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 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.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 11:33:10

What's available for that money in that location might be shitty and dingy, but then you have the benefit of being in the right area.

You are confusing issues a bit. High rents are a separate issue form your particular landlord being a bit of a twat.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 11:38:48

'That location' was me typing 'London' into Zoopla with a price limit. The flats I saw were in Hounslow, Greenford, Acton and Turnpike Lane, not posh areas in the slightest.

emsyj Mon 04-Feb-13 11:50:21

£700pcm will get you a one bed flat within London - I don't know the areas you name, but certainly SE London has plenty of affordable and safe, if non-glamorous, areas that you could afford your own space. Zone 4 is not far out of the city or in any way comparable with shipping out to neighbouring counties - I lived in Zone 3 when I lived in London and my commute to the City was less than an hour door to door, including a fairly lengthy walk from Charing X to the office. A close friend lived in Zone 4 and her commute was 40 mins door to door. I think it's a bit odd that you refer in your OP to searching 'as far out as Zone 4' - Zones 4-6 are what you can afford and they are not ridiculously far out by any means.

emsyj Mon 04-Feb-13 11:54:49

PS Most rental properties are shitholes - even expensive ones. DH and I viewed places costing up to £1700pcm (and this was in 2006) and most of them I wouldn't have lived in if you'd paid me that tbh. It is bloody hard work finding decent rented accommodation, that isn't particular to your budget - if you had £3k a month to spend you would still view horrible places, such is life all over the country!

Labootin Mon 04-Feb-13 12:00:14

When I was single I lived in the arse end of zone 6 (bus then train the tube so got the 7.04 train to be at my desk for 9am) I lived in a shared house (all bedrooms and shared galley kitchen and the one bathroom with one toilet between 5 of us.

My bed was held up with books (combined works of Shakespeare Featured Irrc)

BECAUSE that's what happens.

Personally I would have loved to have a 30 min commute in my own flat .. But hey thems the breaks.

OP you're landlord might be an arse but that's your landlord.. It's not ALL landlords.

Labootin Mon 04-Feb-13 12:05:48

As to being comfortable walking around at night ..Is anyone truly comfortable with that .. Eee gads Where is this fabled place ? Taxi's in my old stomping ground would drive off rather than go to my home address.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 12:46:01

A friend of mine lives in Manor House which always feels really dodgy to me. I went to look at a flat up there once and when I got out the tube someone had been stabbed at the exit opposite.

Greenford is supposed to be dodgy but I never felt as unsafe roudn there than in Manor House.

emsyj Mon 04-Feb-13 13:06:11

I only ever lived in SE London, but I have a friend who lived in Stockwell and I felt very unsafe there when walking up to her house from the tube - she loved it though and felt 101% safe there walking around at night. It's a personal thing I guess, somewhere that feels very dodgy to you might feel totally comfortable to someone else and vice versa. Another friend lived in Eltham and her place felt much safer to me in that it was more settled, mostly people who'd lived there for years and years/grown up in the area, she knew all her neighbours and I felt safe walking around there at night even though it is 'scruffier' and cheaper than the part of Stockwell that my other friend lived in. You would be best off finding some areas you could afford and just walking around them to see how you feel.

DivineInspiration Mon 04-Feb-13 13:09:28

OP, before I eventually bought in London, I house-shared with all kinds of people. Some I got on with, others I didn't. It sounds like your difficulties stem largely from your landlord being a bit of an arse rather than from living with somebody else per se. The arrangement you have, lodging with a live-in landlord, is entirely different to house-sharing with other tenants where the situation is vastly more equal because you all pay the same rent and nobody owns and thus feels entitled to monopolise communal areas: have you looked around for house-shares like that? If you work for a large organisation, particularly one where lots of graduates/younger people are employed, your colleagues might be able to advise of house share vacancies they know of. I found a couple of my house-shares this way.

If you genuinely feel that your mental health would improve if you could live alone (and I entirely know the feeling) then there are affordable flats to be had in London, as long as you're prepared to compromise a bit and be realistic about what it means to live in London. When I bought my first flat in London (the one in SE18 which I now rent out) I didn't have all the dosh in the world and had to make a decision about whether to continue renting somewhere small and cramped in an affluent part of Zone 2 or buy somewhere more spacious in a suburb I'd never considered living in before. I decided to go for the latter, and it did involve me confronting some of my prejudices about shabby areas and areas with high densities of council housing - it makes me blush a little now to think about that! Don't write off areas because you once went there and it felt a little bit dodgy near the station or because somebody has been stabbed there at some point. People have been stabbed in broad daylight in all parts of London - including Oxford Street and a number of affluent, fashionable places most people think of as safe like East Dulwich, Angel, Pimlico, Balham, Stoke Newington and Fulham.

DivineInspiration Mon 04-Feb-13 13:18:20

I totally agree with emsyj, by the way. I've lived in places like Elephant, Camberwell, Woolwich and Dalston which are quite built-up and can be quite grubby and down-at-heel in the town centres, and knew them to be totally safe and welcoming, so I tend to not really notice the things about those places which put others off. Yet I've visited friends in other parts of London and felt really uneasy on the walk from the station to their house, even though the friends who live there feel the same way about their patch as I did about mine.

Where do your friends/colleagues live? Is there anybody who could help reassure you that you only feel uneasy and unsafe because it feels unfamiliar?

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 14:11:24

DI - thinking about it, I've pretty much had a live-in landlord in every 'house share' I've had. The worst by far was a place where the landlord kept a room but was away for months at a time, so nothing got fixed. A couple of friends of mine rented a place together, but found out later that the landlady kept a room there so that she had a place for people to stay when they needed it - as my friend has an anxiety disorder, it wasn't ideal for her to have strangers turnign up unannounced in the kitchen. I doubt it is for anyone, to be fair. My landlord occasionally invites a friend of his to stay who sleeps on a mat int he dining room (landlord#s bedroom is a single room with a double mattress on the floor - there are no spare rooms) and doesn't say hello to me, and that's rubbish enough.

I had a look at houseshares a while ago, and there wasn't a lot that suited - the ads I saw were crammed with rules about washing up rotas, were Polish or Italian households (no issue with those per se but I imagine it might be difficult to essentially make everyone speak English all the time when you're about and it could be a source of tension if you're the only non-[language] speaker) or were Antipodean bases for travelling (which, I know from househuntings passim, are cheap because they are absolute shitholes with ten or so short-term renters at once). I've houseshared for the eight years I've been in London, the first time I looked for a new place I ended up looking at seventeen flats before I found somewhere. 'Auditioning' to potential new housemates is tiring work. (I don't get to have any say in who else lives in our flat so I don't know how tiring the other side of things is.) I'm also in my 30s and a lot of people in the ads I looked at wanted younger people or were 'party houses'.

