5 best places to live in Bromley


If you want London living but with the countryside on your doorstep, Bromley really is your best bet. The most south-easterly part of the capital has a foot in both the urban and rural worlds, benefiting from both. But what’s it like to live there, and where are the best places to live in Bromley? Let’s hear from our resident reviewers, who have the inside track on this outer edge of London.

Note: We know that the title says “5” best places to live in Bromley, but HomeViews has added a lot more developments to the area since this list first came out! That’s why we’ve extended it to a Top 10 list, giving you even more choice when browsing for the best of what Bromley has to offer.

10 best places to live in Bromley

Let us hand over to the experts on all things Bromley: the people who live there. The following list of the top 5 places to live in Bromley has been compiled solely using the scores given by verified HomeViews reviewers. If you like what you see, click on the listing to find out more about these popular developments.

*PLEASE NOTE these rankings take into account how many reviews a scheme has and how recently those reviews have been submitted, so may not match the overall star ratings shown. Buildings with a larger number of more recent reviews are given a greater weighting to reflect current building performance.

Image of Regents Place, BR1

Taking first place in Bromley is Regent’s Place, a Crest Nicholson development with a selection of apartments located just off Bromley High Street. This puts Bromley train station only a two-minute walk away, and the rest of Bromley’s offerings are right on residents’ doorstep. As well as the location, Regents Place gets near perfect marks for the design of its accommodating, modern flats and the shared facilities.

Read reviews and details of Regents Place, BR1

Image of Nexus Apartments, BR1Image of Nexus Apartments, BR1

In second place is Purelake New Homes’ Nexus Apartments, which are located on Elmfield Road. As a new-build development with only 50 luxury residential units available for private rent, Nexus is small but carefully formed. In their reviews, residents highlight the development’s good security, spacious and well-appointed facilities, and its easy access to the heart of Bromley. It’s also just a short walk from Bromley South train station, which provides regular National Rail links into central London.

Read reviews and details of Nexus Apartments, BR1

Image of Venue, SE20Image of Venue, SE20

Taking third place in Bromley is Venue by Fairview New Homes. Residents say they love the large, inviting apartment design and excellent range of facilities including the sculpted gardens throughout the development. There are 252 units available with a range of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Convenience is another perk here, as Venue is only a 6-minute walk away from Anerley Rail station, which has links to the Overground and Southern Rail services. Crystal Palace park is also less than a 20-minute walk away.

Read reviews and details of Venue, SE20

Image of St Mark’s Square, BR2Image of St Mark’s Square, BR2

In fourth is this superb development situated in the heart of Bromley. St Mark’s Square combines a thoughtful, stylish design with an enviable location. Residents are moments away from the high street as soon as they step outside their door. The presence of all modern conveniences, reliable insulation and spacious balconies mean that residents can enjoy their apartments to the fullest.

Read reviews and details of St Mark’s Square, BR2

Image of Trinity Village, BR2Image of Trinity Village, BR2

Rounding off the top 5 in Bromley, Trinity Village is nicely tucked away a short distance away from Bromley South station, giving residents easy access to central London and Bromley itself, but with an added layer of peace and quiet. Residents routinely describe their homes here as being smart but cosy, with plenty of green space and amenities nearby to make things comfortable and convenient.

Read reviews and details of Trinity Village, BR2

Image of Rosing Apartments, BR2Image of Rosing Apartments, BR2

Coming in at number 6 we have Rosing Apartment, an L&Q development of 82 apartments that range from one-bedroom to 3-bedroom, most of which feature a balcony. The development is situated a 10-minute walk from Bromley South station, which has regular direct trains to London Victoria station.

Read reviews and details of Rosing Apartments, BR2

Image of County House, BR3Image of County House, BR3

County House is 7th on our expanded list, and sits just moments from Clock House and Kent House National Rail stations in Beckenham, Bromley. Comprising 76 new homes, County House is on the London Living Rent scheme which includes units offered at affordable prices.

Read reviews and details of County House, BR3

Image of Iconia House, BR2Image of Iconia House, BR2

8th place goes to Iconia, a development by Taylor Wimpey. When 100 apartments on offer, they range from one to three-bedrooms. The development is located just a 12-minute walk from Bromley South station, which has direct links to London Victoria every couple of minutes.

There’s currently only one review, but it’s one with a perfect score from a very satisfied resident: “The area is amazing, there’s supermarkets, shops, restaurants and Bromley station nearby. Bus links are great, there’s buses to Lewisham, Locksbottom and many places around South-East London. Despite the fact that the building is located on the main road, not much noise from the outside gets in, we can live in peace and quiet. Its also very safe, there’s a fob system to enter the building and once the first door is open the second door has a timer so that it closes within a small amount of time to avoid intruders. My neighbours are lovely, very friendly and welcoming, they help out a lot. My actual home has been created to perfection!”

Read reviews and details of Iconia House, BR2

Located in Lower Sydenham in the London Borough of Bromley, Dylon Works is a residential development by Crest Nicholson. It features approximately 223 units with a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. The development is only a 2-minute walk away from connections to southeastern services.

Read reviews and details of Dylon Works, SE26

While there are currently no reviews on Beck Gardens at Langley Court, this set of 1, 2 & 3 bedroom Shared Ownership apartments in Beckenham gets an honourable mention at number 10. It’s located close to Harvington Park and Beckenham Park Place. In addition each home includes private outdoor space (balcony or terrace), fitted kitchen with integrated appliances. Public transport within walking distance. Also includes local bus routes leading to stations within TfL Zones 4 and 5 (Southern, Southeastern, and Tram) for services into London.

Read reviews and details of Beck Gardens at Langley Court, BR3

Is Bromley in London or Kent?

It’s a common misconception that Bromley is in Kent, the Garden of England. It’s easy to understand why, given that 30% of Bromley is farmland and green space abounds across the rest of it. However, Bromley is in fact a London borough, even though the main town of Bromley itself was historically a market town in the county of Kent. Simple, right?

What’s it like to live in Bromley?

‘Picturesque’ is the word that Bromley residents use time and again when describing where they live. Being here puts you right next to the metropolitan green belt, and the rest of the borough is no slouch visually either.

The town of Bromley is the cultural and economic heart of the borough. It has quickly become a top spot for attracting young families and professionals who want to stay connected to London but with more room to breathe.

However, just because Bromley is quieter and more rural, it’s definitely not dull. There is a thriving arts scene that centres on Bromley town, as well as growing retail and leisure industry. Naturally, residents also have an abundance of scenic walking, hiking and other nature-loving opportunities to take advantage of.

As well as its green credentials, Bromley is also routinely ranked as one of the safest London boroughs. With its low crime rates, low incidents of car collisions and widening range of outstanding schools, it’s an attractive prospect. This is probably why Bromley reaches the top 10 in the ‘happiest places to live in London’ surveys year after year.

Average property prices in Bromley

Averaging out sale prices across the 12 months to June 2024, property prices in Bromley routinely trend upwards of the £500,000 mark, with an average of £579,000. There were more flats sold in Bromley than any other type of property across the year, with an average price of £338,000. Large detached properties in the borough are likely to set you back more than £1 million.

If you’re looking to rent in Bromley, across the borough there’s an average rental rate of around £1,800 per month. This is significantly lower than the London average of £2,975.


For more information about living in this borough, check out our Bromley area guide (below). Here you’ll get a better idea of what makes Bromley tick, with more advice from our verified reviewers.

Borough of BromleyBorough of Bromley
Bromley is the largest of the 32 London boroughs, stretching from Crystal Palace and Mottingham in the north right down to Biggin Hill in the south. It’s also a borough that transitions dramatically from suburban to rural, with farmland making up around 30% of Read more about Borough of Bromley

HomeViews is the only independent review platform for residential developments in the UK. Prospective buyers and tenants use it to make an informed decision on where to live based on insights from carefully verified resident reviews. Part of Rightmove since February 2024, we’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to give residents a voice, recognise high performers and to help improve standards across the industry.



real estate

How much can a landlord increase rent?


Rents are going up. That’s the reality across most of the country. But why is it happening? And how much can a landlord increase rent? Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, you should know the rules and the conventions of rising rental rates. So read on, and find out what’s happening in the UK rental sector now.

When can a landlord increase rent?

Your landlord’s ability to raise rent on your home will depend on the type of tenancy agreement you have in place. For periodic tenancies (ones that roll on week by week or month by month), the landlord cannot raise the rent more than once per year without your agreement.

If you are on a fixed-term tenancy (i.e. a set period such as 6 or 12 months), then your landlord cannot raise your rent without your agreement. If you don’t agree to the rent raise, the landlord will have to wait until the set period ends. Then they can negotiate a new agreement at a higher rate.

What is the most a landlord can raise rent?

Technically speaking, in the UK, landlords can raise rent on their property by any amount they want. However, in practice, landlords must stick to ‘fair rent’ increases that are in line with current market rates.

What is HomeViews?

What is a fair rent increase UK?

The Gov.uk guidelines on private renting say that all rent increases must be “fair and realistic, in line with average local rents.” So, if properties in your area were being rented for £900 PCM, and have gone up by 5% to £945, then a proposed rent increase from your landlord should roughly be equal to this amount.

What was a fair rent increase in the UK in 2022?

If you’re going by the national average, a fair rent increase in the UK in 2022 was around 3.2%. This is how much private renting went up on average across the country between July 2021-July 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics.

How much could a landlord increase rent 2023?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recently predicted that tenants may face rent increases of up to 15% by 2023. Again, landlords will need to raise rents in line with market prices, or risk pricing themselves out altogether. However, the continued imbalance of high demand and low supply of available homes in the UK means that higher rental rates are a likely reality for 2023 and beyond.

How much can a landlord increase rent UK in 2024?

At the beginning of 2024, the ONS said that rents UK-wide went up by 6.2% over the past 12 months. If a landlord is looking to raise rents in 2024, around 6-7% would be considered a fair increase.

Can my landlord increase my rent twice in a year?

If you are on a periodic tenancy, a landlord can raise your rent more than once per year. However, you will need to be consulted and given notice. If you believe that your rental raises are unfair, you can dispute them. Citizens Advice has a useful guide to rental increase negotiations and disputes.

Row of rental houses with 'to let' signs outsideRow of rental houses with 'to let' signs outside

Can I refuse a rent increase?

You can refuse a rent increase, and the consequences will differ depending on your tenancy agreement. For example, if you’re on a fixed term, your landlord cannot increase your rent without your agreement. Therefore, the raise cannot legally be implemented. However, they may then decide to not offer to renew your tenancy when the term ends, so they can simply advertise the property to new tenants at a higher rate.

Can I ask my landlord to reduce the rent?

In theory, you can ask your landlord to reduce your rent, if you feel you’re not getting a fair deal. You might be able to get a reduction on rent if your home requires repairs or you’re inconvenienced in some other way. If your tenancy has been disrupted by the landlord failing to repair an issue properly, then you can ask for a rent reduction as a form of compensation.

What is a Section 13 rent increase?

The Housing Act 1988 has a provision called a Section 13 Notice. This is issued by landlords to tenants to increase the rent after an initial fixed period has expired and the tenancy is in the statutory periodic tenancy. However, a Section 13 Notice still cannot be used to increase the rent during the fixed term of a tenancy.

