Advertisement
Stuff

London Rental Opportunity of the Week: A Fucking Shed – A SHED – in Someone’s Front Room

For only £530 a month.

by Joel Golby
02 September 2015, 4:50pm

The shed is circled in case you cannot see the shed (Photo via Mercury)

Every week or so an advert for a London rental property appears that plumbs new depths of bad bastardry. Rent a bunkbed above a wardrobe, that sort of thing. Pay £1,500-a-month to sleep in someone's shed. They got so difficult to comprehend that we decided to start cataloguing them.

What Is It? A shed! We've always joked about it in the nobody-reads-it-because-it's-in-italics paragraph at the top, but a shed! A fucking shed!
Where Is It? In someone's front room! In Bethnal Green!
What Is There to Do Locally? Think about your life choices up to this point, I would've thought;
Alright, How Much Are They Asking? £530, per month, bills included.

"Is London good, Joel?" my friends back home ask me, in their quaint way, with their funny little accents and their cursory-at-best knowledge about metropolitan things like Ubers and guacamole, and I tell them yes, I say, it takes an hour to get anywhere and all the burgers have pulled pork on them, and you pay to take a lift to the top of the tallest skyscrapers, and look down but not jump. It's brilliant, I say, how everything is unliveably expensive and mad. "People give you promotional bottles of Lucozade sometimes on the Tube!" I say, and their eyes bulge in awe. "You can rent a shed in someone's front room!" I say, and they start screaming.

On VICE Sports: The Cult – Paul Scholes & Patrick Vieira

It's difficult to process this one, mainly because this is a shed in a front room. A shed – a shed, remember, is a specialist wooden box for dads to cry in and a place for normal people to keep their old plant pots and bikes – but it has been erected not in a garden but in a front room, painted an inoffensive shade of off-white, nestled behind the sofa. It's like looking at a whale carefully hidden in an aeroplane, or a lamppost coming out of a frog – something anonymous and boring, rendered insane by its context.

This was the discovery made by flathunter Joe Peduzzi when he went along to a SpareRoom viewing in Bethnal Green. "'When I first walked in I sort of noticed the shed in the background but didn't really take it in," he said, after the viewing. "Then I scanned around the room and couldn't see a bed so I asked where it was and the guy just pointed to the corner. I stuck my head in for a look but there was basically no room for movement. The mattress was right against the walls of this shed and the windows were blacked out." You might have missed it at the first scan-through, so please just read this quote again, with feeling: "I sort of noticed the shed in the background but didn't really take it in".

The shed – which was in a communal room, notice, so you would have to try to sleep in your shedbed while your flatmates eat curry literally inches away from you, or watched Big Bang Theory, or went on Snapchat – or did any of the other millions of annoying housemate activities that housemates do, like legitimately try to engage you in a conversation about philosophy – all while you tried to deal with the fundamentally clawing despair of trying to sleep in a blacked-out shed in a room in Bethnal Green, suddenly very much missing your family and your home, suddenly very much feeling like London isn't the city for you, because you're just playing at being a grown up, aren't you? You're just a child, lost and alone and sitting in the dark in a locks-from-the-inside shed, and you think you're independent but you're not, and your job didn't turn out as good as you thought it would be, did it, and nothing really worked out how you envisioned it, and the nights are drawing in – close and dark and cold – and it's just you, in your Sonic pyjamas, trying not to alert your housemates to the fact that you're trying to escape the doom with a cheeky shed-wank, trying not to move the mattress around too much as you try to manipulate your genitals because the mattress makes a sort of creaking sound against the side of your shed and they know, they know. Your parents were married by this age, had kids. They were eight years away from paying their mortgage off. They knew how to drive and both had a car. They had skills and read books. You've only just broken 100 followers on Twitter. Life. Life. It's shit.

Here's that shed again, just in case you forgot about it somehow

In a way you have to respect the "what, this is totally ordinary" attitude of the dude trying to rent the shed, though. "I had quite a hard time getting my head around it to be honest," Joe said. "I didn't ask what the story behind it was but he seemed to think it was pretty normal." Similarly, SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson was pretty blasé about the whole thing. "We're no strangers to quirky ads but this one puts a whole new spin on the phrase 'beds in sheds'," he told the Mail, invoking a phrase literally nobody has ever used. "There's no clear reason given for putting a bed inside a shed, inside a bedroom, but it could be because the other housemates use the room as communal space. It's a sign of the times that fewer house shares now have living rooms."

On NOISEY: I'm 16 Years Old And Here's What I Thought Of My First Reading Festival

But then this probably isn't the first attempt at indoor shed rental in London, and it won't be the last. Landlords are robots designed to spot how to turn slithers of potential space into a semi-liveable but fully rentable opportunity, robots who say things like "I fixed the boiler promptly as a sign of goodwill, but I will now be bringing up the rent to market value", robots who say, "a handyman will be hitting everything in the house with a hammer on Sunday morning, hope that's OK", robots who say, "no wonder you've got damp in here, you keep opening the windows! Don't open windows. That's an extra £40 a month each on the rent", landlords who heave a flatpack shed up two sets of stairs to assemble it in a front room in an attempt to squeeze an extra £530 a month out of this broken, broken rental market. And until we do what I have long been suggesting we do – round up the landlords, in a line, blindfolded and stood against a wall and shot – until we all collectively rise up and get that done, this is how it goes: all of us, tired and poor and alone, living that "beds in sheds" lifestyle.

@joelgolby

More London rental opportunities:

Who Hasn't Dreamed of Having a Shower in Their Kitchen?

A Chandelier Hung Inside a Turd

A Mattress with Walls in Elephant and Fucking Castle