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to think landlords are taking the piss?

(149 Posts)
fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 09:23:22

I'm currently in a lodging/houseshare situation and it's havign a deleterious effect on my mental health - one of the main stressors is that I literally never get the place to myself - my landlord only leaves the house to go to work or to buy reduced food before the supermarket closes, and for the rest of the time uses the living room to work from home. (There's more than that but it would take forever to explain...) So it seemed that what I really need is my own space.

It turns out that for £700pcm, not including bills, what you get is a room with a single bed (or sofabed if you're lucky) and a 'kitchen' consisting of a microwave on top of a fridge. Some of these are 'bedsits', which in London means that the landlord has made the living room into a bedroom so that they can let it out for more money, and you end up paying more for a shared house with no communal space. Some of the flats looked smaller than the bedroom I have now - most had cheap shitty furniture (a bed held together with gaffer tape, or a sofa with a filthy blanket over it), but the sidebar told me I could rent furniture for a flat for £158 per month. This was searching out as far away as zone 4.

How do landlords get away with being able to charge huge sums for jerrybuilt accommodation? And why is it the case that I can earn a decent salary and am in my 30s yet not be able to afford to rent a place that's suitable for long-term habitation?

I just feel really trapped at the moment, choosing between a place that makes me feel so miserable and lonely that I keep wondering whether to just shove everything into storage and sleep in the park, or somewhere that would be equally stressful by being too small and without basic facilities.

LittleChimneyDroppings Mon 04-Feb-13 09:26:35

London is expensive though. Can't you move a bit further out to get something better?

Lonelybunny Mon 04-Feb-13 09:27:01

It's the same situation everywhere , we are outside London by half hour train commute , it's about £400 for a room here and again no communal space . I think the government really need to clamp down on these rent prices. But with a housing shortage I really don't see how they can .

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 04-Feb-13 09:28:47

"How do landlords get away with being able to charge huge sums for jerrybuilt accommodation?"

They charge it because people like you will pay it. Keep looking for alternative accommodation, move a bit further out of town & commute, get a different job that isn't in Central London.... lots you can do.

kimalima Mon 04-Feb-13 09:30:12

I take It that you work in London? Have you considered looking further afield? Zone 6 perhaps. Much more for your money and usually faster public transport lists. Travelcard are only a little more expensive. ??

LessMissAbs Mon 04-Feb-13 09:32:50

How much do you think the mortgage, deposit and maintenance costs on properties in London cost each month? Do you really think some philanthropic person is going to give up theme use of theur own living room so you can enjoy it undisturbed? thats London - one of the most expensive places on earth. What you want isn't going to happen, so if its ruining your quality of life, why not do as a lot of people do, and move somewhere cheaper?

specialsubject Mon 04-Feb-13 09:34:15

you are in a flatshare and the other sharers (including the landlord) don't have to go anywhere if they don't want to. Nothing stopping you using the lounge too.

as others say - if you don't like it, move. Your choice to work and live in London - if it doesn't suit, make a different choice. There are other parts of the country where you get a 2-bed house for £400 a month, and yes, there are jobs that pay enough to allow you to pay that and have a quality of life too.

rents are controlled by market forces. You agreed to pay that much.

LittleChimneyDroppings Mon 04-Feb-13 09:37:04

I dont see the government can clamp down high rents. House prices are high, and landlords need to make their mortgage repayments.

ethelb Mon 04-Feb-13 09:43:02

The smarter properties are rented out through the smarter agents (for which youhave to pay a hefty fee). Check that rather than Gumtree (20 mins on there is depressing).

We lived in Woking for a couple of years, though the extra travel costs did make up the difference in rent (£332 pcm and that was last year, don't know what it is now).

Wimbledon is fairly cheap?

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 09:45:55

It isn't really a good time to get a different job. Also, I'm in a very specialised industry, so I'd have to retrain. The cost of transport from, say, Slough to London is £2500 a year, ish, so it wouldn't bring down costs because train operators also know people are moving out of London to save money/have kids.

LessMissAbs - I know fine well how much it costs to buy a house. I am TRYING to move somewhere cheaper. (My landlord has paid off his mortgage and does no maintenance work - he fixes the boiler himself). I have moved from a part of the country that I loved because I was finding it very difficult to find a job.

"Nothing stopping you using the lounge too." - I can't use the lounge if someone is permanently there, either working on a computer in the corner of the room, or watching DVDs with the lights off, night after night. The landlord also can't communicate in any manner other than sarcastic comments designed to make himself look clever and prevent actual real conversation, and I don't want to deal with that anymore.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 09:47:12

Oh, I've heard so many bad stories from friends who have tried to rent their own place via Gumtree to not want to use it. I was looking on RightMove and Zoopla.

Wimbledon didn't seem that cheap when I was looking yesterday, am I looking in the wrong places?

FlouncingMintyy Mon 04-Feb-13 09:51:09

I live in a lovely area of London zone 2 and a room in a decent shared house would be less than £700.