What is the new rent law in the UK for 2024?

The Renters Reform Bill is due to pass into law in the UK in 2024. It introduces various new regulations aimed at improving the rental system. One of these is the abolition of rent review clauses, and only allowing rent to be increased once a year. This will replace the Section 13 Notice and landlords will have to give at least two-months notice of any rent increase.

Why has rent gone up so much?

There are many reasons why rental rates have gone up so much in the UK. Due to changes in taxation and other legal statutes, landlords have higher expenses when renting out their properties, and are raising rent to cover themselves. For example, many landlords have to invest more in making their properties energy efficient, because they will need an EPC rating of ‘C’ or above to legally rent them out from 2025 onwards.

The simplest reason is supply and demand. There is a sizeable shortage of homes available in the UK, and rising house prices keep millions of people from getting onto the property ladder. This squeeze continues to fuel demand for rental properties, raising average rents across the country.

Will UK rents keep rising in 2024?

As of 2024, there are an estimated 11 million renters in the UK, across 4.6 million households. With more people finding homeownership an impossible dream, the demand for rental accommodation keeps outpacing the level of new properties coming onto the market. Until the supply/demand imbalance is fixed, expect rental rates in the UK to remain high.


For more information on renting in the UK, consult our guides below. We have plenty of advice for tenants, landlords and buy-to-let purchasers.

HomeViews is the only independent review platform for residential developments in the UK. Prospective buyers and tenants use it to make an informed decision on where to live based on insights from carefully verified resident reviews. Part of Rightmove since February 2024, we’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to give residents a voice, recognise high performers and to help improve standards across the industry.



real estate

What does ‘terraced house’ mean?


When searching for a new home, it’s important to understand the different types of properties available within your budget. Depending on your lifestyle, you may want to narrow your criteria to include or exclude terraced housing. But what does ‘terraced house’ mean, and what are the pros and cons of owning this kind of property? Check out the frequently asked questions below to find the answers you need.

What defines a terraced house?

Terraced homes share both side walls with neighbouring properties, forming a row of houses that extend along a residential street. They are particularly popular in urban environments, where space comes at a premium.

What does Back-to-Back terraced housing mean?

Back-to-back terraced houses were built mainly during the Industrial Revolution. Connecting to a third neighbouring property to the rear, they only have windows to the front elevation. This type of housing is now rare in the UK, with Leeds the only city to retain modernised back-to-backs in large numbers.

What does a terraced house look like?

Due to their nature, terraced homes are pretty easy to spot. Usually, they are two or three storeys high with a duo-pitch gable roof and a small front patio or garden. Certain architectural elements can help you distinguish the age of a terraced home. For example, a Victorian London terraced property may feature paired front doors, decorative bay windows, stone lintels and a tiled front pathway.

Inside, you’ll often find a layout two to three rooms deep, sometimes including a cellar and an attic. Traditionally, the front room or parlour would have been for receiving guests, with the back rooms reserved as a private living area. Extended terraced houses with a more contemporary layout may include open-plan rooms and a rear kitchen backing onto a garden. With many homes like this dating back to pre-Victorian times, you’ll often find preserved original features such as elegant coving, fireplaces, floorboards and tiling within.

Why are they called terraced houses?

Terraced homes have a long and distinguished history in the UK. This first began when the concept migrated to England from Italy in the 1600s. After the Great Fire of London in 1666, London needed to be rebuilt – and terraces were the answer. They soon became a hallmark of the Georgian period when architects borrowed from the term ‘garden terraces’ to describe a more uniform style not captured adequately by the concept of a ‘row’.

Fashionable terraced housing in London
Terraced housing in London’s Notting Hill

What is the difference between a terraced house and a detached house?

While a terraced house shares a boundary with two homes of a similar style to either side, a detached home is completely separate from any neighbouring properties. They also frequently come with front and back gardens, off-road parking and more privacy overall. With two side aspects exposed, detached houses usually have more windows, making them brighter and airer.

Are terraced houses bad?

Terraced houses are not necessarily good or bad. Everyone has a different lifestyle and priorities, so let’s rephrase this. Would a terraced house be a bad choice for you? Here are some things you should consider:

Location: Does the home in question have a decent garden fit for your needs? This will depend on whether you have children and how much time you intend to be socialising at home. If there is no garden, or if the garden is small, are there parks and open spaces nearby? Terraced homes will often be a short distance from shops, restaurants and amenities, which can be a real plus.

Security: Many terraced streets have alleyways and passages leading to back gardens. You may want to consider the security ramifications when this applies – especially in areas with higher crime rates. Also think about the amount of street lighting, parking arrangements, and the safety of the surrounding roads. On the plus side, terraced house streets have more people living there, compared to detached housing areas, so neighbours may be able to spot burglars or anyone intent on committing a crime.

Maintenance: Period terraced homes can offer many glorious original features, but older houses have their downsides. Look out for signs of neglect that might turn a relatively cheap form of housing into an expensive nightmare. Of course, you may be looking for that perfect restoration project! Many period terraces have already been renovated to a high standard, so keep your eyes peeled for modernised properties if you don’t want the hassle.

Space, Light & Privacy: Tightly compact housing often reduces space for manoeuvring (people and furniture!) and less storage potential. Depending on the placement and number of windows, you might also suffer from a lack of light or feeling overlooked. Sharing walls means you may hear more of your neighbours than you’d like, though you can improve the insulation. However, many modern terraces feature open layouts, skylights, and clever storage solutions – proving that not all homes are created equal!

Why are terraced houses cheaper?

According to the UK House Price Index, the average price for a terraced house in the UK is £226,369 (March 2021). Compare this to £423,450 for the average detached property. This makes them slightly more expensive than a flat or maisonette but cheaper than a semi-detached home. This is understandable if you consider that they offer more space than a flat but less privacy than a semi.

While they can cost less and are generally more energy-efficient, you may have to fork out for better noise insulation. Terraced homes may also not be as valuable due to a lack of parking.

A row of terraced homes in Manchester.A row of terraced homes in Manchester.
A row of terraced homes in Manchester

Are terraced houses a good investment?

With terraced housing offering a cheaper way onto the property ladder, it’s a popular choice for buyers with smaller budgets. However, any structural alterations affecting your neighbours may incur fees. You might also need their consent for the proposed works – not always great when planning renovations.

Can you build an extension on a terraced house?

You can build an extension a terraced house and there are several ways to do it, depending on local planning constraints. It’s often easier to extend into the loft for homes built before the 1960s – which many terraced houses were. You could also add more living space by building over the side return or into the garden.

Don’t want to apply for planning? Some areas allow loft conversions and rear extensions up to six metres within the scope of permitted development. Of course, always check the requirements first! If your home is within a Conservation Area, you’ll need permission for any significant changes.

Are end-of-terrace houses worth more?

An end-of-terrace home generally commands a higher value than its mid-terrace neighbours because it only shares a boundary to one side. Situated at the entrance of the street, these homes have more light and the potential to extend. One adjoining household is also less likely to disturb you than two.

Are mid-terraced houses noisy?

Mid-terraced houses can be noisier, it depends on your neighbours! The good news is that you do have options for reducing noise. Building regulations regarding acceptable noise levels should protect newer terraces. A blockwork structure may separate period terraces to prevent fire, which can also be helpful. To ensure a quieter life, consider a retrospective insulation programme. Options include spray foam insulation or even decoupling the party wall from your neighbour’s.

Terraced housing in San Francisco, USA

What is the difference between a terraced house and a semi-detached house?

There is a difference between a terraced house and a semi-detached house. The latter is only attached to a neighbouring house on one side. In contrast, a mid-terrace home is linked to another house on both sides. While an end-of-terrace is similar to a semi-detached home, it’s still classed differently because of its neighbour’s status as a terraced property.

Do terraced houses have gardens?

Terraced houses usually have some kind of garden. While you’ll often find small patios to the front, the main garden usually lies to the rear. If the house has been extended, the rear garden may be small as terraced homes typically feature less outside space. However, end-of-terrace houses benefiting from a corner plot may come with a more generous garden.

Are terraced houses easy to sell?

Terraced houses are often easy to sell because they appeal to first-time buyers looking to get on the property ladder. For this reason, they are also popular with young families as they are cheaper and easier to maintain than larger homes.

Is a terraced house a maisonette?

No, a terraced house isn’t a maisonette. However, they are often converted into maisonettes – flats set over two floors with a private entrance. Because of this, maisonettes are often smaller than a terraced house, so you’ll often have neighbours in the same building.

Are terraced houses leasehold?

Terraced homes, which tend to be older, are more likely to be leasehold. This may be a concern if you live in the ‘northern hotspot‘, where there is a high percentage of leasehold ownership. Although the Government is planning to ban new homes from being sold on this basis, it won’t stop older terraced properties from being resold as leasehold.

Terraced house rooftops

Do burglars target terraced houses?

Burglars are less likely to try and break into terraced houses because there is a higher chance of being noticed compared to a semi-detached or detached home. If burglars do target terraced houses, they may aim for an end-of-terrace home, to attract less attention.

Why does the UK have so many terraced houses?

The UK has a lot of terraced housing stock because of their popularity in the mid 19th century. At the time, houses were expanding very quickly, as much as 25% in a decade. Terraced housing was a fast, neat and effective urban planning method designed to maximise space and maintain a sense of community.

The 1950s, post World War Two, was another period of house building, especially in areas that were hit hard during the Blitz. Again, terraced houses suited the needs of urban planners at the time. This historic connection with terraced housing means it is still a very popular type of property in the UK today.


HomeViews is the only independent review platform for residential developments in the UK. Prospective buyers and tenants use it to make an informed decision on where to live based on insights from carefully verified resident reviews. Part of Rightmove since February 2024, we’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to give residents a voice, recognise high performers and to help improve standards across the industry.



real estate

What does Share of Freehold mean?


It’s important to understand the different ways you can own your home. Freehold, leasehold, share of leasehold – all have a major impact on how you actually own your property. So, what is Share of Freehold? We look at the pros and cons of this type of homeownership and answer the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

What does Share of Freehold mean?

If you buy a property with a Share of Freehold, this means you own your property leasehold plus a share of the freehold for the building your property is in and the land it’s on. This usually applies to apartments. So owners of the apartments in a building each own their apartment leasehold, as well as holding a share of the freehold for that entire building and the land it sits on.

It’s also important to understand leasehold and freehold homeownership before Share of Freehold will make sense:

Freehold

If you own a property freehold, you own it outright. This includes the land it’s on and the airspace above your property.

Leasehold

If you own a property leasehold, you hold a lease (usually lasting decades or centuries) for that property. You will have a contract with the landlord, or freeholder, to set out your legal rights and responsibilities.

Does share of freehold add value?

Gaining share of freehold could add value to your property if your lease is short (85 years or below). Joining with the other leaseholders in your apartment building to buy the freehold could be cheaper than extending the lease on your property.

Share of freehold could also add value to your property if you feel that the building will be better run as a result. A well-managed and maintained building can add value to every property within it.

Share of freehold apartment with open plan kitchen and dining room.

How much does share of freehold add value?

It’s impossible to put a concrete value on having share of freehold. Every property is different, and it depends on many different factors. However, it is unlikely to add much to the property’s base value by itself.

