The Ultimate Guide to Studio Flats in London: Everything You Need to Know


Studio apartments - also known as studio flats, bedsits, bachelor apartments, and self-contained apartments - are classified as a small flat in which the normal functions of several rooms are combined into a single room. 

The London rental market is fiercely competitive, and has been a major influencing factor in the rise in demand for studio apartments. As more professionals move to the capital for work, the need for affordable, centrally-located studio apartments has risen.

We understand that the search for the best studio apartment can be a challenge. From finding the best location to determining your affordability and scouring listings to find an apartment that truly meets your specific needs - there are many considerations to take into account before signing on the dotted line.

We are dedicated to helping you find the perfect studio apartment in London. Below, we will discuss important aspects to help you along on your search - from understanding what a studio apartment is, what is typically included in a studio apartment rental, the crucial moving-in costs you need to budget for - and a host of other practical tips for making the most well-informed decision possible.

What is a studio apartment?

We briefly highlighted the definition of a studio flat in the previous section. However, travellers often confuse a studio flat with a one-bedroom flat. To clarify the difference and help you determine if a studio flat is your best solution, we will compare the two, below:

Studio flat: a self-contained flat with multifunctional rooms. Often, it is only the bathroom that is a separate room from the lounge/dining area/bedroom. 

One-bedroom apartment: a flat with multiple partitions and rooms, often a kitchen, and a separate bedroom and bathroom.

London is one of the most sought-after locations for working professionals, and the demand for affordable rentals has seen a sharp increase in the number of studio flats available. 

By choosing a studio apartment that includes services such as housekeeping, renters can save even more on their monthly budget by eliminating the need to outsource their apartment cleaning. 

Not only is there a cost-saving opportunity in choosing serviced studio apartments, but also an aspect of work-life balance - something many London residents strive for. Having your housekeeping included in your monthly rental will free up valuable time for you and help you to make the most of your London living experience. 

The section below will go on to detail the benefits of renting a serviced studio apartment in London.

Dolphin House Studio Apartment

What are the benefits of a serviced studio apartment in London?

The financial and personal benefits of a serviced studio apartment can be far-reaching. Furthermore, there are some other practical benefits associated with living in a studio apartment in London, which we will go on to detail below:

On-site facilities: the best studio apartment providers may include access to on-site amenities during your tenancy, such as a gym, bar or restaurant, and in some cases - a spa. This enhances the lifestyle that is intrinsic to London living - giving you unbridled access to a plethora of excellent facilities that you can enjoy without needing to leave the building.

Location: London’s top studio apartment rentals are typically located in a convenient area. Our prime Pimlico location allows our residents and tenants exceptional convenience in that they are so closely located to all transport links, and are in walking distance of some of the best restaurants and bars the capital has to offer. We are located outside of the congestion zone - something first-time renters in London should be aware of. This makes your stay even more enjoyable, without the added hassle of needing to budget for congestion zone charges.

Home away from home: often overlooked, a studio apartment in London is a far more personable choice in comparison to hotel living. You can decorate your studio apartment for a more homely feel, making your stay all the more comfortable and memorable.

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How big is a studio flat?

According to London’s planning guidance, a studio apartment should be approximately 37 square metres. Contrary to popular belief, the layout of the studio apartment will have a bigger impact on its practicality than the actual square meterage. Making use of the ‘nooks and crannies’ for storage will lend well to maximising the utilisation of the existing layout. 

At Dolphin Square, our average studio apartment measures in at 38.4 square metres (or 414 square feet). We have put hours of consideration into each studio apartment’s layout, enabling you to get more from your space, even if the square meterage is lower.

What's included in a studio flat rental?

The best studio flats come furnished with high-quality essential furniture items - often including beds, sofas, televisions, and tables. White appliances - including fridges, freezers, washing machines and ovens are also often included, but it is worthwhile to check this with your potential landlord or letting agent, first.

It’s also important to note that many studio apartment rentals are offered on an unfurnished basis - which helps keep rental costs low. If you intend on moving into an unfurnished studio apartment, you should consider your budget carefully and ensure you can afford the purchase of these items. 