The best house-share I had was with two friends when I first moved to London, despite it being in the middle of nowhere and a single room - they've since married and moved on. I looked at that area again last night, but with it being a student area there's not a lot going. It's also very much not on the tube - I could get a bus to my job then but not to where I am now. My SO and I are looking to live together but for job-related reasons he can't move yet and I don't know how much longer I can stay where I am without sewing prawns into the curtains or something grin - it's not a good foundation for the start of co-habiting if I'm desperate to move out of where I am.

Almost all of my colleagues own their places as they bought in the late 90s. There are two who rent, and they live in Clapham which is £700-ish for a house share. My old manager lived in Dalston and got burgled about once a year, but perhaps that's par for the course and I've just been lucky. One of my friends lives in Chiswick (which is well expensive) and my other close friend just bought her first place with her partner.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 14:14:21

The last place I lived in, I was a lodger. I moved out as it was too small and expensive and her boyfriend wanted to move in, but we got on really well, would sit together in the living room chatting or watching TV; she would sometimes go out at the weekends or go away and, unlike the house I'm in now, the tenant didn't end up eating all their meals in their rooms, because it was a relaxing place just to hang out.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 14:14:45

Grammar fail. Sigh.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Feb-13 14:37:44

I feel your pain, OP, I'm in a similar situation. People sort of act like you're being entitled because you want your own space - I suffer from anxiety and social panic, living with other people is hell for me.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 14:44:18

Thank you for understanding. My landlord might be an arse - and the constant sarcastic/'clever' comments he mistakes for conversation can really fuck with my head on a bad day - but it seems to have underlined how I don't want to live with other people unless I have some kind of relationship with them. I'm not asking for a pied-a-terre in Islington, just somewhere that's not a before photo for a house fire.

I honestly don't know what people do if they find out they are having a child, if the 'studio' barely fits one person. Mind you, I looked round a flat once and on asking who was living in the other room, was told it was a couple and a nine-month old baby. I can't see a lot of people wanting to share accommodation with children, their own or other people's (I didn't as I worked shifts at the time). Not everybody can go back and live with their mum and dad, y'know?

FlouncingMintyy Mon 04-Feb-13 14:44:57
DivineInspiration Mon 04-Feb-13 14:56:51

What about this?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this?

You can travel from any of those to central London in less than an hour.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Feb-13 15:00:34

Where do you work OP? Not exact location, just rough idea. A lot of people are posting links, but it's pointless if the place is in SE and you work somewhere with a shit connection to there.

SuzySuzSuz Mon 04-Feb-13 15:02:27

Hi OP,
What is your current contract? Can you give notice or are you tied in for a set period?
Have a look at your work tube / rail station then have a look outward and see what towns you know or have friends there. Research your train fare from that zone and work out what you can afford rent wise from your salary. It may be a straight cut 'no' for some areas, others may have done or lots of properties. Post on here for views on areas if you aren't sure as there'll be lots of different views and info.
The further out you go the more you will get for your rent, just need to check travel costs.
It's like a massive research project which will take lots of time and effort but is so worth it when you get somewhere that feels like home.
I moved down from the NW about 10yrs ago, completely on my own, have always worked in London and have lived in Sutton, Streatham, Croydon and now a bit further out in Surrey.

Greenford is not particularly dodgy, I lived in Northolt for a couple of years and had no problems and know people who live in Greenford. If you want more space for your money then you have to move out a bit.

CaurnieBred Mon 04-Feb-13 15:30:46

Looking at Sydenham - how about here. i used to own a property on this development - this one says bills are included at £180 per week for a one bedroom, ground floor flat:

Sazzle41 Mon 04-Feb-13 15:37:23

I am similar to you, moved to Lodon 5yrs back. I live on the edge of Zone 4 and its 30mins door to door to central London. I have a lovely victorian flat thats £800 a month. (you get c tax rebate if you are single if that helps?). I snapped it up - its only down side is quite a small kitchen but the rest is huge ! Unfurnished is slightly cheaper too ...

The admin fee was £75 & 1 month deposit. (I saved up for that bit as I hated sharing). Could you stretch to that? Might be worth it for peace of mind ? I would only share again if it was a huge house, everyone worked outside the house and i had a huge bedroom tbh ... like you i need quiet time to myself..... Hope you sort sharing is a nightmare if you are a quiet person I know...

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 15:53:07

I don't have a written contract (no houseshare in London has ever asked me for one) - I can leave whenever, give or take a month's notice. I work near Bloomsbury so I can't quite work out how good SE is. I work with someone who lives in Crystal Palace (and hated Woolwich) so I guess it is doable. DP lives in Reading at the moment, and when his job does move to London and he's out of his lease, it will be near to Paddington. So if I found somewhere and then he moved in or we stayed in the area, I'd need to consider this. SE to Paddington isn't a great link but there may be one that is.

The problem with moving out of London is that I need to transfer my psychiatric care - between boroughs this is easy, outside of the city it could take months and I'd be stuck without urgent care fi I needed it - it's a worst case scenario, but it's what has kept me in my current area for a while as I've eben trying to get the right medicvation balance for me. The other issue is how much it will cost to get a man and van to move my stuff as I don't drive. Unfurnished means I'd need money to get basic furniture so I'd need to factor this in, but I can think about it.

My landlord does work outside the house - he just works from home when he's not in the office, in the evenigns and at weekends. He is 'using up' 20 days of holiday at the moment, and is spending it...working from home in his dressing gown.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 15:54:55

Sorry, I meant his job will be near to Paddington - this and having a few months left on his lease is the difference.

We have a long-standing plan to move in together, but where I'm living is literally driving me mental, hence me looking at ways to try and cut that waiting period short. It's not a good sign for him if I want to move in with him partly to get out of the place I'm in, either.

whois Mon 04-Feb-13 15:56:44

OP you have yourself to blame for moving in somewhere with a shitty live in landlord and not being able to watch TV. Market forces and all that!

Find yourself a decent house share, with normal housemates who are at work during the day. You will have to put up with them being around in the evenings and weekend tho, such is life.

You know there ARE nice flat shares out there, you just have to look hard and market yourself well. Try asking via your extended network of friends and colleagues.

Anyway, I think you are being dramatic. There is a nice bedsit on right move near Bethanl Green tube for £160 per week. Lots of storage, double bed, nice shower room and cooking facilities look passable (2 ring electric). Maybe got a horrible compromise like on a main road or something, hard to tell from the advert.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Feb-13 15:58:20

Can you get a short term lease somewhere OP? And maybe talk to your GP about your concerns?

