London, Moving

Oh The Horror: Finding a New Rental Property in London


I may be exaggerating there, the real horrors are the real estate agents and their gift of the gab.  In our experience most real estate agents will without fail open every viewing with an out-right-in-your-face lie.  I’m not joking.  They will meet you at the property, shake your hand, say the perfunctory, “Nice to meet you” and as they take that next breath you can be certain a big fat whopper is about to leave their lips.  Normally they stick with the tried and true opener of, “Just to let you know“…

Just to let you know guys, we’ve had an offer come in this morning for (enter 10 quid below the asking price).  I just want to be really up front with you

Oh, its been on the market for 2 weeks but the offer just happened to come in this very morning? What an amazing coincidence!

I’ve had 2 viewings already this morning and have another one this afternoon, it’s a very popular property!

Always particularly laughable when they struggle to work out how to open the front door, 2 other viewings this morning hey?  Maybe on that 4th viewing of the day you’ll have the two locks on the front door thing worked out.

Just to let you know, we’ve already have two very good offers on this property but you are still in with a chance if your offer is the right amount”

You might be telling the truth but that “just to let you know” business automatically sets off my bullshit radar.  I bet the right amount is five quid below the asking price too.

This property is decorated to a very high standard

As she opens the front door and the smell of damp hits you like a tonne of bricks.

There’s nothing else of this calibre on the market in this price bracket

That property we viewed an hour ago is clearly made of wishes and dreams.

Very rare to get three double bedrooms in this area, this property’s a must see

After climbing the stair case and stepping into the first “double bedroom” you realise that to qualify for that term you just have to squeeze a small double bed into the space and call it a day.  You weren’t hoping to actually walk around your bed were you?  Reserve some energy and just belly flop into bed from the doorway.

Then there’s the ongoing lies, putting you off, pitting you against another potential offer (real or imaginary) and playing dumb when you question problems with the contract you’re about to sign your life away with.

Real estate agents are super fun.

Property hunting dramas aside, finding a property within the realm of what we were already paying in rent turned out to be silly optimistic dreaming.  The property we tentatively have an offer on is a whopping £120 more per week  for the same amount of bedrooms and no back garden.

Complaining negative nelly aside, the apartment we are hopefully moving into has some serious perks.  I know I’m a simple gal but a happy dance is in order for my first ever home with more than one bathroom.  There will be no more landing on a pee dribbled loo seat at 4 in the morning.  I have a hope in hell of wandering into the loo to discover the seat is down every once in a while.  There will no longer be banging on the door and little boys stomping their feet furiously to try and hold in a number 1 (or if extra lucky a number 2) whilst I’m trying to get some alone time reading on the toilet or soaking in a tub full of bubbles.

I wasn’t sold on an apartment for obvious reasons: nowhere to send the kids out (and lock the back door) and a sad kitty cat who loves to wander around in the great outdoors being trapped inside bored out of his mind.  Fortunately whilst not exactly ideal this apartment only has one small set of stairs up to our apartment and there’s a big grassy area right behind the apartment block.  We’re also going to be in a secure gated area with several apartment blocks so there will be minimal traffic around the paved areas and the older boys should be fine to ride their bikes.

I’m a naturally cynical and paranoid lady so I imagine axe murderers, stalkers (can’t resist that flubbery bottom clearly!), house fires and in my night mares possible zombie attacks (thanks for concreting that need for a zombie plan into my head Mr. Occasional reader of my blog!) so the security in the middle of London is actually really nice.  As long as the shooter and/or zombie’s don’t have a code for the big looming front gates and aren’t one of the current residents we’ll be fine.

Hooray for having somewhere to live!

* I’m in the middle of a post with tips on finding an area and a property to live in London.

 If any lurkers have landed here searching for advice on moving/living in London please feel free to post any questions you have in the comments.  It can be related to anything moving to the U.K related  (how to find a nice area, how renting works here, is the weather really as dreary as they say? finding a job).  If I don’t know the answers I’ll try and point you in the right direction.  Heck if you want to ask me a random question about anything I’ll answer that too.  Don’t be shy!

3 thoughts on “Oh The Horror: Finding a New Rental Property in London”

  1. You’ll be the first person I seek when I finally move there!

    Oh, don’t you love real estate agents? They’re so full of shit it’s funny because you can see right through their lies. To the novice, they’re wonderful people. But to the veterans like you and me, we know their schpeal! Just show me the place and save me the riot act. I’ll decide if I want it or not. I don’t need a sales pitch. Agents and car salesmen. They must go to the same school.

    I hope you get the place! It doesn’t sound too bad. Two baths is VERY important especially when a bath is waiting! Aside from the lack of play yard, I’m sure the kids will enjoy exploring their surroundings some how. Kitty will adapt!

    Keep us posted! I so enjoy “moving in” stories. Never are they the same!

  2. Absolutely, I’ll help you hunt down somewhere to live and then we can get sloshed at the local pub to deal with the real estate agent induced stress!

    Two baths is VERY important! I can’t wait! Hopefully Eddie will be happy enough. In the summer I think we’ll just take him down stairs and let him out in the mornings and he can wait for one of us to come home again and let him in (not so different from now really just we won’t hear him meowing at the back door because it will be down a flight of stairs)…he’ll be pleased we won’t be kicking him out when there’s snow on the ground this year 😛

    Kim, it is pretty expensive! Almost £500 per week for the 3 bed apartment! We were previously paying less than £400 per week so it’s a bit of a jump. Unfortunately no one is buying homes at the moment and no one is building new houses/apartments either so there’s lots of people looking to rent and not much available.

    Mr. Liverpool’s sister doesn’t live too far from where we are 🙂 We’re in the South-East of London too. Will definitely update, hopefully with photos once it’s definitely all ours!

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