Accommodation in London

24 July 2012

With the impending Olympic craziness and ever increasing accommodation prices, we were forced to hunt for a flat a little sooner than we had anticipated. Without knowing pretty much anything of the various parts of London, we’ve been searching for a room in a flat within our price range. Prices, as expected, are astronomical. One room in a 6 bedroom house is likely to cost you around £140 to £180 per week. Fortunately with two of us, this is not quite so insane, and is quite a bit less than a night at a hostel. I object to paying £25 to sleep in a dorm room!

We found a very nice room in a flat out at Leytonstone, but the price was more than advertised and the lead tenant was a little overpowering, so we decided not to go for that one. It was however the only clean and tidy place we saw for the next week or so. One other place seemed to be in a nice, fairly central area, but the bed looked old and saggy, the curtain rails were coming off the windows, and the tenant told us the shower and something in the kitchen had been broken for three weeks without the landlord fixing them. And then the agent turned around and asked for £2,000 upfront! We just laughed and walked out on him.

The next place was a little further out than we’d thought, and as we walked there the area got dodgier and dodgier. We eventually found it in a block of run down flats, with concrete stairwells that smelled of urine. Inside wasn’t much better. There wasn’t a surface clear of mould in the bathroom, and the bedrooms barely escaped this too, though we had no idea what we would find behind the furniture.

Another place sounded good online, but once we enquired we were asked to put money into an account upfront to secure the room, so that the landlord wouldn’t waste a trip over from Spain to show us a room we might decide we didn’t want. This had scam written all over it, so we didn’t correspond further.

Finally we were shown around two places in Stratford and near Canary Wharf by an agent who wasn’t charging such high fees as the first. Both places were okay, but the big downfall was that to make their money they were converting all the living areas into additional bedrooms. However, by this time we’d had enough, and needed a place to stay. So we went for the apartment near Canary Wharf. As we were the first to move in, they hadn’t yet made any alterations, so we got the whole place to ourselves for a couple of days. It’s a real crime to ruin such a lovely place, but hey, it’s only a couple of months. The builders came in a couple of days ago, and have been pretty good about things really. My only real complaint so far is that it’s been five days since we reported the washing machine broken and they still haven’t done anything about it, despite consistent promises to the contrary. I’ve had to resort to handwashing, as I don’t have enough changes of clothes to last till they decide to get their A into G and get on with it.

The view from our window at night, looking out over the O2 centre.


4 October 2012

We're still in this flat, planning to move out at the end of October. The washing machine was fixed after about four weeks, by which time the dishwasher had died. It's now been over two months without a dishwasher in a flat of eight people. The TV still hasn't been installed, the kitchen stools haven't been delivered, the internet is still in someone's room which means if it needs to be reset we can't get in to fix it. And they've gone through three cleaners so far, none of which have been more than twice, which means the place is pretty scungy.

Put it this way - we're looking forward to leaving.


Popular Posts