This site is really helpful for working out connection times.

Seriously look at Greenford and Ealing. There is the Central Line for you to Tottenham Court Rd / Holborn and overground trains from both Greenford and Ealing to Paddington.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Feb-13 16:01:38

whois I think you are being unfair. The OP has said she has mh problems. I don't think you realise how hard it can be to "market" yourself to people when you're feeling bad.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 16:06:14

whois - my landlord is at work during the day. He just works from home during the rest of the time from his computer in the corner of the living room. I wouldn#t be bothered if he was 'around', but the house is set up for a batchelor, and he's taken to whinging at me for leaving my kitchen equipment in the kitchen, and he never ever goes out. That's different from someone happening to be home at evenings and weekends.

It was meant to be a stopgap while DP;s firm finalised their move - it's taken longer than expected. It was tolerable enough as the rent was cheap, then I had a bad time a couple of months ago and realised how much having a constantly-present, constantly-sarcastic landlord was getting to me at a time when I wanted to come home and flop on the sofa rather than have a barrage of jokes launched at me to the soundtrack of the One Show. My housemate appears to feel the same, as she's bought herself a TV so she doesn't have to ask to use the living room, so I'm sure it's not just me being antisocial. Maybe it does sound dramatic, but hey, that's mental illness for you, it tends to say hello when situations are not good for you.

I already live in Ealing. There's nothing here in my price range - I had a look if only to save on moving hassle - Ealing is more expensive than you think, even for flatshares, as it's close to White City - my old flatshare here was £510pcm before bills for a tiny room. My friend lived in Greenford and hated it as she was in a really dodgy part of town and it was too far from supermarkets.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 16:09:47

MT - the place has made me so withdrawn that I don't think I'd be a great fit in a houseshare really, especially when trying to market myself. I've got used to putting on a fake face, and hiding away, and it would be unfair to resent sharing with others. I feel so depressed at home that I barely do anythign in the evening, save (god I can't believe how melodramatic this sounds written down) binge-eating and vomiting.

CinnabarRed Mon 04-Feb-13 16:10:57

Reading's not a bad place to live to commute into London.

JuliaScurr Mon 04-Feb-13 16:14:39

They really must see you lot coming! Weaselly little 'landlords' rubbing their hands with glee, knowing you'll all 'suck it up', shrug and pay up.

Great god almighty, get off this 'market forces' nonsense - what about human needs?

yanbu, op.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 16:14:56

I'd happily move to Reading but for one thing - the passenger line into London is insanely busy. As in, 175% passenger load, and about £3k a year too. DP and I discussed this as I like the town a lot, but he doesn't want to do that commute every day and is worried that the lengthy days will have an effect on me (I take meds which make me really tired, it's a pain in the arse).

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Feb-13 16:18:03

Oh OP sad

I do really sympathise you know. I'm currently outside London for a year, and no idea what I'm going to do when I move back.

I had a flatmate who was such a nitpicker. She'd complain about the slightest thing and I felt like my home wasn't my own. Things like leaving a teaspoon in the drainer or putting the heating on, rather than doing as she did and carrying a hot water bottle around with her. Literally every day there was a post-it note about something. The thing that pissed me off most was that she left hair all over the bathroom and stole my food all the time, so not sure why she thought it was ok to tell me off.

It doesn't sound like anything major but when you are anxious already it really grinds you down. I took to hiding in my room and eventually did a midnight flit.

moisturiser Mon 04-Feb-13 16:19:21

I just wanted to say I can empathise. I've lived in houseshares for the last few years and they can be completely dire. I've lived with a few really awful people and had a completely crappy landlady and it really affected my mental health. I spent so long saying 'I'll move out' and then I never did because I was always too exhausted to do so (health issues). And I never knew if I'd just end up moving somewhere worse. It's amazing how bad for your mental health not having your own space can be. Been there, done that.

I'm lucky enough to have my own place now (I have a lodger and I make damned sure this a lovely environment for her), but I would say there are other houseshares out there which are good. It is worth the energy searching. I know a few people who rent rooms out who are lovely and they have lovely houses too.

For now, is there a nice park or library you can go to in the evenings to escape your landlord? He sounds awful. Yes he has every right to use his house as he sees fit but I do think if you rent a room out you need to make your tenants feel at home and let them have use of things too.

amicissimma Mon 04-Feb-13 16:23:55

Erm, the point of houseshares is that you share the communal space with other people. I've made some lifelong friends that way and also met some people who I couldn't get away from quick enough!

If you want to live in a whole flat for yourself it costs more, and can be lonely. If you want to live in a sought-after area that costs more. If you want to be near public transport that costs more.

You seem quite dismissive about places where I have lived or where I have very nice friends living, BTW. They seem fine to me.

It's a rare landlord who rents out accommodation as a social service. Most are trying to make a living, just like the rest of us.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Feb-13 16:26:47

amicissimma are you missing the point that the OP has mh probs? Do you realise how much more difficult that makes life/socialising?

fridge it does depend which bit of Greenford you are in but no one I know has had any problems so I surprised that your friend has. Yes you do need to get a bus to the supermarket but that's true for lots of London.

What about something like this?

We all appreciate that the OP has MH problems which make things more difficult but the London property market is what it is.
There are two separate points for me
i) The OP is in a shitty flatshare now and should find something else
ii)She needs to think whether that something else should be another flatshare or a studio and if so where?

specialsubject Mon 04-Feb-13 16:34:23

furniture is cheaply available second hand from charity shops, freecycle, ebay. Man with a van can be done with shopping around.

OP, I know you have problems but none of them are that hard to solve. You are on a month's notice as you are in a flatshare, so it is easy to leave. Your landlord and you clearly do not get on, so stop wasting energy thinking about his cooking habits, his lovelife and his salary and start using that brain power to find yourself somewhere else.

good luck.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Feb-13 16:36:52

Chaz how on earth do you know that everyone appreciates she has mh problems? Are you all sitting together in one room?

I think there's a lot of people on here who don't get how hard it is to flatshare when you already feel anxious and are being quite insensitive in their posts, basically saying the OP is dismissing things out of hand or that she needs to just suck it up and find someone else to move in with. Not that simple.

I literally hide in my room until 2 in the morning to eat some days, because I just can't bare to see anyone. And I get on ok with my flatmates.

quoteunquote Mon 04-Feb-13 16:39:19

Sorry, I didn't mean to upset you, what I was trying to say is that there is no easy option even if we understand that the OP has MH problems we can't change the state of the London property market which means that space and privacy is expensive.

