London Rental Opportunity of the Week

London Rental Opportunity of the Week: Potentially the Worst One Yet

A shithole in Kilburn for £520 a month.
March 17, 2017, 1:15pm

What is it? I dunno man, the word "cupboard" feels a bit generous. Feels like a diss to actual cupboards. But it's a cupboard.
Where is it? The cupboard is in Kilburn;
What is there to do locally? Kilburn is in the north-west of London and, as such, I have never been there and never intend to ever be there. It's past Primrose Hill but not very Primrose Hill-y. It's sort of near Warwick Avenue. Time Out says it has a good book shop. That's what Kilburn has going on. You're welcome to it.
Alright, how much are they asking? £520pcm! And you pay them that amount! It is not the other way around!


Letting Agents, a story in two photos:

Here is Photo #1, right?

Now here is Photo #2:

I am going to side-by-side them so you can see what the full deal is, here. On the left: Photo #1. On the right: Photo #2:

I'm going to assume the mental dialogue of the lettings agent who took these, as they took them: "Just take one phone of the floor, there. And just eaaaaaaaaase the camera up one inch and: there. That's two photos."

This is the third and final photograph that the person responsible took that day:

I know I say this a lot, but: lettings agents do not have to do a lot to earn their pound of flesh. They have to take some photos of a room in natural light. Upload them in the landscape orientation to a website. Maybe answer the phone three times. They collect ten percent for this. Occasional template email send-out to tenants saying that unfortunately the rent is going up in accordance with "the market". Bit of gear in a Mini. It's not a strenuous job. It is not a skilled career. How do you fuck up taking three photographs of one room.

I suppose we should give some leeway here because the flat is – fundamentally, and to the bones of it – a shit tip. What you are looking at is a room someone decided was slightly too small to use as a genuine spare room in their own house so converted it, inexplicably, into this. Actually, I'll label one of the more usable photos, and we can go through what makes it so bleak point-by-point:

  • This is not a bed, though; this is one of those strange fold-down cots you only see in stark overexposed photographs of the vans of travelling murderers. This is some proper "and this is where the Halifax truck killer lived and slept for months as he went around killing 20". This is not a bed.
  • Point one is: I'm pretty sure this fridge is structurally integral to the sink; point two is that's a full fridge and it's directly next to your bed, and I know in the context of the rest of this room that is a very "first world problem", but the sound of this thing humming while it keeps your milk and yoghurt cool at night is going to keep you up for hours.
  • The rest of this room is white, but this small crevice of wall is yellow from the smearing of a thousand hands reaching for the light switch in the small, dark hours of the morning when their alarm goes off, and like clean your walls my man—
  • This carpet was definitely bought second hand from a delinquent boys' school's arson-ridden library.
  • I did not know it was possible to buy shower trays that small, but apparently it is, which is good: it means you have to stand immaculately still while you shower or you are going to entirely soak your bed.
  • Hard to gauge how big exactly the window is or what the precise view of freedom out of it is, but I know for a fact that thing doesn't open more than three inches, like a train window might, to prevent jumping.
  • How many people you think died in this room
  • How many
  • How
  • m a n y

So I mean it's a less-than-ideal way of living your life. "Fully furnished," the advert says, somehow (????). "High ceilings." The description says it is "SINGLE OCCUPANCY ONLY" – does the fact that they have to specify this mean couples have applied to live in this space before? – "This room is tiny and has limited space for living. Good for wash cook and go." And I'm not even sure that is true: is this good for wash? To me it looks like it's very hard to wash in. Is it good for cook? There are two minute hobs and a sink. Go? It is very good for go, because there is nothing you would rather do if locked in this room for a second than leave it.


Question: where are your clothes meant to go? Question: does this thing have its own front door or is it a slither of someone else's bleak shithole, accessed via a hallway? Question: who thinks it's OK to live like this and charge people for the pleasure? Question: how is this £520 pcm? Question: how bad has this city got? Question: how bad can it possibly, from here, even get?


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