However, having share of freehold can boost the desirability of the property. This is because it makes it easier to renew the lease, and the owner is less vulnerable to overcharging on ground rent and service charges. Additionally, having a say in how the freehold area is managed is attractive to many buyers.

Is share of freehold the same as leasehold?

If you gain a share of freehold for your building, you will still own your property on a long lease. However, as a co-owner of the freehold of the entire building, you and the other co-owners now have control over lease lengths.

This means that you can renew your lease and only pay for the legal fees. Previously you would have had to pay the freeholder as well in order to extend your lease. Once you have a share of the freehold, you and the other co-owners will control things like ground rent, building insurance, etc.

Is a 999 year lease a freehold?

No, a 999-year lease is not the same as a freehold, or even a share of freehold. Such a long lease protects you against the main issue of being a leasehold – the lease running out – but does not provide the benefits of owning the freehold.

Is share of freehold a good thing?

Gaining a share of the freehold generally allows leaseholders to have more control over their homes. It is a legal right to be able to take over the freehold, as long as you have at least half of the other residents willing to also do so.

Share of freehold can be a solution if you and the other leaseholders have issues with how your building is being run by the freeholder. It allows you to set the ground rent for the building, find the best building insurance and extend leases as you wish.

What are the main problems with share of freehold?

Share of freehold can be an expensive and complicated process. You need to have at least half of the property owners in the building willing to buy the freehold. You will all have to work together and agree on the system you will use to manage the building. Many people create a limited company for this purpose.

You must be able to afford the purchase price of the freehold, as well as the costs of a valuation survey and legal fees for the leaseholders and freeholder. Stamp duty land tax is also due if the purchase price is over £125,000.

Share of freehold lease extension

Once you have share of freehold, you are able to extend your lease for free – usually up to 999 years. This is only as long as the other co-owners of the freehold agree. You will also have to pay legal fees to extend your lease.

Can I sell share of freehold property?

You can sell your property with the share of freehold intact. However, the other share of freehold owners will need to agree to the buyer’s purchase. The buyer’s conveyancer should directly liaise with all the share of freeholders to get their permission and complete the necessary paperwork.

How do I transfer share of freehold?

If you own a share of freehold for your property, you will need a formal deed in order to transfer ownership. This deed will transfer ownership from yourself and the other co-owners of the freehold, over to the new owner of your property and all the other co-owners.

Can a freeholder refuse to sell the freehold?

As long as the leaseholders qualify for collective enfranchisement (taking on share of freehold), the freeholder cannot refuse to sell the freehold. It is illegal to refuse to sell.

Swimming pool and lounge area for share of freehold apartment.Swimming pool and lounge area for share of freehold apartment.

Is share of freehold better than leasehold?

Share of leasehold is better than freehold if you are unhappy with how your building is being run. It can also be cheaper to renew leases on leasehold properties once you have control of the freehold. However, many leaseholders are happy to allow their landlords to run their building and pay the relevant fees for ground rent, service charges, etc.

Can flats be sold freehold?

Flats can be sold ‘freehold’, i.e.: the buyer owns the flat but not the land it is built on, or any of the communal areas of the building it fits into. ‘Freehold flats’ are basically the same as regular flats, except that they have no leasehold title.

While this sounds good in theory – no leasehold-related charges – there are issues with this arrangement. Most mortgage lenders will not offer mortgage deals on freehold flats. The issue here is the lack of a clear legal obligation or agreement when it comes to carrying out repairs to the wider building. Bear this in mind before entering into a freehold flat sales negotiation.

Can you rent out share of freehold?

You can rent out properties with a share of freehold. This can be done just like you would a normal freehold or leasehold property.

Do I still have to pay service charges?

You and the other leaseholders in your building will set the service charges and ground rent for your building. As there are usually costs associated with communal areas, lifts and other parts of the building used by all residents, you will still need to share out the service charge to those residents, including yourself.

Do you pay ground rent if you have share of freehold?

Unless it is otherwise stated in your share of freehold agreement, you will still have to pay ground rent and other fees associated with leasehold properties, such as service charges. This is because you are still living in the property on a leasehold basis.

On the plus side, leasehold residents with share of freehold agreements are far less vulnerable to overcharging on ground rent. Their stake in the freehold means that they have more control over the management of communal areas. If the management company charges too much, it is much easier to replace them if you have a share of freehold.

Should I extend my lease or buy share of freehold?

Qualifying leaseholders have the right to extend their lease or join forces with other leaseholders to purchase the freehold under the 1993 Leasehold Reform Act. This is called ‘collective enfranchisement’.

The process can be very complex, which means you will need to consult with an RICS surveyor and leasehold solicitor. There are also requirements you will need to meet, such as:

  • At least half of all flat owners must be leaseholders and want to buy the freehold
  • In the case of a building of just two flats, both leaseholders must want to purchase the freehold
  • At least two-thirds of leaseholders must hold long leases, for example, 21 years

If you are successful you will need to create a freehold company (usually a Limited entity) and arrange who will run it.

How does a limited company for share of freehold work?

Limited companies made up of share of freeholders are designed to let all the participating members decide how their building will be maintained, renovated and run. The members come together to decide on things like whether or not to carry out certain works, leasehold extension issues, and other minor issues that crop up.

The main purpose of a limited company in this situation is to give all the share of freeholders a stake in the management of their building. It lets them share their priorities, preferences and concerns while working together with their fellow freeholders.

Is a limited company for share of freehold worth it?

If you have the time and knowledge, setting up a limited company for share of freehold on your building can definitely be worth it. If you and your fellow residents feel that you are not being well represented by the management company, this allows you to handle it yourselves.

On the plus side, this can lead to significant cost reductions as you no longer have to pay an annual service charge to a management company or other outside agent. However, as freeholders, you will still have to cover the costs of any necessary maintenance works and other issues that may occur. Also, managing the building directly means meeting on a semi-regular basis (perhaps every 3-6 months) and dedicating a lot of time to handling matters that are agreed upon.

Ultimately, you have to decide if the money you can save is likely to be worth the time investment.

Is it harder to get a mortgage with share of freehold?

It’s possible to get a mortgage for a share of freehold property, but there are some potential complications. Some lenders are cautious about providing mortgages for share of freehold properties owing to the unexpected costs that can occur with this type of property.

Other lenders are more comfortable taking on the risk, though, so make sure you shop around for the best mortgage deal. Buying a flat with a very long lease, and ensuring there’s a management company in place at the property can help to reduce the concerns of lenders and make them more likely to offer you a deal.

Will there be any change to share of freehold rules in 2024?

Even though the King’s Speech in November 2023 outlined further outlined reforms to the leasehold and freehold systems, actual change is still slow to materialise. Currently, there are no actionable plans to change the share of freehold rules in 2024. The Law Commission’s work is currently underway, and a new raft of suggestions are anticipated for mid 2024.

Update: Leasehold and Freehold reform Act becomes law

On May 24th, 2024, the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act finally received royal assent and was signed into law. The biggest and most important changes involve making it cheaper and easier to extend your lease or buy the freehold. The main elements of the act include:

  • Standardising lease extensions to 990 years.
  • All new leasehold agreements will have a peppercorn ground rent. I.e.: The freeholder cannot charge ground rent.
  • Provisions for more transparency on service charges, making them easier to understand and challenge legally.
  • Provisions to make it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to take over the management of their building.
  • Banning the sale of new leasehold properties. I.e.: Every new house built in England and Wales will now be freehold.

These changes affect leaseholders who may want to secure share of freehold, as they materially impact on the legal costs of owning, extension and changing leasehold agreements. More revisions and suggestions on how to extend the law (and make it better and fairer for leaseholders) are still being reviewed. The expansion of this act will likely have to wait until the next general election is concluded on 4th July 2024.

Useful links

If you need to learn more about any of the FAQs listed above, the following links are a good place to start:

HomeViews is the only independent review platform for residential developments in the UK. Prospective buyers and tenants use it to make an informed decision on where to live based on insights from carefully verified resident reviews. Part of Rightmove since February 2024, we’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to give residents a voice, recognise high performers and to help improve standards across the industry.



real estate

10 best places to live in North West London


Looking for a quieter, calmer version of London living? You’ll find it in the northwestern part of the capital. We take a look at the 10 best places to live in North West London and discover that there are more than a few surprises in store. Affluent, inviting and packed with opportunities for quasi-village living, North West London’s areas are still surprisingly diverse.

Let’s review the main areas of North West London before diving into our top-rated developments. These are the best places to live in this part of the capital, as voted by HomeViews verified reviewers.

10 best new homes developments in North West London

Our rankings below list the 10 highest-rated developments in North West London. These scores are determined purely by verified residents on HomeViews, i.e. the people who actually live there. Residents provide independent reviews on every aspect of living in their new home. Review categories include facilities, design, location, value and management. Take a look to find your perfect North West London home.

*PLEASE NOTE these rankings take into account how recently reviews have been submitted, so may not match the overall star ratings shown. More recent reviews are given a greater weighting to reflect current building performance.

Image of The Palm House, HA3

In green and serene Harrow, just a 12 minute train from Euston, you’ll find The Palm House. It’s filled with fully-furnished studio apartments and shared spaces, each designed for an effortless living experience. Here, you can enjoy an onsite co-working space, gym, cinema, cafe and two panoramic roof terraces, all included in your monthly rent. You can meet your neighbours and get stuck in at daily events, from boxing classes to wine tasting masterclasses.

The Palm House is a recent addition to the HomeViews review lists but it has very quickly shot into the number one slot for North West London, attracting more than 50 glowing reviews!

Read reviews and details of The Palm House, HA3

Image of The Quarters Swiss Cottage, NW3Image of The Quarters Swiss Cottage, NW3

Taking second place, The Quarters Swiss Cottage accommodates 102 self-contained spacious units for short-term stays. Guests can enjoy a range of services and amenities, including in house maintenance and housekeeping. Similarly, Finchley Road station is less than a minute’s walk away, meaning easy access to transport links. Likewise, there is a great selection of shops, restaurants, bars and outdoor space close by.

Read reviews and details of The Quarters Swiss Cottage, NW3

Image of Madison, Wembley Park, HA9Image of Madison, Wembley Park, HA9

Recently jumping up to number 3, Madison is a Build to Rent development in Wembley, close to Wembley Stadium. Quintain Living’s eighth development contains 381 rental homes. Madison is sophisticated and exudes ‘Mad men’ cool. Its interiors combine a range of mid-century modern and contemporary design influences and it overlooks and opens out onto the leafy Union Park. Living here is so much more than just your apartment.

Read reviews and details of Madison, Wembley Park, HA9

Image of L&Q at Colindale Gardens Private Rental, NW9Image of L&Q at Colindale Gardens Private Rental, NW9

Sitting in fourth place is L&Q at Colindale Gardens. This popular rental-only development comprises 211 apartments, which ranges from one, two and three-bedrooms. Residents benefit from an on-site concierge, a private balcony and from being only a 10-minute walk from Colindale station, which is serviced by the Northern line.

Read reviews and details of L&Q at Colindale Gardens Private Rental, NW9

Image of Edgwarebury Manor, HA8Image of Edgwarebury Manor, HA8

Hitting fifth place right out of the gate, Edgwarebury Manor is relative newcomer with plenty of happy residents offering excellent reviews. The development is a private gated family housing setup offering 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes, as well as 1 and 2 bed apartments. As well as being close to plenty of green spaces, Central London is also an easy 30 minutes away.