I hope you are OK.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Feb-13 16:51:01

You didn't upset me.

FairPhyllis Mon 04-Feb-13 16:51:21

I understand that you feel overwhelmed right now, but there ARE nice flatshares in nice areas of London, mostly without a live-in landlord, for under 700. I know because I am looking too. If you shared with someone who travels a lot for work or works long hours that would give you more time to yourself in a property. There will be a situation out there that suits you.

I think your main problem in this situation is your landlord - he shouldn't be making people feel they can't use communal space. But if you are not locked into a contract you can solve this relatively easily.

whois Mon 04-Feb-13 16:55:09

Two nice lines in Montgenevre, long lunch in Italy and a few cruisy tree runs after. Back to MG tomorrow etc

Yeah I agree the set up is awful, I was trying to say a more 'normal' flat share with people out of the house during the day, and a more equal relationship as tenants would be preferable to the horrible sounding landlord set up you are in now! So discounting flat shares compleatly is a little heavy handed because this isn't really a flat share.

I totally get the desire to live on your own, but you are going to have to compromise on location if that is the primary thing.

Might help to make a list of things (location, transport, area, niceness of outside, niceness of inside, space etc) and see what is really important to you. If you are looking at £1k per month including bills (as I assume from £700 excl bills) then you WILL find somewhere nice , on your own, with some time and effort. But it might involve a longer commute to work, or mean a taxi home at night rather than wall thru a dodgy area

soaccidentprone Mon 04-Feb-13 16:58:02

it can be so much more difficult to even sort out the basics when you have mh problems.

having said that, i am pretty sure you would feel more positive about your housing situation if you have a plan, rather than just feeling stuck in the crap situation you find yourself in.

have you thought about renting unfurnished and picking up furniture from free cycle or off eBay?

try [ man with a van]] for help with moving stuff. you put in what you want moving and then wait for quotes to come in. I've used it twice and found it excellent. I bought a 1930's wardrobe, dressing table and chest of drawers for £120 and paid £45 to have them picked up and delivered. they also took the upstairs and put them in position.

make lists of where would be OK areas given transport links etc. also try online supermarket shopping if your nearest one is miles away.

I've lived in some 'interesting' flat shares in the past ie the woman we never saw as she spent all her time in her room and only came out when we weren't in and went 'home' to her parents every weekendconfused

good lucksmile

soaccidentprone Mon 04-Feb-13 16:58:58
MrsBertMacklin Mon 04-Feb-13 17:00:20

Sympathies with your current situation OP.

Would somewhere near the Heathrow - Hounslow end of the Piccadilly line be feasible for your current place of work? I used to live in Hounslow and found a couple of great houseshares, mainly because the area is popular with young professionals and airline workers, who tend to work long hours. Any good? Hounslow's amenities are also a lot better than they were when I lived there.

roulade Mon 04-Feb-13 17:14:48

Redbridge is pretty good for links to the city and relatively cheap too. It's also a London borough so transferring care would be easy.

JuliaScurr Mon 04-Feb-13 18:08:18

Is there any possibility you could get in a hostel re your mh probs and get rehoused into social housing? I've known people who did that and got nice flats, controlled rent and secure long term tenancies. The hostels weren't that bad, either

amicissimma Mon 04-Feb-13 18:15:18

MechanicalTheatre, I can't see why you asked me that. MH problems can mean that it is better to have company as living alone can be isolating.

OP seems to have chosen to share, so I don't think it's unreasonable to think she might feel that way (she doesn't say). There are some people who are a nightmare to share with, whatever one's mental state. Personally, and I believe the point of posting is to get other people's opinions, I would say that if you encounter such people it is better to move on. I understand that that can be hard, but, IMO (see above), it's worth it.

I made the point that you can make some good friends from shares, and I don't think people with MH issues are exempt from this.

I also pointed out some facts of renting which apply to everyone, regardless of whether or not they have any type of problems.

Southeastdweller Mon 04-Feb-13 18:23:01

Supply and demand, innit.

Having been a lodger with an unsociable and selfish prick like you have, I can completely empathise with you. It's tough being 'stuck' within those same four walls. What helped was going away as much as I could, even day out in Brighton or cheap airport hotels...anything cheap to get some bloody space. Sounds like your numptie landlord wants his cake with a cherry on top.

I also think that most people underestimate how stressful it can generally be sharing in a 'normal' situation and on your £700 budget you could easily find a one bedroom flat within London, like where I live. It's an utter shithole, though, with anti-social behaviour levels off the scale, a crap council, high burglary rates and bugger all to do locally. I went nearby to Catford recently and that area was even worse. I felt very unsafe there and admit to not being a fan of south east London. sure there's nice pockets here and there but generally...not my cup of tea. but it is cheap. I guess it depends on what you're used to.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 18:34:22

amicissimma - I haven't 'chosen' to share - see above. Renting on your own is very expensive. It's only a remote possiblity now because I've got my finances in order and am also on a secondment so earn more money to absorb the costs of moving. It's only in the last few months that that has been remotely an option, as I've had to do a lot of work in rebuilding my credit score (houseshares I've lived in have been informal and didn't need credit checks) and organising my money so I can properly budget and save. I feel depressed at thinking that if I'd got this under control earlier I might be moaning about the buying market right now, but there you go.

Living 'on your own' in a house with other people with whom you have only a nodding relationship is infinitely more isolating, hence me wanting to get the fuck out of Dodge. It has really soured me towards flatshares, and I feel like I've become really bad at dealing with people now as I'm used to hiding away. On the other hand, DP shares a flat with his landlord/housemate, and they get along really well - LL's girlfriend is lovely, and LL's sister and brother in law are close so we often socialise as a group. I feel so much more relaxed and able to be myself over there - a place where i'm a guest - than in the place where I live.

JuliaScurr - it's so oversubscribed and as I work full-time, I don't think I'm considered in sufficient need for that kind of service anyway.

Haven't 'dismissed' suggestions above - some of them are for areas I don't know so I need to investigate those. I rarely buy enough week to week to make online supermarket shopping worth it - min order is £25, so it's great for a household but less so for a person living singly. At the moment I would have to walk across a large park in the dark to get to a supermarket, and I miss having fresh food available more easily.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 18:36:27

Also, I feel like DP doesn't understand, as his response is 'well, he's not as bad as [comically shitty landlord from five years ago who photographed my belongings as I moved out of the flat]'. It might sound whiny and entitled, but I don't want 'not that bad' to be the baseline.

Southeastdweller Mon 04-Feb-13 19:29:17

I've now read the entire thread and feel that some posters have been unnecessarily harsh.