At Dolphin Square, we have fully equipped our studio apartments to make your stay all the more convenient. Note that our studio apartment rentals will differ based on which apartment you choose. In general, our studio flat rentals include the below amenities and furnishings: 

  • Hypnos pocket sprung mattresses - a great night’s sleep is at your fingertips.
  • LCD Flat screen television with Freeview access - your night-in entertainment is covered.
  • Wi-Fi facilities - if you are working from home, you’ll need our reliable internet connectivity.
  • Electronic safe - for peace of mind in safeguarding valuable items.

Moving in costs for studio apartments

Moving in costs can seem overwhelming, but when renting a studio flat, you should pay close attention to the inclusions that are incorporated into your monthly rental amount. At Dolphin Square, our studio apartment monthly rental fees include:

  • Tenancy agreement 
  • Check-in fee 
  • Credit check per application 
  • One month’s rent in advance - nightly rent multiplied by the number of nights in the related month

Note that you will need to allocate a budget for your deposit, which is a five-week deposit (calculated by 5x weekly rent)

Some other costs you may want to consider budgeting for will include the transportation of your personal belongings, as well as labour costs involved in moving those items in.

Serviced Apartments Dolphin House

Do you pay a deposit on serviced studio flats?

Yes. Deposits are payable on serviced studio flats, and usually cost the equivalent of 5 week’s rent. This deposit is payable upfront, and should be securely held in a `Tenancy Deposit Scheme’ for the duration of your stay. To calculate your total cost for the deposit, multiply your weekly rental amount x 5.

Do you have access to facilities when renting a studio apartment?

Many studio apartment providers allow access to their on-site facilities, giving their tenants more value for their monthly spend. By including access to on-site facilities, tenants can enjoy the benefit of convenience, while saving time on costly commutes to find the same facilities and amenities elsewhere. 

At Dolphin Square, we are proud to offer the below access to facilities during your tenancy with us. Please note, while we allow all our residents and tenants access to these facilities, there may be a nominal charge for using them.

  • Kitchen - some studio apartments are fitted with a pantry style kitchen. Discover some tasty recipes you can whip up in a pantry style kitchen!
  • Washing Machine - if your studio apartment does not come pre-fitted with a washing machine, you can request one.
  • Weekly housekeeping service including towel and linen change - freeing up valuable time and saving you money on weekly cleaning services.
  • One membership to the DSQ Fitness Centre included - giving you access to our on-site gym to help you get your daily fitness fix.
  • Fully inclusive rates, including utility bills - helping you budget more effectively for your stay, you can have peace of mind that all your utility costs are included in your monthly rental fee.
  • Tennis Court & 3 Squash Courts - a great way to get active, and enjoy some fun activities with family or friends who visit you. 
  • Swimming Pool - an indoor pool to enjoy all year round - a rarity in the capital city.
  • Communal Gardens - 3.5 acres of idyllic gardens to help you relax and unwind after a busy work week.
  • Bar & Grill - for those days you want a delicious meal, but don’t want to leave the building.
  • Shopping Arcade - get your retail fix without leaving the building!
  • Moroccan Spa - with exceptional quality treatments, right on your doorstep.
  • 24 Hour Security - giving you the added peace of mind of knowing you are looked out for during every second of your stay.
  • Private underground parking available at additional cost - eliminating the need to risk parking in non-designated spots, our tenants with vehicles have access to secure underground parking all year round.
  • Located outside the Congestion zone - making your commute more affordable and less stressful.

Serviced vs Non-Serviced Studio Apartments

Choosing a serviced studio apartment will not only help you free up valuable time by having your housekeeping chores attended to, but it will also help keep costs down. 

We will discuss the cost of a housekeeping service a little later, but first, we can highlight the differences between serviced and non serviced accommodation to help you make a better-informed decision from the outset of your studio apartment search. 

Dolphin Square’s studio apartments are serviced. Our weekly housekeeping services include towel and linen changes, too. 