Read reviews and details of Edgwarebury Manor, HA8

In sixth, Eden House is located at Lowlands Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, where the newly renovated building offers 73 luxury apartments. The development features 1 to 4 bedroom apartments, available furnished or unfurnished for long-term letting. Each apartment is designed with ample storage, quality furniture, and superb kitchens and bathrooms featuring Siemens appliances. Key features include in-built Sonos speakers and some flats have outside spaces. It’s conveniently close to Harrow town centre and the station, providing easy access to Central London in as little as 16 minutes​.

Read reviews and details of Eden House, HA1

Image of The Quarters Kilburn, NW6Image of The Quarters Kilburn, NW6

Taking the number seven spot in our best places to live in North West London is The Quarters Kilburn. This HomeViews award-winning rental only development in the heart of Kilburn has 82 self-contained studios. Little Venice, Abbey Road, Regent’s Park and Lord’s Cricket Ground are all nearby, while the development is just five minutes from Kilburn Park station, giving residents access to central London with Euston only a 7-minute journey away. The Quarters offers a secure, comfortable managed environment and residents love its winning combination of excellent build quality, management team and location.

Read reviews and details of The Quarters Kilburn, NW6

Image of Queens Park Place, NW6Image of Queens Park Place, NW6

Occupying the 8th spot in our rankings, Queen’s Park Place is a new-build development from London Newcastle made up of 116 contemporary apartments and penthouses arranged around private courtyard gardens. It’s neighboured by Queen’s Park station, which offers Bakerloo line services into Paddington Station in less than 10 minutes.

Read reviews and details of Queens Park Place, NW6

Image of Bradstowe House, HA1Image of Bradstowe House, HA1

Ninth-placed Bradstowe House is located in the heart of Harrow, just a short walk from Harrow on the Hill train station. Built by Comer Houses and managed by Greystar, the development houses one and two-bedroom apartments. Along with this, it also features a number of penthouses, all of which are available as rental-only. Residents’ at Bradstowe House have access to an on-site gym, a lounge and a 24hr concierge.

Read reviews and details of Bradstowe House, HA1

Image of Uncle Wembley, HA9Image of Uncle Wembley, HA9

The final spot in our rankings goes to Uncle Wembley, which comprises 239 one, two and three bedroom apartments in Wembley. Residents here benefit from a private gym, wellness room, roof terrace and from it being pet-friendly. The development is also just a 4-minute walk from Wembley Central Station, as well as various local amenities.

Read reviews and details of Uncle Wembley, HA9

Living in North West London

The North West of London has undergone a lot of change in recent years, with more on the way as London’s outer zones become increasingly desirable. While prices across the UK started to stagnate in 2023, those in North West continued to creep up, albeit at a relatively slow rate.

According to Rightmove, the average price for property in North West London was around £855,000 in June 2024. With prices creeping up, young professional renters are arriving in increasing numbers.

A big part of the attraction of North West London is its blend of rural and city living. Many areas feature beautiful green spaces and village lifestyles, combined with the benefits of excellent access to central London.

North West London areas

Hampstead, Belsize Park and St John’s Wood make up the most prominent ‘village living’ areas of North West London. Between them, they offer up some of the best parkland and leafy suburbs in the city, particularly Hampstead Heath. St John’s Wood is also where Lord’s Cricket Ground – the sport’s spiritual home – is located.

While country walks and cricket matches have plenty of appeal, there’s excitement here too. The bustling shopping centres and quirky vintage markets of Camden are just the beginning. Camden is as colourful as anywhere in London, and enjoys its well-deserved status as an icon of multicultural coolness.

What is HomeViews?What is HomeViews?

There are also more affordable property prospects in Colindale, which is undergoing a major makeover through urban regeneration programmes. Like Camden, Colindale enjoys an extremely diverse and exciting food and shopping scene, as well as outstanding transport links.


North West LondonNorth West London

For more information on what makes North West London attractive for buyers and renters, explore our full area guide. It features a full list of the best places to live in North West London according to verified resident reviews.

Read more about North West London

HomeViews is the only independent review platform for residential developments in the UK. Prospective buyers and tenants use it to make an informed decision on where to live based on insights from carefully verified resident reviews. Part of Rightmove since February 2024, we’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to give residents a voice, recognise high performers and to help improve standards across the industry.



real estate

10 best places to live in London Docklands


Who knows the Docklands best? The people who live there! Discover the best places to live in London Docklands according to the residents who have watched it evolve. With hundreds of millions of pounds continually being invested in the area’s regeneration, there’s more reason than ever to take a look.

The 10 best places to live in London Docklands – according to residents

Our list of the best places to live in London Docklands is made up of the 10 developments with the highest star ratings from our reviewers. Click on any of the listed developments below to see a breakdown of exactly how residents rate them. You can also read the full list of reviews.

*PLEASE NOTE these rankings take into account how many reviews a scheme has and how recently those reviews have been submitted, so may not match the overall star ratings shown. Buildings with a larger number of more recent reviews are given a greater weighting to reflect current building performance.

Image of 30 Harbord Square, E14

Number one in London’s Docklands area is 30 Harbord Square. This rental development a selection of affordable studios, one, two and three-bedroom apartments at 30 Harbord Square in Canary Wharf. Every apartment has been designed to a high-specification and all residents benefit from waterside views of the Thames or westwards towards Canary Wharf. Residents can discover Canary Wharf’s latest neighbourhood, Wood Wharf, and a buzzing residential community set within acres of parks, overlooking the O2 and Greenwich.

Read reviews and details of 30 Harbord Square, E14

Image of Sailmakers, E14Image of Sailmakers, E14

Residents at second-placed Sailmakers’ say they enjoy the great views, convenient location and wide range of facilities on offer, including pool, gym, pool tables, quiet areas, terraces and more. Situated within Harbour Central on the Isle of Dogs, Sailmakers’ is within 5 minutes’ walk of the DLR and less than a 10-minute walk from the heart of Canary Wharf.

Read reviews and details of Sailmakers, E14

Image of Wardian London, E14Image of Wardian London, E14

In third, named after renowned botanist Nathanial Bagshaw Ward, Wardian London is a unique residential development from EcoWorld and Ballymore, and designed by Glenn Howells. The development offers one and two-bedroom apartments and a collection of suites, all close to Canary Wharf’s Jubilee line, DLR, Thames Clipper services and London City Airport. Residents routinely give top scores for the development’s design, complimenting the architecture, interior design and added touches such as the fresh flowers on display in the communal areas.

Read reviews and details of Wardian London, E14

Image of The Liberty Building, E14Image of The Liberty Building, E14
The Liberty Building is a residential development from Telford Homes, It features one, two and three-bedroom apartments and a penthouse. There are 155 units here (30% affordable) in a trio of ‘cluster’ towers that dominate the Canary Wharf skyline. Also, residents will have access to enviable transport links to the City, Stratford and the West […] Read reviews and details of The Liberty Building, E14
Image of Manhattan Plaza, E14Image of Manhattan Plaza, E14
Manhattan Plaza is a collection of one, two and three-bedroom luxury apartments from Telford Homes. Set in Canary Wharf, it is close to the area’s Jubilee and DLR services. Also, the 02 Arena is easy to get to. In addition, booming Stratford is nearby, home to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East Village and the […] Read reviews and details of Manhattan Plaza, E14
Image of Newfoundland, E14Image of Newfoundland, E14
Newfoundland is the tallest build-to-rent building in London and a new iconic addition to Canary Wharf. Rising 58 storeys above the River Thames, it offers carefully designed apartments for rent with expansive views of the City or the Estate. VERTUS+ provides residents with access to amenity spaces, a curated events programme, and perks from Canary […] Read reviews and details of Newfoundland, E14
Image of 10 George Street, E14Image of 10 George Street, E14

Our seventh London Docklands development is 10 George Street, which rises 37 storeys above Canary Wharf’s new district, Wood Wharf. There are 327 ultramodern apartments available, all overlooking waterside gardens and boardwalks below. In addition, residents have exclusive access to “Club Vertus.” This includes access to a 24/7 gym studio, self-service bar, private dining room and lounge which opens out onto a large, south-facing terrace. Residents love this mix of exceptional on-site facilities and easy access to the thriving Canary Wharf scene.

Read reviews and details of 10 George Street, E14

Image of Baltimore Wharf, E14Image of Baltimore Wharf, E14

Taking eighth place, Baltimore Wharf is a mixed-use development from Galliard Homes, comprising residential units, retail outlets and a luxury hotel. There are 1-2-bedroom apartments, premium duplexes and penthouses on offer here. The development is moments from the Crossharbour DLR Station and Canary Wharf is less than a 10-minute walk away.

Read reviews and details of Baltimore Wharf, E14

Image of Ability Place, E14Image of Ability Place, E14

Ability Place takes ninth position, and residents say that there’s everything you need on your doorstep, from the on-site spa and gym to the great mix of local restaurants, playgrounds and shops. All of this is backed up by solid transport links in the form of the nearby Jubilee Line link via Canary Wharf and the extensive bus network connections.

Read reviews and details of Ability Place, E14

Image of New Union Wharf, E14Image of New Union Wharf, E14

Our final spot goes to New Union Wharf, a development in the heart of a vibrant riverside community on the Isle of Dogs. The scheme provides a mix of apartments and maisonettes arranged around shared podium courtyards. Additionally, most of the units here have views across the River Thames.

Read reviews and details of New Union Wharf, E14

Where are the Docklands in London?

The London Docklands constitute nine square miles of riverfront, ranging across the diverse boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Newham, and Greenwich. It was one of the worst poverty-stricken areas of the capital in the 1980s. But, thanks to 30 years of urban regeneration efforts, they are completely renovated and revitalised. This multi-decade effort has really changed the Docklands’ fortunes for the better.

What happened to London Docklands?

Seeing beyond the derelict sprawl, private investors and successive government initiatives have turned wasted land into thriving communities. Today, you can see the carefully planned blending of the old and new. Neighbourhoods like Canary Wharf, the Isle of Dogs, Limehouse, Wapping and Woolwich have created beautiful cityscapes of modern architecture, while at the same time retaining much of their historical roots and charm.

What’s it like to live in London Docklands?

The Docklands are constantly changing, as expansion projects and ongoing property development build on previous successes. Currently, the area offers a quieter, laid-back riverside lifestyle, but with plenty to keep you occupied.

There’s a thriving cafe, bar and restaurant scene, with a slightly more relaxed nightlife offering. You can also find good schools aplenty here, with more on the way. Fortunately, transport links are also steadily improving, with the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) undergoing ambitious expansion plans.

This makes the area most appealing to families and young professionals. With a widening range of properties available at appealing prices, solid commuter links and plenty of local colour, the London Docklands are attracting new residents with increasing confidence.

What are average property prices in London Docklands like in 2023?

At the time of writing (October 2023), the average selling price for London Docklands property is around £559,000. This is according to Zoopla’s latest sales data. There isn’t a vast price range either – flats go for about £531,000 while semi-detached and detached properties have averages of £707,000 and £793,000 respectively.