If you move to the south east part of the citythen you could do as I do and get the 521 bus from London Bridge and walk from Holborn to Bloomsbury, though I appreciate this wouldn't work well for DP's work in Paddington.

I think what you should do is find a decent bedsit or even a studio in a decent area on your budget. They exist because I've lived in two and as you say, it wouldn't be for too long anyway.

Or find a flat share but with one other person only, one that says on the advert - as some do - that the person advertising has a full-life,in that they work at least part-time away from home, goes away for the odd weekend and so on.

Again, I completely empathise. I'm told I'm a considerate person and if I ever become a L.L in the future then I'll make damn sure my tenant is fully comfortable in their own home!

holidaysarenice Mon 04-Feb-13 21:54:47

i love how everyone who hates there house talks about how bad there mental health is. you are obviously used to sharing so know that ur mh suffers when you move in with someone, so why did u pick this place?

if you want somewhere for yourself you will hve to be prepared to pay more, have less to spend, or move further away. or would you like ur ll to just give you there place for, ooh lets say 50% less than there mortgage.

Southeastdweller Mon 04-Feb-13 22:02:03

Read the whole thread holidays. I don't like how you're diminishing the feelings of the O.P, who has categorically said has mental health issues.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 04-Feb-13 22:02:29

holidaysarenice you sound like a really helpful and kind poster.

Uppermid Mon 04-Feb-13 22:13:14

West London is hideously expensive. Another vote for se London here.

The east London line goes to crystal place via forest hill, honor oak park, brockley and new cross gate.

DLR goes to lewisham. Crofton park has trains that go to kings cross, Kentish town or Luton. A couple of lines go direct to London bridge, Ladywell goes through to charging cross.

emsyj Mon 04-Feb-13 22:33:26

Lewisham is pretty well connected for transport all round really what with the mainline train connections to London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing X, Cannon St and Victoria (altho think the Victoria connection is less good, from memory the Victoria trains were infrequent and at odd times - but the other destinations were quick and frequent) - parts of it are nice (not all). I never felt threatened there, although the town centre shops are shabby. We lived in Blackheath and I often used to get the train to Lewisham (more frequent connection) and get a bus up the hill (often lateish evening time, 8-9pm).

You could travel to Charing X and then on to Paddington via tube quite easily, although it's very possible that there are areas that would be more convenient to you and your DP yet are still affordable - why not post for advice on the Property board? DH used to travel from Blackheath SE3 to work in Swiss Cottage without any issue. You need a few London dwelling MNers who can recommend some areas to look at. My knowledge is very limited to SE London I'm afraid, but pleased to see so many pro-SE posters on here!!! grin

TinyDiamond Mon 04-Feb-13 23:15:03

have you looked into being a property guardian with Camelot or, darn it just forgot the name of the other main one. Google it! if I didn't have a child this is what I'd be doing

blackberrysunset Mon 04-Feb-13 23:52:52

fridgepants I have mh issues and work f/t but I was still able to get rehoused in London. I had to go into a hostel for a few months, but then I bid for a 1 bed HA flat in Bethnal Green which is in excellent condition, my neighbours are owner-occupiers and the rent is £80pw.

It is definitely worth looking into. Studio/one bed places come up relatively regularly, and if you have support from your MH team they can write good letters to bump up your application.

TinyDiamond Mon 04-Feb-13 23:55:14

ad hoc is the other one smile

maddening Tue 05-Feb-13 00:19:24

Def relocate if you want space for your money - by me is a 3 bed semi with countryside views, front and back gardens with drive and outbuildings for £550 pm! But cheshire is a long commute from london!

Jinsei Tue 05-Feb-13 08:27:03

My parents let out an extremely nice furnished one bedroom flat in London for £600 pcm. It isn't huge, but has a decent sized double bedroom, nice lounge, kitchen and bathroom. Perfectly adequate for one person, and very well-maintained. It is cheaper than average because it isn't on a tube line, and lots of people therefore won't consider it. However, the transport links are actually very good if you take the trouble to check. Perhaps you need to widen your search a bit?

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 08:34:35

You are mixing up several issues here:

What you WANT

What your landlord HAS and DOES

These are separate.

S/he can charge what they like.

You can choose to pay it or move.

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 12:34:24

"i love how everyone who hates there house talks about how bad there mental health is. you are obviously used to sharing so know that ur mh suffers when you move in with someone, so why did u pick this place?"

It hasn't in the past, and sadly having a disability tends to mean you earn less money, rather than enough cash to choose the perfect lifestyle. Like most people. I picked the place because I needed somewhere to live and I could afford it, just like there are people who would like extra bedrooms so that their DC don't need to share but can't afford to do that. I'm pretty sure housesharing doesn't cause schizo-effective bipolar disorder, but thanks for the suggestion.

" you want somewhere for yourself you will hve to be prepared to pay more, have less to spend, or move further away. or would you like ur ll to just give you there place for, ooh lets say 50% less than there mortgage"

My current landlord has paid off his mortgage, and fiddled his council tax because he's a stingy get. My bed needed repairing, so instead of getting a new one, he claimed he couldn't find a bed frame that wasn't a divan and put some slats from a different bed in the loft on top of the broken bed frame. Most houseshares are really shittily maintained with crappy furniture and this seems to be par for the course for most rentals - friends of mine had to battle with the landlord to get things fixed when they had water coming through their light fittings. I get landlords have expenses to cover, I just question why it's so expensive for something so cynically crap. There is a reason why some get very wealthy from being landlords (though I know not all landlords are swimming in dosh and are regular people - but those tend to be better at it).

I thought about property guardianship until I realised that you can be asked to leave with two weeks' notice and I need a bit more stability than that. Given that a lot of the properties aren't residential, that would make it feel a bit like squatting where you can be chucked out at any time. I'm not sure that would work for me.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Tue 05-Feb-13 12:37:43

fridgepants you've been given lots of good advice and suggestions. Are you going to be following them up with a view to finding somewhere that works for you or do you just wish to complain about your current landlord/your perception of landlords generally?

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 12:38:45

So thinking about it and discussing with DP last night, I can stay put, take advantage of the cheaper rent to save and make moving in together easier, and spend as much time out of the place doing stuff as possible - or I can move but have to pay double what I'm paying now to cover rent and bills, plus the cost of moving my stuff, then moving it again in a few months to live with DP.

