I’m currently in the midst of the biggest challenge of sanity facing anyone who lives in London – finding a new place to live.
I’m a renter, as are most who live in this city, and the struggle to find a new place to live within the boundaries of my two month notice period is proving…well…trying.
OK, it’s a bloody nightmare.
When you get served notice by your landlord there is a plethora of emotions that appear and many of you might be familiar with all the feels me and my two housemates are experiencing right now. And if you’re not, let me talk you through it…
Panic. Sheer panic.
You enter headless chicken mode on receiving THAT email from the landlord. The questions seep in – where are we going to live? Where are we going to go? How will I move my lovingly purchased IKEA bed into a new place?
You instantly trawl through RightMove into the wee hours expecting Barbie’s dream house to pop up in zone 2 within your 50p budget. Of course, this doesn’t happen and so begins phase 2…
You pretend it’s no big deal.
Whatever, so I have to move? You nonchalantly shrug off the idea of moving like it’s no biggie and cite the list of problems with the house that means this is probably a good thing anyway. Remember how cold it gets in the winter? Remember that leak your landlord refuses to plug? See you later house, it’ll be good to see the back of you anyway.
You get all sentimental.
For me, the house I currently live in was the first frontier of adulthood. It was my first place in London, my first foray into adult life has revolved around it and me and my two friends have made it our home. Yes, we do have a cardboard cut out of Nicola from Girls Aloud in our living room, but it’s our weird living room and we love it.
Dwelling on those facts and those memories makes you forget how creaky those floorboards really are, you just want to stay in your lovely house. Sob.
Then you’re just fuming.
How dare they? Who do they think they are kicking us out? Well for a start, they’re your landlord so they can do what they like, but it doesn’t help temper your bitterness when you have to keep paying them rent during your notice period. Especially when you trawl through the endless ‘to let’ listings online during every lunch break while creatively imagining your landlord sat on their pile of money.
Keep calm, carry on, and remember they’ve still got your deposit…you’re going to need that back.
Lowering your standards
When looking for a new place, you subconsciously enter the search looking for an EXACT replica of where you already live. You’ll do this for a little while and then the penny will drop. We’ve lived in Greenwich for two years now on a beautiful street with a garden and we’ve been lucky.
After two weeks of looking in Greenwich for a house on a beautiful street with a garden at the same time of year that students (all with the same budgets as us) are returning to the local uni’s, we have realised something has got to give.
We might have to kiss lovely Greenwich goodbye and head west and we may have to forfeit some of our other criteria for the perfect house, one thing on the London rental market is for certain – you can’t be picky.
So the search continues, but every cloud has a silver lining and hopefully my Barbie dream house is only 2 more weeks of endlessly scrolling through Zoopla away.
But with my two housemates and a cardboard cutout of Nicola by my side, I’m sure we can make the next place as much of a home as our lovely corner of SE10 has been for the past 2 years.
Robinscroft Mews, you’ve been fab.