Simply put, London Docklands is an expensive, desirable area that still has a serious upward trajectory on property prices. You’re not going to find cheap options here, but there may be cost-effective and competitively priced properties for those with a careful, patient approach.


Interested in knowing more about how the TFL expansion plans will affect the London Docklands? Click here. We also have guides to the best places to live in Canary Wharf and other East London areas.

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, landlords and the Government to recognise high performers and help to improve standards in the built environment.



real estate

10 best private schools in London and where to live nearby


Discover the 10 best private schools in London according to the 2023 League Tables for A-Levels results. With each school, we suggest family-friendly areas close by, and provide resident reviews of available homes there. Find the perfect school for your child and the ideal home for your family, all in one go!

London maintains one of the UK’s highest concentrations of the best private schools in the country. Our top 10 list below is based on the percentage of A or A* grades achieved at A-Level in 2023. You can view the full 2023 London Independent Schools league tables here.

Browse through the top 10 schools below. Attached to each ranking is a dedicated area guide for more information and new homes available nearby.

*Please note that in 2021, students did not sit public examinations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Grades were awarded by teachers according to strictly controlled internal assessment criteria.

Best private schools in London

1. St Paul’s Girls School

87.83% A-A*

Going straight to the head of the class, the top position of the best private schools in London for 2023 is St Paul’s Girls’ School in Brook Green, Hammersmith. The day school for girls achieved an impressive 87.83% A or A* for A-Levels in 2023.

St Paul’s was founded in 1904 as a complement to the boys’ school that dates back to the sixteenth century. Gustav Holst and Herbert Howells were former Directors of Music at the school. Famous alumni of the school include the former Acting Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman, comedian Jennifer Saunders and actors Rachel Weisz and Misha Barton.

HammersmithHammersmith

Ideally located for parents of children at St Paul’s Girls School, Hammersmith combines all the benefits of convenient access to central London, the City and the M4 with a leafy, relaxed environment. Its residential side streets and high-end newer developments sit comfortably alongside its excellent shopping and leisure options.

Read more about Hammersmith ?>

4.55

Average Location Score

2. City of London School for Girls

85.63% A-A*

A close runner-up, and located in the heart of the City of London’s popular and iconic Barbican development, City of London School for Girls is home to 671 day pupils aged 11 to 18. The school achieved 85.63% A-A* grades at A-level in 2023, with a near-perfect 94.90% achieving A or A* at GCSE level.

City of LondonCity of London
If you’re after a home with bags of character in a peaceful neighbourhood, look away now. The City of London or, ‘Square Mile’, made for those who want to work and play hard. The streets given over to glossy high-rise buildings and very little Read more about City of London ?>

4.57

Average Location Score

3. St Paul’s School

85.10% A-A*

Third on our list is St Paul’s School in Barnes, South West London. The school posted a 85.10% rate of A or A* results in 2023. St Paul’s sits on a leafy 43-acre site beside the Thames.

Despite its location, the school is connected to St Paul’s Cathedral, having been founded by the Dean of the Cathedral in 1509. Notable former pupils (known as ‘Old Paulines’) include diarist Samuel Pepys, writer G.K. Chesterton and the former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Borough of Richmond upon ThamesBorough of Richmond upon Thames
Consistently voted one of Britain’s happiest places to live, Richmond Upon Thames is an affluent residential district. And why wouldn’t its residents be smiling from ear to ear? This Zone 4 London borough connects to hotspots like Clapham Junction and Victoria. But, with its Read more about Borough of Richmond upon Thames ?>

4.57

Average Location Score

4. Westminster School

84.82% A-A*

This historic co-educational school lies in the heart of Westminster, just moments from Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster. With such a prestigious and inspiring location, it’s perhaps unsurprising the school regularly features near the top of the league tables.

In 2023, 84.82% of pupils achieved A or A* grades at A-level. This is in addition to impressive GCSE scores, where 96.30% achieved maximum grades.

Borough of WestminsterBorough of Westminster
You’ll spot scenes of Westminster on most London postcards, and it’s little wonder. After all, this place hosts riverside icons like the House of Lords, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Not to mention the black taxis and scarlet phone boxes synonymous with England’s capital. Read more about Borough of Westminster ?>

4.60

Average Location Score

5. James Allen’s Girls’ School

82.85% A-A*

Hitting the middle spot on this prestigious list, James Allen’s (JAGS) is one of the most sought-after girls’ schools in the capital. Sitting pretty across a glorious 22-acre site in Dulwich, it also enjoys easy access to the rest of South London via excellent transport links. JAGS has a diverse student body, and the focus is to encourage intellectual curiosity through a wide range of extra-curricular activities.

Borough of SouthwarkBorough of Southwark
Southwark is nestled on the South Bank of the Thames, and among its luxury riverside apartments and ultra-modern offices, are some of London’s biggest icons. This area is rich in culture, architecture and entertainment, charming millions of visitors (and residents) each year. For the Read more about Borough of Southwark

6. Highgate School

85.04% A-A*

Climbing up from 8th place in 2022 to 6th in 2023, with results of 82.83% A-A* at A-Level, Highgate School is a co-educational day school with a history dating back to 1565.

Founded by Sir Roger Cholmeley, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth the First, Highgate School has grown from educating 40 male scholars to 1,400 boys and girls today. It’s also closely connected to Tottenham Hotspur FC, the school’s principal business sponsor.

Its former pupils call themselves Cholmeleians or Old Cholmeleians (OCs), after Sir Roger Cholmeley. They include Poet Laureates Sir John Betjeman and Nicholas Rowe, composer Simon Bainbridge and film director Adrian Lyne.

Borough of IslingtonBorough of Islington
Islington is a borough of many faces. Its mish-mash of neighbourhoods each have their own distinct personality, from the urban bars and pubs of Angel to the chintzy antique stores of Camden Passage. Its properties have many guises, too – there are in-the-thick-of-it luxury Read more about Borough of Islington ?>

4.56

Average Location Score

7. King’s College School

Kings College School WimbledonKings College School Wimbledon

82.61% A-A*

King’s College School in Wimbledon is ranked at number 7 in 2023. This boys’ day school was founded by Royal Charter in 1829 and includes nearly 80 acres of grounds and sports fields, both on the main school site and nearby.

The school enjoyed a successful 2023, climbing into the top 10 in London with a success rate at A-level of 82.61%. An impressive 98.07% of pupils reached the maximum grades at GCSE level.

South West LondonSouth West London
There’s been a huge resurgence in South West London’s property scene of late, namely because this is an area of the capital with so much potential. The term ‘something for everyone’ is thrown around wildly, but in South West London’s case it’s actually justified. Read more about South West London

8. Alleyn’s School – Dulwich

78.42% A-A*

In 8th, Alleyn’s is a co-educational day school that’s another top performer in the leafy, affluent suburb of Dulwich in South East London. 2023 saw its senior students perform admirably with over three quarters achieving the top grads A*-A. There are around 1000 students in the senior school from age 11-18, though the school started out with just 12 children back when it was founded in 1605. The campus is an inviting blend of architectural styles, and boasts a sizeable theatre, indoor swimming pool and large sports hall.

South East LondonSouth East London
South East London stretches from SE1 down to SE20, encompassing the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark. Such a huge slice of the capital naturally has lots of different guises and offerings; from out-of-this-world dining scenes to riverside living and everything Read more about South East London

9. Godolphin & Latymer School

78.20% A-A*

Godolphin & Latymer School climbs up to the 9th spot on our list with 78.20% A-A* A-level grades in 2023. The school is located in Hammersmith, West London and was given the title of Independent Secondary School of the Year for 2020 by The Sunday Times.

The school’s history dates back to 1707, but the school moved to its current site on Iffley Road in 1862. Notable former students include actress Kate Beckinsale, singer Sophie Ellis-Bexter and journalist and broadcaster Nigella Lawson.

HammersmithHammersmith
As a place to live, Hammersmith W6 combines all the benefits of convenient access to central London, the City and the M4, with a leafy, relaxed environment. Its residential side streets and high-end newer developments sit comfortably with excellent shopping and leisure options. These Read more about Hammersmith

10. City of London School for Boys

76.40% A-A*

City of London School for Boys was established in 1834 and has sat in its current site between the Thames and St. Paul’s Cathedral since 1986. The school has excellent facilities on-site, including an indoor swimming pool, while there are also playing fields in nearby Grove Park.

There are 878 day pupils at the school. 2023 results included 76.40% of pupils achieving A or A* at A-level, as well as 92.40% achieving top marks at GCSE.

City of LondonCity of London
If you’re after a home with bags of character in a peaceful neighbourhood, look away now. The City of London or, ‘Square Mile’, made for those who want to work and play hard. The streets given over to glossy high-rise buildings and very little Read more about City of London ?>

4.57

Average Location Score

As you can see from the list, the competitive standard among these top-ranking schools is incredibly high. Students at 2023’s top-achieving private school – St Paul’s Girls School – managed a remarkable 87.83% of A-Level grades at A or A*. Our list includes both day and boarding options, as well as girls’, boys’ and several co-ed schools. With this range of admissions options, and different London areas, you should be able to find the ideal school for your children.

FAQs on London Schools

Which part of London has the best schools overall?

If you’re talking about all London schools’ aggregated scores as awarded by Ofsted, then Harrow is the top-performing London borough. 38% of schools in Harrow have an ‘outstanding’ rating.

Which London borough has the most grammar schools?

Bexley is the London borough with the most grammar schools, boasting no fewer than four. All of them have an exemplary reputation, making Bexley a hub for grammar school excellence.

Is London a good city for university education?

London is one of the best cities in the world for providing a university education. It has 18 universities in total. Many of them rank within the top 100 universities in the world. Two of them rank within the top 10! These are at Imperial College London number 7 globally, and University College London (UCL) in joint 8th.

Where are the best universities in London?

If you’re seriously thinking beyond secondary school and into higher education, you may want to know where to look for the best universities in London.

Like many of the best private schools London offers, many of the best London universities are located centrally. Imperial College is located in South Kensington, while UCL’s main campus is in the Bloomsbury area. LSE (London School of Economics) is located in the borough of Camden and Westminster. City University’s main campus is in Islington.

However, you can find many of them spread a little further out. For example, you’ll find King’s College in Southwark. Also, many of the top London universities maintain key buildings outside central London.

FAQs on UK Private Schools

What is a private school?

In the UK, a private school, also known as an independent school, is a school that is not financially supported by the government. Instead, it supports itself by charging fees to its students. Private schools do not have to follow the national curriculum, and they do not use catchment areas when offering places to students.

Who can go to a private school?

Different private schools have different selection criteria when deciding who will be offered a place. Most private schools have entrance exams that they require applicants to take. An application may also involve a face-to-face interview with the headteacher or relevant staff members. Performing well on these tests and interviews should be enough to secure a place. The other main criterion is being able to afford the school’s termly fees.

Private schools generally do not make placement offers based on:

  • Where you live
  • Your nationality (international students are allowed to attend private schools)
  • Your religion (if the school is secular. There are many faith-based private schools in the UK)

What types of private schools are there in the UK?