My landlord is working from home today - he got a call at 6am asking him to work from home and 'doesn't have time' to go into the office, so will be working a 12hr day. It's a depressing atmosphere, as is he being twice my age (not age-ist, it's just making me feel old before my time and he doesn't understand any of my references to what I do at work etc. and it's a bit like living with someone else's dad) and can't speak to people without making sarky jokes designed to make him come off as cleverer than you are. In any case not spending much time there would make a drastic improvement in my mood grin

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 12:40:01

Bit of both Bingo grin. I need to think about what's the best option now given that DP and I will be moving in together in a few months. I will definitely put the advice and suggestions to good use, whether now or when looking with DP, but I'm still trying to work out the best option for me.

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 12:40:35

Jinsei - if you don't feel comfortable saying so here can you PM me whereabouts that is so I can have a look at what's about there?

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 12:40:57

It's all about you isn't it? Everythig and everyone is unfair...

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 12:41:34

Whoops, glad to see you are actually going to do something..

MechanicalTheatre Tue 05-Feb-13 12:43:16

Hully have you read the thread? Normally you give pretty good answers, but I thought that was pretty harsh.

I think a lot of people don't get the reality of living in rented accommodation in London, OP. So much of it is shittily maintained, student-level crap that you'd hoped you wouldn't be living in in your adulthood.

So the answer is always: move, then.

And get a job, where? As far as I can see, it makes no sense at all to move out of London when there is no chance of getting a job.

The condition of so many flats are completely unacceptable with landlords raking it in on properties they bought cheap in the 90s. And we're just supposed to suck it up because that's capitalism.

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 12:44:49

Yes, I did read the thread. It's like I said up there, if you don't like the LL, bloody move!

MechanicalTheatre Tue 05-Feb-13 12:47:03

It's not always that simple, unfortunately.

Not really sure what your post is meant to do. Spur the OP into action? I think she was asking for support, not imperatives. She has had plenty of ideas for what she could do, I don't think she needs someone barking orders at her.

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 12:52:46

woof woof

It's just like I said before, there are different issues, there is what she wants and her sense of "it's not fair"

and there is the LL and what he "has" and "does"

The two should not be conflated, that's my thang.

Mosman Tue 05-Feb-13 12:55:38

My tenant hasn't paid her rent for the 2nd month running, she only moved in three months ago. Shall I start a thread about that ?

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 12:57:07

DON'T GET ME STARTED mosman...grin

MechanicalTheatre Tue 05-Feb-13 12:59:12

Why not Mosman, not sure what it has to do with this thread?

Hully, sure there are different issues. She's sorting through them. Not sure how that's a problem.

The situation re renting in London ISN'T fair. More and more people are being pushed out of a city they love. Living here shouldn't be a privilege.

ethelb Tue 05-Feb-13 13:05:18

@mosman why not start a thread about her?

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 13:09:21

Yeah, it is all about me, because I'm thinking about where I want to live.

MT sums up my feelings about the whole thing. It's difficult for those who aren't in a position to buy, as either you are living in a house that's pretty much like a student house but for loads more money, or you are living on your own but in an equally shitty place for loads and loads more money.

I've lived in shared accommodation infested with mice, suffering subsidence so bad that I would lose things in the gap between the wall and the floor, a landlord knocking money off my deposit as the oven wasn't clean before I moved out (I was the only person to be leaving after two months when the other tenants had been there for years and never touched it) and photographing my belongings as I left to check I hadn't stolen anything, sockets that gave me electric shocks and a bed that collapsed when I was sleeping on it. Friends of mine have had black mould on the walls, a shower with pressure so low that it can only be used when sitting down int he bath, cookers so dilapidated that they are controlled with basically an on/off switch, landlords inviting people to stay in the property without checking with the tenant first, and refusal to fix water leaking through a light fitting. These are all professional people paying a decent sum every month who just want a reasonable place to live in an area that might be a bit shitty but is easy enough to get to work from. This is why people are pissed off, and why I feel so hopeless about the whole thing from looking at what's available when I started this thread. It seems to be the only expenditure where one is almost expected to deal with sub-standard conditions that you wouldn't if you were buying a hoover or staying in a hotel, and the landlord can evict you with a months' notice (in a shared house) which means people stay quiet.

And for me, I'm tired of hiding my mh problems so I can live somewhere without some person deciding it means I'm going to stab them in their beds, which means I have to put on a brave face all the time and it's really exhausting when I feel very very low. (I had a termination last year, it was one of the most difficult things I'd ever done, and living with people that a) I couldn't talk to about it as we didn't have that kind of relationship, so I had to say I was working from home b) can't even answer 'how are you' without doing some effected Pythin routine made it a LOT harder) Sure, I know everyone does this to an extent, but I end up having to be 'professional' all the time, especially where I'm living now as the LL thinks every conversation is a cue to launch into student humour, and it's causing a strain because the only place at home I can relax and be myself is shut up in my room. And I'm not Tracey Barlow goign upstairs to play my tapes anymore, y'know? I don't want to live like a teenager into adulthood, and it frustrates me that that's being presented as being entitled. The obvious solution - get a place on your own until you can move in with DP - is not as obvious as I'd like, because it will be very expensive (see above)

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 13:09:44

Yeah, I realise I'm whinging right now. But I need a fucking cup of tea/

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 13:11:02

Start a thread if you want mosman, but be prepared to be told yabu. I remember the last thread you started where you told us that anyone who 'had the opportuinity to buy' in 2002 and didn't was an idiot who shouldn't have spent all their time smoking dope in Bali grin.

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 13:16:12

I lived like that for years fridgepants. Water pouring down the walls, peeping toms gazing through the windows, mice etc etc.

Most of us have.

MolehillAlchemy Tue 05-Feb-13 13:18:53

Moan away fridgepants if that what you need to do. There are enough lovely people here to give you sympathy and constructive ideas. You are in a shitty situation, and coming to Mumsnet to offload and seek help can offer you all sorts of insights and solutions. Long live Mumsnet. And down with all the posters who just want to kick a person when they're down.

These are pretty central:
turnham green


fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 13:20:29

Yeah, I know. And knowing that the only chance of us getting our own place is if DP's parents die (and I'd rather sleep on mice than have this happen) makes it even more frustrating. It wasn't so much the case not long ago. Everyone over 35 in my office owns their place - those under either were able to get significant parental help (not an option for us for reasons I won't bore you with - my mum no longer owns her house so I will inherit nothing), or are one of the three or so of us who are renting (it's a fairly middle-class industry).

The difference now is that a lot of people my age and younger realise they're going to be renting pretty much indefinitely, and that makes shitty places more shit.

MechanicalTheatre Tue 05-Feb-13 13:21:17

Oh so what, Hully? This is the OP's situation right now. She is upset about it. Would a bit of kindness go amiss?