Serviced accommodation is classified as an overnight, long weekend, short stay, or holiday rental which provides essential housekeeping services as an inclusion on the tenancy. 

Non-serviced accommodation does not include housekeeping services - relying solely on the tenant to maintain housework chores.

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How much to clean a studio apartment?

Housekeeping costs can quickly add up, which is one of the reasons we have included this essential service in our studio apartment rental costs.

Without the additional service, you might look to spend an average of up to £45 per week, using an outsourced or third party cleaning service. This price is calculated on an average of £15 per hour, for a minimum of 3 hours per week. You will likely also need to supply the cleaning materials and equipment (such as vacuum cleaners, detergents, and mops) if you choose to outsource.

You could choose to carry out the housework chores yourself to save some money on non-serviced accommodation, but be wary of the time and energy that might take.

Hotels vs serviced studio apartments: price comparison

Living in a hotel can be expensive. To live in a comparable quality hotel, you will undoubtedly end up paying more for similar finishings, and you will lack that home-away-from-home feeling afforded by apartment living.  

A quick online price comparison shows us some interesting stats: 

Narrowing down the search area to Pimlico, the cheapest hotel comes in at around £280 per week. However, this hotel room is only equipped with a single bed and does not include the high-quality furnishings many travellers have come to expect. It is not fitted with a kitchen, or even a pantry style kitchen. It also accommodates strictly one person per room. You will also need to factor in the cost of outsourced cleaning to maintain your living standards during your stay. If you want to visit a gym, that will be another additional cost.

Our Pimlico studio apartments are fitted with luxury Hypnos pocket sprung mattresses, and our furnishings are modern and well maintained. Choosing a studio apartment over a hotel will also grant you access to a plethora of exciting on-site amenities. Remember, your studio apartment rental may include a free gym membership for the duration of your stay, Our serviced studio apartment rental prices can be as low as £86 per night. While this cost appears higher for a week-long stay - the quality of living you will be afforded, along with the inclusion of weekly housekeeping services and access to on-site amenities - are undeniable decision-making factors you must consider before committing to either hotel or studio apartment living.

How to decorate a studio flat: 5 tips

A major allure of studio apartment living is the personable aspect it offers. A home-away-from-home, you can decorate your studio apartment with non-permanent decorations to make your space feel more “yours”. Below, we will share the top 5 tips for transforming your London studio apartment into your very own sanctuary:

  • Storage

Get creative with your storage containers. A large ottoman is a fun and functional piece that will add loads of storage space to your studio apartment, and serve as an attractive and useful place to keep your blankets and smaller loose items in one tidy spot.

  • Lamps

Lighting can have a huge impact on the energy of a room. Bring your favourite floor lamp, salt rock lamp, or even a ‘Luminate lamp’ to help you through the longer London winter days where sunshine is at a premium. 

  • Soft furnishings

Add your flair to any room with soft furnishings, such as scatter cushions, throws, and blankets. You can create your colour palette, and make your apartment feel just like home.

  • Music

Bring your own Alexa or similar, and enjoy the benefits of a smart home from wherever you are. Alternatively, you can bring along your trusty speaker, and play your favourite songs echoed throughout the apartment.

  • Scents

Catering for all 5 senses, bring your favourite reed diffuser or automatic scent spray along to delight your senses and keep your studio apartment smelling fresh.

Why not explore the local florists, and pick up your favourite bunch of flowers to breathe some fresh life into your studio apartment? There are endless ways to make a rented apartment feel like your own space, on any budget.

Your Dolphin Square studio flat awaits

Choosing the ideal studio flat in London is a tall order. While there are many aspects to consider, it is ultimately your comfort that will take precedence over your decision. Pay close attention to the pricing breakdowns, inclusions, location, and of course the layout of the apartment itself. These important aspects might seem insignificant to start with but will have a big influence on your stay in London.

We are dedicated to helping you find the ideal rental solution that suits your unique needs, budget, and lifestyle. Why not book a viewing to get a better idea of the lifestyle you can come to expect from a Dolphin Square serviced studio apartment? 

We look forward to welcoming you at Dolphin Square.

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