The main types of private schools in the UK are:

  • Pre-Prep Schools – For children aged 4-7
  • Prep Schools – For children aged 8-11 or 8-13
  • Senior Schools – For children aged 8-11 or 13-16 or 18, depending on whether they offer a Sixth Form
  • All-Through Schools – For children aged 3-16 or 18 (Sixth Form depending)
  • Private Sixth Form Colleges – For students aged 16-18

UK private schools may be single sex or coeducational, faith-based or secular. Some are purely for day pupils or boarders, while many offer both options.

How much does private school cost?

In 2022-2023, the average private school fees across the UK were £15,200. If you are boarding at private school, the cost is substantially higher at just over £37,000 per year. If you look at “per term” averages, the cost is now at £6,944 for day pupils, and £12,344 for boarders.

How many students attend private school in the UK?

The proportion of students attending private schools has remained steady for the past 20 years, at around 6–7%. There are about 560,000–570,000 privately schooled students in England. In some parts of the UK, this concentration is higher. In Edinburgh, for example, about 25% of all school-aged children go to private school.

Is private school worth it in the UK?

Whether private schooling in the UK is worth the fees is a difficult question to answer. Private schools objectively offer their students more resources and facilities than state-based schools. If you take the 2022-2023 average private school fees of £15,200, this is nearly 90% higher than state-school spending per pupil for that year, which was £8,000.

While private schools have operating costs to cover, this spending gap means privately schooled children almost always gain access to a greater range (and better quality) of physical resources than state-schooled children. They also tend to experience significantly smaller class sizes, and more individual attention from their teachers.

However, lots of studies and anecdotal stories suggest that the benefits of private schooling do not match the constantly rising level of fees. They suggest that children can do as well, if not better, in a state-schooled environment. Their message is that “expensive does not automatically mean better“.

Ultimately, every parent must decide if the private school in question is the right fit for their child or children. Then they must decide if the cost is worth the supposed benefit.

What is HomeViews?What is HomeViews?

How to find the best schools in London

There are plenty of tools out there to help you find the best schools in London, or any part of the UK for that matter. The first place to look is the UK Government’s school finder. It lists the details of state and public schools in England, along with their performance and overall Ofsted rating.

My Top Schools provides listings and rankings of UK private schools based on exam results. It enables you to search and filter by different types of private school, including by the cost of fees, gendered schools and boarding schools. Best schools is another useful source of advice on the UK’s independent schools.

Finally, the Sunday Times Parent Power guide gives extensive advice and guidance on UK state and public schools. You’ll have to be a subscriber for full access, but you can also find the rankings published elsewhere on the internet.


Good luck finding your ideal choice among the best private schools London has to offer. Check back regularly for updates on the best places to live in London in terms of great school/university access.

HomeViews is the only independent review platform for residential developments in the UK. Prospective buyers and tenants use it to make an informed decision on where to live based on insights from carefully verified resident reviews. Part of Rightmove since February 2024, we’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to give residents a voice, recognise high performers and to help improve standards across the industry.



real estate

Top 10 best places to live in London


London attracts people from all over the world for its world-leading industry, rich culture and diverse, fast-paced lifestyle. But which areas of London are the best to live in? Read on to discover the top 10 best places to live in London, according to thousands of ratings from verified residents on HomeViews.

What are these rankings based on?

HomeViews constantly collects reviews of new property developments in the UK, with residents rating every aspect of their home. Factors being rated range from the home’s location, to the quality of its facilities, its management team, and, of course, its overall value for money.

For this list, we’ve focused on the location aspect. Your home’s location is always a critical factor, as it determines what you can access easily. Are public transport links a priority? Or is it the local schools, shops and cultural scene that interests you more. Whatever you’re seeking, you’ve got to find the right location for it.

The following top 10 list covers the best places to live in London in terms of their location-based scores from verified reviewers. We compiled location ratings from over 6,300 reviews gathered between July 2022 and June 2023 to find the top 10 best London boroughs to live in.

10 best places to live in London

A quick note before we start. Data from our Location Ratings Report 2023 shows that London just sneaked into the top 10 GB regions, placing at number 10. The average location rating given by reviewers living in London was a respectable 4.35 out of 5. Nearby regions only did slightly better – 4.43 on average for the East of England, and 4.44 for South East England. Scotland is currently still at the top of the table, with an enviable average of 4.71.

For now, London is still a highly desirable place to live when it comes to finding ideal locations that suit all manner of budgets and priorities. For a more detailed look, let’s dive into the different boroughs and see which ones come out on top.

1. Islington

Continuing its climb in recent years, Islington is now the top-rated London borough for location scores, hitting 4.55 out of 5. A borough of many faces, its mish-mash of neighbourhoods each have their own distinct personality, from the urban bars and pubs of Angel to the chintzy antique stores of Camden Passage. Its properties have many guises, too – there are in-the-thick-of-it luxury apartments, and period townhouses sitting shoulder to shoulder on sleepy backstreets.

Location rating:

4.55 out of 5

Average property price:

£846,896

Average rent:

£3,250 PCM

Borough of IslingtonBorough of Islington
Islington is a borough of many faces. Its mish-mash of neighbourhoods each have their own distinct personality, from the urban bars and pubs of Angel to the chintzy antique stores of Camden Passage. Its properties have many guises, too – there are in-the-thick-of-it luxury Read more about Borough of Islington

2. Hillingdon

Close on the heels of Islington with a score of 4.53 is Hillingdon. It’s not surprising that the largest and westernmost borough in West London maintains consistently high location scores, as it enjoys excellent transport links into central London and out into the greener delights of the home counties. Its towns of Hayes, Uxbridge and Ruislip are all solid performers and it doesn’t hurt to have Heathrow Airport on its doorstep.

Location rating:

4.53 out of 5

Average property price:

£541,114

Average rent:

£2,000 PCM

HillingdonHillingdon
If you are looking to buy a home in London, the Borough of Hillingdon may be the perfect place for you. Located in west London, Hillingdon is a large borough that encompasses urban, suburban and rural areas. There are plenty of things to do Read more about Hillingdon

3. Waltham Forest

Located in North East London, Waltham Forest is our third highest-rated London location, with an average rating of 4.51 out of 5. Waltham Forest is one of the largest boroughs in the city. It comprises several distinct areas, each with its own unique charms. The population of the borough is diverse and vibrant, making it a great place to live.

Location rating:

4.51 out of 5

Average property price:

£555,786

Average rent:

£1,795 PCM

Borough of Waltham ForestBorough of Waltham Forest
If you’re considering purchasing a home in The London Borough of Waltham Forest, you’ll want to read this guide first! We’ll cover everything from the area’s demographics to the top schools in the borough. Waltham Forest is located in northeast London and is one Read more about Borough of Waltham Forest

4. Newham

Climbing from 17th in 2022 all the way up to 4th position is Newham, a small inner East London borough that continues to attract new residents along with top location marks due to its fast pace of life, highly diverse culture and dynamic plans for building an even better future. With urban regeneration projects aplenty and consistently popular areas such as Stratford and Canning Town, Newham has a lot to offer.

Location rating:

4.51 out of 5

Average property price:

£453,191

Average rent:

£2,000 PCM

Borough of NewhamBorough of Newham
If you are looking for a place to call home in London, the Borough of Newham is a great option. It is located in east London and has plenty to offer residents. In this guide, we will take a closer look at what makes Read more about Borough of Newham

5. Barnet

At number 5 (with a score of 4.48) it’s another high climber, as Barnet was ranked 28th in 2022. Barnet sits on the Northern outskirts of London, but it’s still incredibly well connected by bus, rail and underground. Other location-based benefits include excellent schooling options at the primary and secondary levels, great shopping and nightlife, and a culinary culture to die for.

Location rating:

4.48 out of 5

Average property price:

£798,098

Average rent:

£2,700 PCM

Borough of BarnetBorough of Barnet
London is a city of contrasts, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the boroughs. The borough of Barnet has a suburban feel with its leafy streets lined with houses and gardens. You’ll find many parks and green spaces in the area, along Read more about Borough of Barnet

6. Tower Hamlets

Sitting on the north bank of the Thames, Tower Hamlets is our 6th top-rated borough for location, with an average review score of 4.45. While the borough has ongoing issues to tackle, it’s an up and comer with plenty to offer all manner of renters and buyers. It’s also home to the invariably popular Canary Wharf, an area that routinely gets perfect or near-perfect location scores from reviewers thanks to its gorgeous views, outstanding new property developments and unbeatable transport links.

Location rating:

4.45 out of 5

Average property price:

£560,247

Average rent:

£2,920 PCM

Borough of Tower HamletsBorough of Tower Hamlets
Diverse, vibrant and with its finger well and truly on the pulse – that’s London’s Tower Hamlets. It’s what we like to call the Selfridges of the capital’s boroughs, in that it truly offers something for everyone. Art lover? Foodie? Or Fitness fanatic? Read Read more about Borough of Tower Hamlets

7. Wandsworth

Next up at number 7, the South West borough of Wandsworth has a locational average score of 4.43. One of the reasons it’s so beloved is that it has a wide range of community “hubs”, each with its own green spaces and general vibe. Clapham is a perennial favourite location, given its trendy, relaxed and green living credentials. Tooting is more bustling and diverse, with plenty of character and charm. This is just the tip of the iceberg with this fascinating borough.

Location rating:

4.43 out of 5

Average property price:

£904,512

Average rent:

£2,900 PCM

Borough of WandsworthBorough of Wandsworth
Welcome to Wandsworth, a leafy, south-west London borough overlooking the River Thames. It’s right opposite Fulham and, while the area has plenty in common with its affluent neighbour, living here is notably kinder on the bank balance. Read on to discover developments that are Read more about Borough of Wandsworth

8. Southwark

Southwark achieved an average score of 4.42, nipping at Wandsworth’s heels! Southwark sits on the River Thames and offers some of the best attractions in the capital, ranging from Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern, not to mention the gorgeous gastronomical experience that is Borough Market.

Location rating:

4.42 out of 5

Average property price:

£718,152

Average rent:

£3,450 PCM

Borough of SouthwarkBorough of Southwark
Southwark is nestled on the South Bank of the Thames, and among its luxury riverside apartments and ultra-modern offices, are some of London’s biggest icons. This area is rich in culture, architecture and entertainment, charming millions of visitors (and residents) each year. For the Read more about Borough of Southwark

9. Croydon

Croydon has a score of 4.34 out of 5, and finds itself in 9th place on our list. There are two great reasons to live in Croydon, these go hand in hand to make it a compelling choice; its relatively cheap property prices and its excellent transport links into Central London. On top of that, numerous initiatives are transforming Croydon and helping make its once dowdy image a thing of the past.

Location rating:

4.34 out of 5

Average property price:

£445,175

Average rent:

£1,650 PCM

CroydonCroydon
There are two great reasons to live in Croydon, these go hand in hand to make it a compelling choice; its relatively cheap property prices and its excellent transport links into Central London. On top of that, numerous initiatives are transforming Croydon and helping Read more about Croydon

10. Haringey

We round off the top 10 with another North London borough, Haringey, with a score of 4.32. It’s an area of contrasts, with its western areas incorporating some of the wealthiest postcodes in the country, as well as other areas in need of investment and improvement. It’s an excellent spot for boutique shops and cafés, particularly if you head down to Finsbury Park, Seven Sisters, Blackstock or Stroud Green.

