In London, the Evening Standard has some property adverts every day; on Wednesdays the paper comes with a free Homes & Property supplement which is more extensive. London also has specialized publications dedicated to advertisements, such as Loot, which is printed 5 times weekly and is also available online www.loot.com.
Understanding classified ads can seem like a task fit for a professional cryptographer. The demand for space in printed mediums has led to the use of a sometimes excessive and incomprehensible short-hand of abbreviations and codes. Fortunately, the increasing dominance of online sources renders much of this lingo worthless. Nevertheless, since printed classifieds remain popular (be that through preference or necessity), our glossary should help you interpret the numerous abbreviations.
When the ad gives a telephone number you should call as early as possible (within sociable hours (i.e. 9am-10:00pm) unless stated otherwise) to make an appointment. Be aware that adverts can easily attract up to 100 phone calls. Landlords sometimes collect offers and then make joint appointments with applicants.
Placing your own ad
You can also put your own ad in the paper or online saying you're looking for a place to rent. This can be a waste of time and money, since demand for rented accommodation invariably exceeds supply (especially in cities).
Nevertheless, for those willing to live in shared accommodation then you may have more luck when placing an ad. There are many online sites that allow you to place adverts looking for shared accommodation. Some of them allow you to place your own ad for free.