All Quiet on the South West Front

It’s my last day at Channel 4… Again!

I really hope to be back one day, but for now I’m heading off to Sky to work as an Online Editor. I’m not going to lie – I haven’t got much of an idea what I’ll be doing there, but I imagine it’s similar to being an Online Producer!

I’ve been running around london with my friend Tash for the past couple of weeks attempting to find a well-located flat (without damp or peeling wallpaper) where I can commute to West London from but it’s been an absolute nightmare. Properties go so fast – and for so much money – that we’re getting quite desperate. In one week I will technically we homeless. However, I’m lucky that I have a friend who said he’ll put me up for a while (thanks, Tom!).

Another issue I’ve found is that all of the agencies aren’t limited in what they can charge tenants – and what for. With such a limited market at this current time they can do whatever they like and there’s no regulation. One agency told us they charged admin fees of £175 per person (Dexter’s), another a week and a half’s rent (so that’s £450 if you’re looking at £300pw – I’m looking at you Ludlow Thompson) and others charge multiple fees – Haart charges £242 per property, plus £70-something in ‘referencing fees’ per person and then £130 for an inventory charge at the end of your tenancy.

And here’s the thing; agents are under a legal obligation to protect the deposit, they’ll give you a pretty standard contract with a few details changed (such as the landlord’s name) for the contract and they technically have to do an inventory too. How that’s worth so much is beyond me – I understand that they have a business to run but it prices new professionals out of the market.

I was going to put an offer in for a place with Tash that we found with Haart. This was a great little two bed in the Clapham area priced at £285pw between us.

Then we had to factor in the charges per person:

£121 property admin

£72 referencing fees

£926.25 (half of the deposit, which was six weeks’ rent)

£617.50 in rent upfront (for one month)

Grand total per person = £1,736.75

Ultimate total = £3,473.50

(I think it’s safe to say that that’s nigh on impossible for a recent graduate.) I have been housesharing for a long time and it would be nice to live with a friend I’ve known prior to moving in – but perhaps it won’t work out this time.

Back to the houseshare websites I go…