Mosman Tue 05-Feb-13 13:21:28

I know it's very unreasonable to expect people to pay their way in life, I wish I was on a beach in Bali, maybe not with the joint though given their hardline stance on drugs at the moment.

You know, it could be worse.

You could be in a small £700 pcm studio flat (one room with kitchen corner and a bathroom) with your dp and your newborn, and without being able to afford anything else between the two of you. Imagine living in one room with a cot, a double bed a wardrobe and a tv.

<tiny violins>

(But I dont see them complaining)

We need to get you banned again Hully.

<kicks an apple-core into shrubbery >

MechanicalTheatre Tue 05-Feb-13 13:24:47

Yes, Pure and that couple could live in a slum in Africa.

What's your fucking point?

Mosman Tue 05-Feb-13 13:26:15

I will admit though I have only ever shared once, in London during the 1998 world cup with a load of French people who were very vocal about their country and how superior it was to England, I had never been racially abused before, quite an eye opener, anyway. It was awful. I would never want to do it again and so I moved to Birmingham.
You've got to take steps to improve your lot and if that means a dull as ditch water job you don't want to do to get you where you need to be then so be it. Get the highest paying role you can find, it'll be boring, but the better you can be at it the less time you'll have to do it for.
There's my advice for free, I usually charge a lot for it.

There is really no need to swear at me, unless you want to come across as a bit well, idiotic.

Would you walk up to me in person and swear to my face?

If you wouldn't what makes you think it is ok to do it online?

And if you would, well, then I would just turn my back and shrug.

That was to MechanicalTheatrical

MechanicalTheatre Tue 05-Feb-13 13:31:03

Shrug, not going to get into a bunfight with you Pure .

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 13:32:05


Really Manic Theatre. grin
You could have fooled me, with your swearing an' all.

Seriously OP, look at the links for the studio flats in Turnham Green and Hammersmith. They are pretty central, and on the tube in towards Bloomsbury.

It is shit when you feel there is nothing you can do to improve your situation. I know the feeling (mine is not housing related though, but work)

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 13:44:09

It seems an odd way to 'improve your lot' by taking a duller, worse paying job.

When I lived in a different part fo the country and my contract ended (the advice I was constantly given was 'you should move to London as there's more of the industry there') the only things going were admin. Not only am the worlds' worst admin person, but I was constantly being told I was over-qualified for positions. Where I grew up, one would be exceptionally lucky to be earning £13k a year - and again, they don't tend to employ those with degrees even fresh out of study as 'we don't think you'll stay'.

I'm in a well-paying job, doing somethign which interests me, which has regular hours and a strong work-life balance ethos, and with management who understand my condition (the amount of temp jobs I lost after confiding in supervisors that I'd changed meds and might be a bit slower for a week or two as a result was astonishing) - it's given me a sense of stability which was lacking in my life for a very long time. I'm not seeing how giving this up is going to solve the problem.

PQ - I've looked at flatshares where a whole family with a baby rented a single room next to me. I don't imagine it's fun at all, and I don't envy those who have children, or who feel they have to wait to buy to start a family. I can complain about how I feel while also recognising how it would be worse, but I don't think discomfort or unhappiness is a zero-sum game, so I'm not sure how that helps.

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 13:45:40

PQ - thanks for the links, I will take a look.

I've just started a new position and am earning a little bit more for a while and improving my CV a bit while I do maternity cover- I have a couple of friends having a shite time with work at the moment and I feel very lucky. Hope it improves soon.

To be honest, I know that not everyone agree. But when I feel particularly down in the dumps, it sort of helps to realize that my situation could be worse. That there are people worse off than me. It does not help on a practical level, but it helps my perspective, and it is a comfort to know that at least it is not as bad as living in a swamp/tent etc.

What infuriates me though, is competitve "oh I have it so bad," "oh, no I have it much worse" that really get on my tits.

Sorry if you did not find my posts helpful.

Mosman Tue 05-Feb-13 13:51:24

I'm in a well-paying job, doing somethign which interests me, which has regular hours and a strong work-life balance ethos, and with management who understand my condition (the amount of temp jobs I lost after confiding in supervisors that I'd changed meds and might be a bit slower for a week or two as a result was astonishing) - it's given me a sense of stability which was lacking in my life for a very long time. I'm not seeing how giving this up is going to solve the problem.

Quite honestly i don't know what you're fucking moaning about then grin

What grates me a bit is when I think about my parents, for example, when they were my age, they were really sorted. Stable jobs, good home, etc.

People the same age today dont have that. It seems to me we all struggle in different way. 30, 40 still not being "comfortable" still not having a stable life with good jobs and decent homes.

How many years shall we work, and how old must we be to become "comfortable"? When will this happen?

You just need to get out of that flatshare with that crazy landlord!

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 13:55:45

I think I'm just a bit touchy about that as I had an ex who would dismiss me with 'well, you're not homeless, so you can't really be depressed...' Which is true on one level, but....sigh. I'd just feel guilty because, well, are you allowed to be depressed if you're not homeless/unemployed/dying from nose cancer?

I've spoken a lot to DP over the past couple of days and if things fall into place, we may be able to start looking for somewhere together a lot sooner than planned. I tend to hide a lot of what I'm feeling as we don't live in the same city and I don't want him to worry about how I'm doing too much - I've said little about it on here as it sounds awfully melodramatic and, well, mental written down, and even more so spoken out loud on the phone. He is not keen to rush into the first place we see, though, so it also depends on what's out there at the time - looking at SE places is a great suggestion but we need to work out commutes, and when it will happen, and whether I can stay put in the meantime and stick it out or should move sooner rather than later.

MechanicalTheatre Tue 05-Feb-13 13:57:16

Yes, I don't know what you're fucking moaning about OP hmm

How dare you have a decent job? It doesn't matter if you're puking up in your room every night because you feel so bad, let's all just have a big joke, shall we?

It was in the Evening Standard a bit ago that the average age to buy a house in London these days was 50-odd. Depressing shit.

MechanicalTheatre Tue 05-Feb-13 13:58:32

Average age to buy your first house, I mean.

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 14:01:17

Mosman - I'm massively lucky workwise, I know! But my living situation is stressing me to the point where it affects my work, which isn't helpful. (And 'well-paying' probably wouldn't seem so to many on here - it's not enough to rent a one-bed grin but I am so lucky now compared with a few years ago.)