Trills Mon 04-Feb-13 09:53:54

How do landlords get away with being able to charge huge sums

Because people will pay it.

Supply and demand.

ethelb Mon 04-Feb-13 09:54:04

Wimbledon seemed cheaper than central London. 900 pcm for a small one bed flat when I looked last year.

Herne Hill? Bromley? Croydon?

DivineInspiration Mon 04-Feb-13 09:55:53

I rent out a one-bed flat in Zone 4 for £700 a month. It's not a trendy part of London and the block is Local Authority (but very clean, tidy, well-kept etc) but that rent gets you a great flat with larger than average rooms, modern bathroom, brand new kitchen, wood floors, clean decor etc. £650 - £750 is the going rate for the area for decent one-beds, so if you're not too high and mighty to consider living in SE18, I thoroughly recommend it and other surrounding parts of South East London.

London landlords aren't necessarily taking the piss: London property prices are high and that genererally dictates the rental market. The mortgage/service charge/insurance/maintainence on the above flat costs me almost £600 a month, I'm not making a killing as a landlord.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Mon 04-Feb-13 09:55:53

Wimbeldon is not cheap, god no.

There are one bed flats available for £700 pm according to a 2 min search on rightmove. I searched 10 miles from Charing Cross station. You have to screen as a few are houseshares and some are studios but there are a decent number of proper 1 beds. But it won't be in a fashionable area and you'll need to consider places like Brockley, Catford, Leyton, Croydon.

Alternatively get another flat share and see if you can find one with someone who is away a lot or at least has some form of life that your landlord doesn't appear to.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 09:56:21

Where I am is driving me so crazy that I don't know if I can cope with a shared place again. IT would be the simple option but a) auditioning for housemates is difficult b) I'd have to disclose my mental illness to them and risk being kicked out, or lie about it and have to pretend whenever I feel crappy c) living where I am has made me so withdrawn that I find it difficult to relax and be comfortable in any shared space in the house and avoid leaving my room as much as possible.

It's really important to me that I get soemwhere where I can feel comfortable and relaxed so I can start feeling myself again, and I'm not sure I can do that in a house sharw.

daddyorchipsdaddyorchips Mon 04-Feb-13 09:58:27

I live in a very nice area (North) in just in zone 5 (so worth looking as there is virtually no difference to travel time) and have a double room for £650pcm inc. all bills. We have a huge kitchen and communal living room.

Try Spareroom.co.uk and widen your search.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 09:59:28

Not sure where SE18 is - as long as it's somewhere I can feel comfortable walking around at night, and I can get to work, it's fine.

I think housesharing is only an option for me now if it's with someone I know well - it would be unfair to everyone if I moved into another place and kind of resented them being there. (My landlord does have a girlfriend, but she's married, so they still stay in when she comes round and eat ready meals in front of the TV which they 'bake' in the microwave. )

adeucalione Mon 04-Feb-13 10:00:34

It sounds like the landlord is the problem, can't you just look for a flat share with someone who is more sociable?

ethelb Mon 04-Feb-13 10:01:31

@fridgepants I had a friend with a similar experience to you and she is now v happy, on her own, in a nice little one bed in Catford.

House shares are very, very hard. far harder than many people let on. You see a level of humanity that many people who couple up/buy early don't see! Get out if you can grin

FlouncingMintyy Mon 04-Feb-13 10:01:53

Did you read DivineInspiration's message?

So, you are now saying that you need your own space.

You can rent small (maybe a studio) flats in many areas of London for £700 or a little over.

Wimbledon is one of the most expensive of the London suburbs!

Have you looked at Beckenham, Penge, Annerley, Sydenham, Croydon, Mitcham?

adeucalione Mon 04-Feb-13 10:02:17

sorry, x post with loads and see that you don't want to share!

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 10:16:00

If you are certain that what you need is privacy and your own space, you might be better off in a bedsit or small flat. Even if its tiny, it would still be your own space to do with as you please (within reason of course).

There are lots of places in London where you could go, you just have to think about what your priorities are and compromise on the things that are less important to you.

Landlords are just charging what they can for the thing that they provide, and they can charge a premium for location. The cost of living has gone up for everyone, including landlords, so I don't think you can blame people for making the most of what they have.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 11:21:20

I get that landlords are out to make money, it's just that what#s available is so dingy and shitty. £700 per month, with the bills on top, is a stretch for me and probably a lot of people - one might expect adequate cooking facilities and a decent bed.

My landlord, now he's paid off his mortgage in 15 years (he earns about twice my salary - as he leaves his paperwork all over the flat I know this - and claimed single person discount on his council tax for years despite renting out rooms) is looking to remortgage and become a BTL himself. For those who say there's nothing to stop me using the lounge - another person who lived there asked if she could watch TV, and he seemed so put out at having to have Corrie on that she never bothered again and instead watched TV on her phone in her room.

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