The pain of flat-hunting in London is all too real. If you've ever been on the hunt for a perfect pad, chances are you'll have met one or more of these delightful types.
The too-cool-for-school Brixton babes
They’re really just after a ‘cool’ person who routinely spends Sunday hungover after a night spent socialising with the ‘right’ people. Fun optional. ‘Cool’ person must be into culture enough to pass as a weekend hipster, but not so much that they’re unconventional, artsy or alienating. Also, said person must not have too much passion or enthusiasm – it messes with the cool vibe they’re rocking.
The landlord on a power trip
He’s an older gentleman, a bit racist and incredibly superior. He rents out the rooms in the apartment in order to pay off his children’s university debts and considers the chosen lodger to be of great privilege, having the opportunity to live with him in his beautiful Clapham Junction Victorian terrace. He monitors the power consumption monthly on a meter so he can measure the exact impact the new lodger is having on electricity bills. After two interrogation sessions and over 20 text messages back and forth, he informs you via Spareroom automated message that you are not a suitable candidate. All you can think is ‘arsehole!’, but realise in hindsight that you dodged a bullet.
The eccentric Dalston artist
He fancies himself as Monet, will let you paint your room any colour you desire and basically has a plant nursery growing in his bedroom and backyard. Sounds perfect, right? Sure, except for his social awkwardness, cats roaming everywhere and the overbearing air freshener. Also, you can’t help but wonder why the other flatmates couldn’t come out of their rooms to meet you. Either this house isn’t a democracy, the flatmates are held captive by the artist or they’re just a little bit rude.
They’re actually anti-interaction of any kind, really, and there’s no living room, so that helps. The landlord/flatmate showing you around has no idea what the other inhabitants do; they can barely remember their names. The room is fine, if a bit minimal, but the place has less soul than a two-star hotel. It’s just a lonely crashpad in a big lonely city, in a house of lonely people. Their living preference is no doubt a reactionary measure to one too many exchanges with London’s smorgasbord of weirdos.
The career-obsessed neat freak
She’s just got another promotion, bought her first apartment and fitted it out exactly as she always dreamed. The only thing missing is a sweet, very tidy and quiet flatmate to share the occasional glass of wine with and to help cover the cost of the ball-breaking mortgage repayments. She’s actually totally over shared houses because she likes things done in a very particular way and doesn’t want to compromise. However, London house prices make a lodger a necessity. She’s looking for a shitless robotic mouse who’s willing to pay £800 a month for a single room.
The best friends
They LOVE trashy TV, a glass or five of wine and are a house of Taylors looking for their Karlie to complete the #squad. Moving into the playhouse requires you to sign an agreement that you will be much more than just flatmates: you’re signing up to be lifelong friends. Bring your stuffed animal toy thing you’ve had since you were five, your crimping irons and your 'Twilight' DVD boxset and you’ll fit in just fine. Just don’t go expressing your independence or planning too many non-house activities – the #squad that lives together stays together.
The 'we’ve gone with someone else, but…' people
You finally find somewhere in a good area with good access to a park and public transport (trifecta!), with flatmates that seem sort of normal. You have a chat, stay for an hour and think you’ve found 'the one'. You message to express your interest and wait 24 hours to hear back. Then it comes, the heart-breaking message that the twentieth house that you’ve looked at and the first one that looks vaguely suitable, has chosen some other lucky bastard to be their roomie. The depression sets in and all your insecurities surface. Then you receive another message: 'you seem like good fun though, can we stay in touch?' *Facepalm*
The good blokes
They think they’re well-trained, charming lads and they’re after a guy or a girl to take over their mate’s room as he’s moving in with his girlfriend. The house is officially for four tenants, but there is also a couple living in the spare room, which takes it to a total of six people. You view the flat when a friend is visiting too, which means there are too many to even remember their names. But they appear to be unfazed by your inappropriate stories, they emit good vibes and their jokes are only slightly cringy. That many people managing that much tidiness is confusing but you end up staying for ages because they’re less boring than most. After a night worrying about living with four food-inhaling boys and surrendering to a life of a permanently up toilet seat, you accept the room. The potential for fun and some good stories was way too good to refuse.