Location rating:

4.32 out of 5

Average property price:

£743,637

Average rent:

£2,250 PCM

Borough of HaringeyBorough of Haringey
Interested in moving to The London Borough of Haringey? This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the area before making your decision! Located in North London, Haringey is a large borough with plenty to offer prospective home buyers. It is Read more about Borough of Haringey

What’s it like to live in London?

London is a vast, global city with a diverse population of almost 9 million. Subsequently, the city offers something for everyone. Perhaps you’re looking for a slice of authentic urban culture. Maybe the slick, fast-paced rhythms of commercial centres appeal, or it could be a relaxed, family vibe you’re after.

Alternatively, there’s modern city living in Canary Wharf, while diverse Brixton, Hackney and Tottenham offer a global tour of food and culture. Meanwhile, leafy West London boroughs offer a more laid-back pace beside the meandering Thames. Alternatively, in North London, Islington, Camden and St. John’s Wood are playgrounds for the capital’s urbane professionals and fashionistas.

Islington: London’s best-rated location

New build residents gave Islington developments an average location score of 4.55 out of 5. If compared to the regions of the UK, this would place Bromley around sixth place overall, between South West England and Yorkshire and the Humber. This ever-popular central borough offers the best of both worlds. It’s extremely well-connected by rail and road, while it maintains the feel and community spirit of a self-contained town.

Islington’s highest-rated new property developments

Islington’s new build property developments are adding a little something extra to this already popular location. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy in Islington, there are various new buildings and developments to choose from. Take a look at some of the best-rated new homes in Islington below:

Image of Vantage Point, N19Image of Vantage Point, N19
Vantage Point is a Build to Rent development by Essential Living, offering 118 apartments – studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. All Vantage Point residents get access to a range of features and amenities. These include a 24-hour onsite team, a roof terrace, games room and exercise room. In addition, the development is above Archway London […] Read reviews and details of Vantage Point, N19
Image of Arundel Square, N7Image of Arundel Square, N7
Arundel Square is a United House Development located in Islington. It is comprised of 147 apartments and residents have access to a range of amenities, for example: a concierge, bike storage, parking and gardens. The development is conveniently situated just a few minutes walk from both Highbury and Islington station and Caledonian Road & Barnsbury […] Read reviews and details of Arundel Square, N7
Image of The Eagle, EC1Image of The Eagle, EC1
The Eagle is a Mount Anvil development in the City of London. This high-rise building comprises of both residential units and commercial space. There are 276 apartments here, 70 of which are Family Mosaic affordable housing units. The Eagle is close to Old Street station and an easy walk from the vibrant London neighbourhoods of […] Read reviews and details of The Eagle, EC1
Image of Ashburton Gate, N5Image of Ashburton Gate, N5
Ashburton Gate is a residential development with a unique location next to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, and a short walk from Islington’s popular Upper Street. Residents benefit from excellent transport links via Arsenal Road tube and the Drayton Park Overground, both close to the complex. The development was built by Galliard Homes. Read reviews and details of Ashburton Gate, N5
Image of Queensland Terrace, N7Image of Queensland Terrace, N7
Queensland Terrace is situated in North London, just seconds from the front door of the Emirates stadium, home of Arsenal football team. It is well placed for commuters, with excellent transport links via Holloway Road’s Piccadilly line and Drayton Park’s National Rail services. Read reviews and details of Queensland Terrace, N7
Image of Highbury Square, N5Image of Highbury Square, N5
Highbury Square, N5 is a unique development built from the historic Highbury Stadium, home to Arsenal Football Club from 1913-2006. Although officially referred to as Arsenal Stadium, the ground was more commonly known to fans as Highbury. Developed by Frasers Property, the scheme now comprises 711 studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments. These were built […] Read reviews and details of Highbury Square, N5
Image of Lexicon, EC1Image of Lexicon, EC1
Mount Anvil and Clarion Housing Group partnered to bring Lexicon – also known The Chronicle Tower – to the Islington borough, and its 115 metres and 36 storeys make it the area’s tallest. There are 146 units here – a collection of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, set on City Road by Regent’s Canal, and […] Read reviews and details of Lexicon, EC1
Image of Islington Square, N1Image of Islington Square, N1
Islington Square, by Galliard Homes, is on Almeida Street, just behind Islington’s popular Upper Street. It’s a large, mixed-use development that comprises of residential units, shops, offices and leisure space. Upon completion, the development will house studio flats and apartments that range from one to four bedrooms. Nearby transport hubs include Essex Street train station […] Read reviews and details of Islington Square, N1
Image of Canaletto London, EC1VImage of Canaletto London, EC1V
Canaletto London is a development by Groveworld, which features 190 one, two and three-bedroom apartments and studios in a 31-storey tower. Situated in City Road in Hoxton, the development is less than a ten-minute walk away from Old Street Underground and rail station, with connections to the Northern line and Great Northern rail services. Victoria […] Read reviews and details of Canaletto London, EC1V
Image of Central Square, EC1VImage of Central Square, EC1V
Central Square is developed by Mount Anvil and comprised of 274 studio and one to four-bedroom apartments. It is located in Clerkenwell, just an 11-minute walk from Old Street station which is serviced by the Northern line and Great Northern line trains. Read reviews and details of Central Square, EC1V

London’s lowest-rated location

Barking and Dagenham takes the dubious honour of being voted the worst London location by reviewers on HomeViews. Developments in this sprawling East London borough were rated, on, average, 3.82 out of 5 by residents. This could be testament to the specific location of the new build developments in the area. Otherwise, Barking and Dagenham is a well-connected community on the outskirts of London with prices way below the average for the capital (£400,657 for the 12 months to June 2024).

What are London property prices like?

As of June 2024, the average price of a property in London is just over £762,000. This is based on data from Rightmove from sales over the past 12 months, and prices vary across the city.

Islington, London’s highest-rated location according to reviewers on HomeViews, averages a price of £846,896, though you can find flats in the area for an average of £637,000. Second-placed Hillingdon is well below the average for London, at around £541,000.


Find the best new homes in London

Are you considering London for your property search? If you want an overview of the best new homes in the capital, read our Greater London area guide below. It contains reviews of the best new properties to buy and rent across the city.

Greater LondonGreater London
Greater London is the name of the ceremonial county that covers the London region, excluding the City of London. With a population of over 8.9 million (2018), this 607 square mile area is split into 33 districts that stretch from Hillingdon in the west Read more about Greater London

HomeViews is the only independent review platform for residential developments in the UK. Prospective buyers and tenants use it to make an informed decision on where to live based on insights from carefully verified resident reviews. Part of Rightmove since February 2024, we’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to give residents a voice, recognise high performers and to help improve standards across the industry.



real estate

What does tenants in common mean?


Wondering what ‘Tenants in Common’ means? We answer frequently asked questions about tenants in common, joint tenancy and why property owners might choose these types of agreement. Use the list below to quickly scroll down to the answer you need:

What does tenants in common mean in the UK?

Tenants in common are co-owners of a property where each person owns a specific share of that property. This is typically two people who own an equal 50% share each. However, up to four people can own a property as tenants in common, and shares do not have to be split equally.

What legal rights do tenants in common have?

Typically, tenants in common have the right to independently sell their individual shares in a property. They can also mortgage it or leave it in a will to any person they choose. Agreements are designed to offer flexibility to all common tenants, maximising the utility of the property.

What is the advantage of being tenants in common?

Owning a property as tenants in common allows each person with a share to control what happens to their share. Couples who are not married or in a civil partnership can also pass their property to children in two halves. This means making use of both partners’ inheritance tax allowance. Below are two examples to show how this might be useful.

Example 1

A married couple each have children from previous marriages. By owning their home under tenancy in common they can each make sure those children inherit their share of the property, as long as they have written this into their Will.

Example 2

An elderly couple owns their home as tenants in common. When one becomes ill and needs full-time care in a care home, they will be means tested (a calculation of how much they can afford to pay) based only on their share of the property. This could save money on the amount of care fees they need to pay.

What is HomeViews?

Do tenants in common avoid care home fees?

It is possible to reduce the amount likely to be paid in care home fees by using a tenants in common arrangement. Most couples own their property as joint tenants, so if either person dies, the property passes automatically to the survivor. But should the survivor need to go into a care home, the whole value of the property would be used in assessing the payment of fees. 

With a tenants in common agreement, the first spouse to die can pass their share to their children or into a trust. This way, if the survivor needs to go into care, they could only be assessed as owning a half share of the property.

Old couple sitting on a bench Old couple sitting on a bench

What are the disadvantages of tenancy in common?

The overall control that each tenant has over their share can become a disadvantage to tenancy in common. Other tenants can do what they want with their share. This could include taking out a loan on their share without the permission of other owners. This could leave the shares of other owners at risk from lawsuits or negligence cases, as there is no separate protection of that share. Additionally, a tenant could decide to sell their share of the property to anybody else. They can do this without the permission of other owners.

Is tenants in common a good idea?

Tenants in common is a good idea for couples or co-owners who want control over the handling of their share. It gives owners full control over their share and allows for beneficiaries of their Will to directly inherit their share.

Is tenants in common the same as joint tenancy?

Tenants in common is different to joint tenancy. When a property is co-owned by two or more people in a joint tenancy agreement, if one of the co-owners dies, their share is immediately passed on to the surviving owner(s) without any court proceedings being needed. You can change from joint tenancy to tenants in common status easily enough.

Is it better to be tenants in common or joint tenants?

The main difference between a joint tenancy and a tenancy in common agreement is the way each co-owner’s share is handled. Tenancy in common gives each co-owner full control over their share of the property. On the other hand, joint tenancy is a simple way to ensure that, in the event of a co-owners’ death, the property is immediately fully owned by the surviving co-owner(s).

Family on a walk Family on a walk

How many tenants in common can own a property together?

At least two and no more than four people can own a property as tenants in common. The same applies for a joint tenancy. More than four people co-owning a property would need to own using the device of a trust. Any number of people can be beneficiaries of a trust.

How does tenants in common reduce inheritance tax?

Co-owners of a property who are not married or in a civil partnership can still reduce inheritance tax by using a tenants in common agreement. They do this by passing on only their share of the property, which will be liable for less tax than the full value of the property.

Can a tenant in common force a sale?

Yes, a tenant in common can force a sale even if the other owners do not wish to sell. The co-owner wishing to force the sale would need to apply to a court for an ‘order for sale’.

Can a joint tenant force a sale?

Joint tenants cannot force other co-owners to sell unless they first apply to sever the joint tenancy. Then they would be able to apply to a court for an ‘order for sale’.

Can tenants in common sell their share in the UK?

Ideally, a tenants in common agreement will include terms that cover situations such as one co-owner wishing to sell. If there is no written agreement on this, co-owners can offer to buy the share of the individual wishing to sell. If you cannot agree, the co-owner wishing to sell has to apply to a court for an ‘order for sale’. This forces the sale of the entire property.

What happens when one of the tenants in common dies?

Under a tenants in common agreement, if one of the party dies, their share of the property passes to their estate. This means owners can leave their share of a property to somebody in their Will. This is different from joint tenants. Under a joint tenancy, when one party dies, their share of the ownership automatically passes to the other owner or owners.

