Real English: Phrases for finding an apartment

Have you ever had to look for an apartment? Learn some key questions to ask when searching for a flat in English. This very useful lesson will help you understand the descriptions on rental websites. I will also teach you how to make an appointment to see the place, and how to express yourself during the visit. This lesson is full of new phrases and vocabulary. It will give you all the English you need to find your new home.
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Hi, guys, and welcome back to Today, we are doing accommodation, and particularly, London accommodation. What do you do? You come to London. You need to find a place to live. This could apply to anywhere in the UK. If you don’t know someone and have a place to go to, you might need to check out a website like Gumtree or

Now, what we’re going to be doing in today’s lesson is looking through a couple of different flats, apartments that I found on the Internet and talking through the key phrases. And then, we’ll talk about useful questions to ask if you were to visit a house that you wanted to live in.

So I’ve — obviously, question No. 1 you have to ask yourself is how much money can I afford to give? So London accommodation can be a little bit expensive, so I gave myself a budget — “budget” is the maximum I can spend — of 800 pounds a month. So it’s quite a lot.

What I found was a bedsit, a “cozy” — meaning a comfortable bedsit — which was priced at 195pw. That means per week. Okay?

Now, some of the useful phrases I found on this advert for this particular place was that it was a “cozy” bedsit. So this means comfortable. You could also say that it means “small”. So the positive is, “Mmm. Nice and comfortable.” But the negative, “Ugh. There’s no room.” Okay? A “bedsit”.

What a “bedsit” means is that there is a bedroom, but there is no living room. There is no room for a television, sofas, chairs. It’s kind of bedroom, kitchen. Okay? So it’s quite a small flat.

“Presented in” — that’s just a load of crap, really. So you kind of just go, “Oh, it’s in a charming” — what does that mean? “It’s in a nice — “period” just means “old”. It’s in a nice, old building. Okay? So it’s a small place in a nice, old building.

It has an open plan. That means if I’m lying in bed, I can see the kitchen. Okay? There’s no wall between bed and kitchen. So “open plan” means no wall. “Fully fitted kitchen” — so we talk about when a kitchen is “fitted”, it has refrigerator. Maybe there’s a microwave. Put your pizza in. Heat up some food. There’s a kettle. Maybe a dishwasher. I can clean my clothes — those kinds of things would be a “fully fitted”. So I can do everything I need in the kitchen.

A “shared bathroom” — to “share” — if I share my pen with you, then you can use my pen. So if I’m sharing a bathroom, then someone else is peeing on the toilet seat, okay?

“Selected Sky channels”, so that does not mean all. All — no. It means the landlord chooses what I can watch on the Sky, so typically, one sport channel, and a couple of useless channels that you don’t really want to watch.

“The rent includes” — that means it’s 195 a week — I don’t have to spend more on electricity, water, gas, etc.

And then, at the bottom of the advert, it says “to arrange”. That means to organize — I’m looking at — because I’ve got the advert here, so you know, just scanning through it. “To organize a viewing” — that means to have a look around — “please call — well, the number is — what is she called? Maria, at 07 55 79 11 636. Maria is going to get loads of calls now. Sorry, Maria. But maybe it’s good practice for her because she’s clearly Spanish, so she can practice speaking English to you guys.

“Double bedroom” — this is a slightly different part of time. So this place was in Earl’s Court, a nice central part of London. My next one is in Shoreditch. This is like, the super cool, kind of, where artsy people are in, so East London. And here, you have a double room. That means there is a bedroom — somewhere where I sleep. And then, there are other people who I am sharing with. Okay? So I’m sharing with other people. Maybe there are three bedrooms.

Now, my key features — a “feature” is a good point. Okay? It has an eat-in kitchen. That means I make my food — boiling — I’ve made a cooking video. You should check it out. So I’m cooking in the kitchen, and then I can eat in the kitchen because there is a table to sit at. So “eat-in” means plus table. Hopefully with a chair as well.

Again, all bills are included. So my price here, my price here — kind of where I looked there. There, 145 a week. So for a month, that’s going to be — what? Who’s good at math? 580 a month. Not too bad. Okay? So it’s going to be cheaper if you are sharing with other people, and maybe quite good practicing English with them as well.