31 rules from the landlord - flat-hunting in London is a treacherous task

After a list of house rules has gone viral, it's easy to see why people put up with a lot

Share
Related Topics

House hunter Laura Evelyn sent the Twittersphere into
hysterics this week after she tweeted the list of ‘house rules’ handed over to
her by a prospective landlord.

“Absolutely no pork allowed in the house” was a personal favourite of mine, followed by a ban on showers lasting longer than 15 minutes. One enterprising tweeter responded suggesting turkey sandwiches as a replacement for hangover-cure-staple the bacon sarnie, something I will be testing out this weekend.

I currently live with two friends who I’ve known for years. Our shabby maisonette in Camberwell suits us fine, although we’re very much living the student dream, despite two of us having full time jobs. The prospect of buying anywhere ourselves is more terrifying than the thought of cleaning out the sink. And we all avoid cleaning out the sink.

Although happily settled now, I’ve had my fair share of house-hunting horror stories. Days before going into my third year at university, I was still without a home. My second year house had disbanded for a number of reasons, not least because two members had taken off on a year abroad.

There’s a certain stigma attached to students who look for housing online and as I registered with spareroom.com I worried people would wonder why I hadn’t managed to find friends of my own to live with.

The website is much like an online dating site, except instead of requesting ‘good sense of humour’ or ‘enjoys long country walks’, you select ‘double bedroom’ or ‘no pets’. The website then generates a number of spare rooms and it’s up to you to sort through the chaff and select the ones that look promising. Next, you simply drop them an email, pitching yourself to potential housemates. If I remember correctly I said I was clean, friendly and liked a good cup of tea.

I got a number of responses, but the one that sticks in my head was a group that invited me to tea. I arrived bearing wine, planning to bribe my way into the house with alcohol and witty remarks. It quickly became apparent that this was not a friendly meeting; this was a hard and fast interview. I felt like I was in front of Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden from Dragons Den. They dissected every last aspect of my personality, asking my opinion on politics and current affairs as if they were trying to expose me as a secret Nazi.

A day later I received an email from the leader of the group informing me that they had chosen someone else as no one had come up to scratch. Shortly afterwards I saw the room re-listed on spareroom.com. I can’t say it didn’t sting. Unlike being rejected for a job, I felt I had been rejected purely on the basis of my character. Needless to say when I bumped into said leader in Covent Garden a couple of months later, I reacted somewhat coldly to her offer of a drink and a catch up.

So flat-hunting in London is a treacherous task. Not least because once you’ve navigated the dodgy boilers, the damp and the never ending need for pest control, you have to deal with the people inside the rooms. In fact, maybe Laura Evelyn should renounce the pork and move in. She might have stumbled across the best of a bad bunch.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Cleaner

£15000 - £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you've got first class custo...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Applications Developer / Architect - iOS and Android

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a medium s...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Account Executive - £40K OTE

£11830 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in a friendly, sales ta...

Recruitment Genius: Web Designer

£15000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Pentagon has suggested that, since the campaign started, some 10,000 Isis fighters in Iraq and Syria have been killed  

War with Isis: If the US wants to destroy the group, it will need to train Syrians and Iraqis

David Usborne
David Cameron gives a speech at a Tory party dinner  

In a time of austerity, should Tories be bidding £210,000 for a signed photo of the new Cabinet?

Simon Kelner
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy