Basically, since the RCA abolished its halls in the mid 80s, we all have to find our own place to live. On the upside, it’s a nice way to have a life outside college in a different neighborhood. For a lot of us, we’ll be searching for a room up until mid October because of the large amount of students in London looking at the same time.
Generally, in London the best sites to use are SpareRoom and Gumtree. SpareRoom is a paid service, where you pay for a certain amount of days to access the listings, but is generally more reliable, and slightly less sketchy than Gumtree.
But the best service to use – and probably the safest and most reliable – is the RCA Notices section for accommodation. There, you can find flatshares with existing RCA students or alumni, find flatmates to hunt with, or post any questions to the student community.
A second year student also shared with us her recommendation to join a student Facebook group called ‘RCA Rooms & Roommates Search‘ – we haven’t tried it before, but apparently it has worked well for some students.
RCA students these days like living in the Battersea area, the Hackney/Stoke Newington area, Peckham, Brixton, and various other random pockets of town, like West Hampstead and Canada Water. Few of us can afford places near Kensington, the most expensive borough in the entire UK. We’d recommend renting an Airbnb for a few weeks to get a feel of where you want to live.