I had to look for rooms again when I came back from fieldwork and it was so exhausting, and even dangerous. Among all advertisements I paid to look at on spareroom.com (btw, I don’t think the membership fee is worthy), there were these: a landlord who arranged a viewing but didn’t show up, a fraud who asked me to transfer money to myself to demonstrate I could afford the rent, and a landlord who offered me the room but postponed the move in date three times before he finally said ‘due to unforeseen circumstances I can’t let you the room’. In this sense, I definitely think the ULHS website is more trustworthy, it is only that they have so few advertisements.
When I was desperate, King’s housing office offered me a room at the Stamford Street Apartments which happened to become available mid-session. Fussy as I am, I have to say SSA has the most efficient maintenance team I’ve ever met. Just write a note to report and they will fix things as soon as you can imagine. No excuses or perfunctory work.
Yet there is actually no soundproof in SSA, and my guess is that every other wall is a ‘fake wall’, so you can always hear one side of your neighbours in high definition. This is something to put up with, for the good location, friendly flatmates, convenient facilities and good maintenance!