance. This is mostly a personal decision, but if you decide to take out insurance, most people can expect to pay £10-15pcm for their policy

📶 Internet. In today’s society, you don’t want to be the unconnected one. Internet deals cost £20+ pcm, and you may even have to pay a set-up fee.

🔌 Gas & Electric. You will need to set up your bills and likely pay your first month when you move in. The cost of which depends on the size of your house, but expect to pay about £50pcm

💧Water Bill. Water is charged slightly different to Gas & Electric depending on how you have your bill set up. If you are on a rateable billing scheme, you will probably pay a minimum of 6 months upfront. This can be a few hundred pounds.

💷 Council Tax. The amount of Council Tax you pay depends on what band you are in so you will need to check for yourself for an accurate figure, but the minimum is likely £70 a month unless you are eligible for a reduction.

We hope now you have a better idea of the costs you can budget appropriately for the first month. The cost of living in London won’t catch you by surprise! This is just one of the ways the experience can go from stressful to stress-free.

Got any more questions? Check out more articles on our help centre.

Next week on the Homie blog we will help expats understand when is the best time of the year to house hunt.



John is a Marketing Executive at Homie. He is passionate about copywriting and, equipped with his skateboard wants to make renting in London a roll in the park.

John Cooper, homie.rent Marketing Executive is the author of this article.