PQ - my parents bought their home in cash in 1980. Admittedly in what's now a poor area, but they never had mortgage or rent to worry about, even when my dad was out of work at times. Neither of them had help from family and my mum didn't work for a few years when I was born which would have been more difficult for someone to do today. However, my dad was astonishingly bad with money - he had a professional job, but we never seemed to have any left at the end of the month (we went on one family holiday in his lifetime, rented our TV and didn't have Sky or a computer, my mum's clothing was rarely new) and he died owing a big loan due to some tax situation which means my mum had to sell her house to a buy and rent back place. I feel pretty angry about that, not because it would have made a difference to me if things had been different, but because my rent or a mortgage payment is the biggest expense for most people month to month and my mum could be a lot more comfortable than she is now if they'd taken advantage of that early.

Mosman Tue 05-Feb-13 14:04:43

My experience of life as an older person than many, younger than some is that it tends to come in waves. Work is shit, home is great, home is great work is shit.
Very few people manage to get all the ducks in a row and everything right at the same time. If I had to choose at the moment which i'd want to be going well it would be work.

LessMissAbs Tue 05-Feb-13 14:05:06

Your landlord likes to use his own living room, and once disagreed with your flatmate over watching Coronation Street. Thats basically what it boils down to. Its not his fault you don't own your own place, property prices are high, London is an expensive city. You have MH issues. It is possible that you could also be quite difficult to live with.

You sound depressed and as if you are interpreting everything as being gloom and doom when its not that bad. You have a good job, which is fortunate, a DP, whom you might move in with soon. You have prospects. You could, if you wanted, give a months notice and find somewhere better. But clearly you landlord, although you think he is taking the piss, is not as bad as to make you take any alternative course of action. It could of course be out of the frying pan and into the fire.

FWIW I don't think you are that badly off, but you probably think you are worse off than you are. That said, I own my own place, but I'd rather have a house with several acres of land, and at times, if I compare myself against some very wealthy friends, I can get myself to believe I'm badly off when I'm not. Its all relative.

If it really is all that bad, do something about it though and find somewhere else. I lived in a flatshare in Forrest Hill for a while which was fab in all ways and actually in hindsight I should have stayed there instead of getting my own place and privacy in Lewisham. Often in cities, there is a trade off of privacy for space, proximity to commuter links for some things wrong with the property that you might choose to live with, and so on.

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 14:15:09

I'm not the easiest person to live with, no. But I was fine in a previous flatshare when there was just two of us in a flat, because we got on as friends. I'm well aware of the issues which helps a lot - DP and I discussed moving in together a lot and what we need to work on as this is something that can be an issue.

In the place where I'm living now, both the lodgers stay in their rooms to watch TV/eat because the rest of the house isn't welcoming. It's basically the landlord's bedroom/home office. Sitting there is like sitting in someone's private space (he leaves his post all over the table so just sitting on the sofa means I see what he earns etc. without touching anything) and more so when someone is working on a computer in the corner with back to you while watching the TV through the mirror, or watching box sets with the light off all night every night. (I came home and said, politely 'Oh, you're getting through [programme you said you didn't like] then...' to the reply 'Well, that's generally what happens when you keep watching something. Otherwise you'd watch the same DVD over and over again.' This is pretty much what any conversation with him is like, making him awkward to talk to.)

It's clean and it's safe and the rent is cheap - meaning I've managed to save so that DP and I can move in together (I earn twice his salary) but living there has a Chinese water torture effect that's hard to describe. It's not his fault, it's his house, but the place is set up for a bachelor and not for sharing with others, and that seems abundantly clear as time goes on. I noticed it acutely last September, when I had the termination then decided moving as well would add extra stress when I was feeling rough, and I've felt it more acutely since starting my new role as it's a bit less sociable than the old.

The out of the frying pan thing is what's giving me pause for thought at the moment.

OP what I don't understand is why you and your DP aren't looking for a place together now. IIRC he is moving to London when his job relocates from Reading. You like Reading and would be happy to live there. He has a really nice house share with friends. His new office will be near Paddington but he thinks the trains are too busy.

if he wants what is best for you, why are the two of you not looking for somewhere now either in Reading or an affordable part of London?

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 15:09:16

We've had this discussion a lot! It's the busiest time of year for his job so he won't leave work until 9 most nights, and as he doesn't live here (and I am doing overtime two weekends this month) we have at least a month that's lost. He also doesn't want to live in Reading and have to do the commute every day (I#ve done it and totally understand this - it's expensive and insanely busy so you're stressed before you get in the office.)

The absolute earliest we could start, we realised today after a chat on the phone as this thread has made me think a lot, was the beginning of March. It's not long away, but he also doesn't want to rush into getting somewhere and end up having to take somewhere unsuitable or pay excessive fees (neither of us have rented a flat in London before; I've never dealt with an estate agent and the fees scare me a bit so I'm trying to work out a baseline for 'normal' and 'rip off').

CelticPromise Tue 05-Feb-13 15:18:46

I haven't read the whole thread.

Try Harrow/Bushey/Watford. You could definitely get something better for that money. It's 15 mins to Euston from Harrow & Wealdstone, easy walk to Bloomsbury.

Greenford is alright, so is Manor House really (lived there as a student). I do feel your pain though, I looked at some bedsits before I moved in with DH that I wouldn't have kept a dog in. Unfortunately it's a seller's market in London.

This is nice:

CelticPromise Tue 05-Feb-13 15:21:10

Must be something wrong with it for that money mind!

MechanicalTheatre Tue 05-Feb-13 15:23:34

That is nice, Celtic , and also £2000 a month. A seller's market indeed.

Manor House is ok and I find you get a lot for your money in Finsbury Park, which is weird cos it's quite nice.

OP, I would be tempted to hang on and look with your partner. You could start looking now, without him, get an idea about what's out there. It'd get you out of the house in the evenings too, so you'd get away from your landlord.

CelticPromise Tue 05-Feb-13 15:28:24

Sorry read it wrong.blush

I think I can see why you're getting some harsh responses on this thread tbh. On the one hand you're saying that your current living situation is making you so unhappy but then anytime a suggestion is made, there's a reason why you can't do anything.

Moving in with your DP should be a happy and joyful time but your language is all about stress and difficulty. More importantly, the two of you don"t seem to have discussed this and come up with a plan.

If you don't even know when or where you're moving, how are you going to sort out the inevitable friction that comes with living together such as putting out the recycling and hoovering under the sofa.

It seems to be about the things he doesn't want and his concern about your well being isn't really shining through tbh.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Tue 05-Feb-13 17:47:35

Radical as this sounds, have you actually considered discussing the situation with your landlord? Not in an aggressive manner but with carefully chosen words saying how you'd like to stay however you'd like to be able to use the living room more but get unwelcoming vibes from him. He may not realise how his actions are being percieved.

GinandJag Tue 05-Feb-13 17:52:43

My son pays £500 PCM for a room in a shared house in Zone 2.

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