Two men sitting on the sofa looking at a laptop Two men sitting on the sofa looking at a laptop

Can you change the share of ownership under a tenancy in common?

As a tenant in common, you can change your share of ownership or hold unequal shares in a property. Changing your share of ownership could help you to save money. For example, you may give a larger proportion of the property to an owner paying a lower tax rate than the other owners.

Does Land Registry show tenants in common?

Yes, Land Registry does show whether you are tenants in common or joint tenants. You can find this information in your Title Register Document – also held by your mortgage company if you have a mortgage.

If you are tenants in common, your Title Register Document will contain the following, or similar, phrase:

No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court.

If this is not present, you are likely to own the property as joint tenants.

Who holds the Declaration of Trust?

The name of a trustee must be included in the declaration of trust. The declaration of trust should also detail the powers that trustee holds in relation to the trust.

Who pays capital gains tax on tenants in common?

For capital gains tax purposes, if a property is owned by joint tenants and then sold, the profit from the sale (after all allowable deductions) should be split equally between the tenants. Each tenant should then declare that profit to HMRC.

If you own the property as tenants in common, then profits from the sale should be allocated according to each owner’s share, and then taxed accordingly.

What is the 7-year rule for tenants in common?

The 7-year rule is a way to potentially reduce the amount of inheritance tax owed by a beneficiary of your estate. As tenants in common, you can gift a portion of your property to a family member, and providing you live for at least seven years after the date of the gift, they will be exempt from paying inheritance tax. This is called a ‘potentially exempt transfer’ (PET).

Can I add my children as tenants in common?

Adding children as tenants in common is one of the most popular ways of passing property to children. Tenants in common mean that when you die, the property doesn’t automatically go to the owner, but is typically passed on in a will. To automatically transfer your portion of the property to your child, joint tenants is the most appropriate solution.

Will the Renters’ Reform Bill give extra rights to tenants in common?

The Renters’ Reform Bill (introduced to Parliament in May 2023) does not provide special clauses for tenants in common, but aims to protect all renters of all types. Its main provisions are to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions and to hold all rental homes accountable to the Decent Homes Standard.

This is good news for tenants in common as it will make the rental market more competitive with higher quality standards. It also adds to renters’ long-term rights to challenge landlords acting unfairly or illegally.


Find answers to more of your property-related questions on the HomeViews blog. Understand how EPCs work, how to get rid of Ground Rent, and much more with our helpful guides.

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, landlords and the Government to recognise high performers and help to improve standards in the built environment.



real estate

10 best grammar schools in the UK and where to live nearby


A grammar school education is such an attractive option that many families in the UK will willingly move to a grammar school area. The combination of being free yet highly selective and high-attaining makes this type of schooling very appealing. But where are the 10 best grammar schools in the UK in 2024? Read on to find out where to look and where’s best to live nearby.

10 best grammar schools in the UK and where to live nearby

The following list shows the 10 best grammar schools in the UK. This is according to the top 50 ranking from True11Plus – a specialist UK education platform – and is based on 2023 GCSE results.

Also included in our list below is each school’s ‘Progress 8′ score. This measures the overall progress of the school’s pupils between Year 6 and Year 11. Effectively, this measures their attainment across eight subjects/qualifications. To put it in perspective, the national average is 0. Accordingly, any score higher than 0.5 is considered a signal of exceptional school-wide performance.

Location: Hampstead

2023 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 98.8%

Progress 8: 1.1

Overview: The Henrietta Barnett School is a selective school in Hampstead, NW11. This all-girls school is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and is one of the most competitive schools in London for admissions. Around 3,000 applications are made to the school every year.

Find the highest rated homes in the area here:

Borough of CamdenBorough of Camden
Few places in the capital ooze cool like Camden. This popular Borough covers a large area but is more recognised for Camden Town. Its gritty, bohemian vibe has long-drawn a mesmerising mix of characters, from free spirits to punks, goths to rockers. And there Read more about Borough of Camden

Location: Barnet

2023 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 95.7%

Progress 8: 1

Overview: Founded in 1573 by royal charter, Queen Elizabeth’s School has a long and storied history. Besides its grand old buildings and impressive interiors, the school is forward thinking too. It’s described as providing an “exceptional and rounded education” by the Good Schools Guide, and The Sunday Times recently voted it the State School of the Year.

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Borough of BarnetBorough of Barnet
London is a city of contrasts, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the boroughs. The borough of Barnet has a suburban feel with its leafy streets lined with houses and gardens. You’ll find many parks and green spaces in the area, along Read more about Borough of Barnet

Location: Sutton

2021 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 95.4%

Progress 8: 1.33

Overview: Wilson’s School has climbed the grammar school league tables fast, and ranks third for the second year running. This is thanks to its stellar reputation for sport combined with excellent academic progression rates overall. Located in Sutton, the school features an exceptional, modern and well-resourced campus.

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Borough of SuttonBorough of Sutton
Sutton is a hugely popular commuter spot for young families seeking more space outside central London areas. Excellent schools add to its appeal, alongside plenty of open green spaces and good value homes. The town of Sutton offers a great selection of family homes, Read more about Borough of Sutton

Location: Kingston-Upon Thames

2022 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 94.9%

Progress 8: 0.96

Overview: London is home to many of the best grammar schools in the country, and The Tiffin Girls’ School is no exception. Boasting exceptional exam results and general progression every academic year, it also provides a highly creative learning environment. The school is a great incubator of artistic talent in its students, as well as sporting prowess.

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Borough of Kingston upon ThamesBorough of Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames is a vibrant and dynamic town that has something to offer for everyone. It boasts an incredible range of shops, restaurants and pubs in its historic town centre. Meanwhile, the many parks and green spaces provide the perfect backdrop to Kingston’s Read more about Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Location: Altrincham, Cheshire

2022 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 96.8%

Progress 8: 1.05

Overview: Altrincham Grammar School for Girls was founded in 1910 and has become one of the most popular academic institutions in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire area. The school is the largest all-girls selective school in the country and has a reputation for mathematics, science, PHSE and modern foreign languages.

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CheshireCheshire
Cheshire is a county in the North West of England. It has a population of over half a million people and is known for its beautiful countryside, including the Peak District National Park. Home to many universities, Cheshire’s educational system rivals that of any Read more about Cheshire

Location: Cheltenham

2022 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 95%

Progress 8: 0.9

Overview: Pate’s Grammar School dates from 1574 and this co-educational grammar school has an excellent reputation for sciences. Its physics department has previously been named the best in the country. The school is located in a popular residential area on the western edge of historic Cheltenham.

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GloucestershireGloucestershire
Gloucestershire is a historic and beautiful county in the West Midlands, England. With its rolling countryside and picturesque villages, it has long been known for its high quality of life. It’s not just great to live in; it also provides excellent opportunities for business Read more about Gloucestershire

Location: Orpington

2022 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 91%

Progress 8: 1.11

Overview: St Olave’s Grammar School is a boy’s school sitting in the popular suburb of Orpington on the boundary of Greater London and Kent. Kent is traditionally a grammar school heartland and St Olaves has built a fine reputation for its outstanding performance and outcomes.

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Borough of BromleyBorough of Bromley
Bromley is the largest of the 32 London boroughs, stretching from Crystal Palace and Mottingham in the north right down to Biggin Hill in the south. It’s also a borough that transitions dramatically from suburban to rural, with farmland making up around 30% of Read more about Borough of Bromley

Location: Chelmsford

2022 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 93.8%

Progress 8: 0.82

Overview: King Edward VI Grammar School has a rich history, dating from 1551 when King Edward VI issued a Royal Warrant for the establishment of the institution. The school sits close to the centre of historic Chelmsford and remains an extremely renowned and coveted school, both in the city and the wider Essex area.

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EssexEssex
Essex is a county in the East of England and is one of the most populous counties in the country. It has a population of 1.4 million people, making it an attractive place for prospective home buyers to invest their money and enjoy all Read more about Essex

Location: Devon

2022 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 90.1%

Progress 8: 0.98

Overview: Taking ninth place is Colyton Grammar School in Devon. This mixed gender school received an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating in 2022. With its rich history, dating back to 1546, the school is a prestigious destination in the heart of the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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DevonDevon
Devon is a large, picturesque county in England. The county has much to offer those looking for a peaceful and serene place to live, with plenty of scenic areas and attractive cities. For those considering moving there permanently, this guide will provide information about Read more about Devon

10: Colchester Royal Grammar School

Location: Colchester

2022 GCSE Grade Percentage at 8/9: 84%

Progress 8: 0.93

Overview: Colchester Royal Grammar School dates from as far back as 1128. The school is primarily a boy’s school, though girls are admitted for sixth form. The school is located in historic Colchester’s Lexden neighbourhood.

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EssexEssex
Essex is a county in the East of England and is one of the most populous counties in the country. It has a population of 1.4 million people, making it an attractive place for prospective home buyers to invest their money and enjoy all Read more about Essex

Quick Questions asked about Grammar Schools

What is a grammar school?

Grammar schools are a tiny minority of state schools in the UK – less than 1% according to the National Grammar Schools Association (NGSA). They are selective, and require all students applying for a place to complete the ‘11+’ examination and undergo one or several interviews. However, education at a grammar school is free, and almost all of them are among the top-performing schools in the UK.

This means that competition for grammar school places is fierce. Every year, hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren take the 11+, hoping to get a place in one of the UK’s 163 grammar schools.

Why is it called a grammar school?

The term “grammar school” comes from Latin scolae grammaticales. It was a term developed in the 16th century and the original grammar schools were purely monastic and cathedral schools. They took in students who wanted to join the priesthood and taught them Latin grammar. The modern form of grammar schools started in 1944 with the Education Act.

Do catchment areas apply to grammar schools?

Grammar schools do not use catchment areas when offering places to students. Their selection criteria is mostly down to the entrance examinations – the “11+” and any other exams the school might require. Living in a grammar school area is no guarantee of getting a place at a grammar school.

Where are the best grammar schools in England?

The best grammar schools in England are spread across London, the Home Counties, Kent and Manchester. If you really want to go down the grammar school route, it’s worth checking out all of the country’s ‘grammar school areas’ to see what might be the best fit.

Are grammar schools better than public schools?

Grammar schools are not necessarily better or worse than public schools. There are plenty of examples where one type outperforms the other on key metrics. Generally, grammar schools achieve excellent academic results, often beating public schools. Crucially, grammar schools are free, whereas public schools are fee-paying institutions.

Are grammar schools hard to get into?

Grammar schools are often very difficult to get into. They are oversubscribed because of their high popularity and non-fee-paying status. The ‘11+’ examination is a very challenging entry exam. It’s designed to help grammar schools find the best and most suitable candidates for places.

What percentage of children go to grammar school?

About 5% of all secondary-aged schoolchildren in England attend grammar school. Over 100,000 pupils take the 11+ each year, on average.

Do you have to pay for grammar school UK?

You do not have to pay to attend grammar school in the UK. This is a big part of the reason why they are so popular. Millions of parents want to send their children to schools that are high-achieving but without having to pay fees.


If this has sparked your interest in the grammar school system, then click on any of the schools to review their admissions processes. We also have articles on HomeViews highlighting the best private and non-grammar state schools in the country.

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, landlords and the Government to recognise high performers and help to improve standards in the built environment.



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