London Rental Opportunity of the Week: A £1,300 p/m Murder Den in Homerton!

I can see how you can die here but I cannot see how you can live.

22 October 2018, 12:40pm

(All photos via Rightmove)

What is it? An exTREMELY haunted murder den-cum-basement two-bed in trendy east London;
Where is it? Homerton, a sort of hospital waiting room the size of a village w/ some markets up it;
What is there to do locally? Go to one of those pubs that used to be a shit hole but then it got taken over five years ago and they painted all the walls deep navy blue and stopped it smelling of piss. Or: go to one of those coffee shops that used to be a shit hole but then it got taken over five years ago and they put exposed bulbs and birch benches in and stopped the strange five-jackets-at-once raving old man coming in. Or: go to one of those restaurants that used to be a shit hole but then it got taken over five years ago and they put little glass bottles w/ a single sprig of floral on each table and a pinch-pot of salt and chased all the rats away into the sea. So: more-or-less the exact same thing you can do anywhere in London, without fail, the city is nice but it isn't unique—
Alright, how much are they asking? £1,300 p.c.m.

I know I go on about it a lot – and, yes, I am biased somewhat, as I feel all of this city's property and estate agents, as well as landlords and property developers, should all be, not imprisoned exactly, but killed and hung from London’s ancient bridges as a warning, their blood falling in thick heavy coin-sized splotches onto the floor – but fuck me, how hard is it to take a photo? How hard is it. To take a photo.

Now consider the question like this: your job is made of three tasks, one of which is "obnoxiously parking a branded Mini", another is "finding the right key" and the third is "taking a photo". Consider the question "how hard is it to take a photo?" now. Imagine being this bad at your job:

A bad flat in Homerton! With some wacky wardrobes!
I-if you peer at it! It sort of looks like a bathroom!
The only well-lit shot in the set and it's out of focus! Good!

Does this property have murder vibes, or do the photos – apparently discovered in the woods on an abandoned MiniDisc recorded 13 years ago by three kids who were last seen driving a truck out there to make a documentary about a witch – have murder vibes ingrained into them? The answer is: a little from Column A, a little from Column B.

Would this house seem less murder-y if it, for example, had more than one source of natural light in it, or if someone switched the lights on to take the photos? Yes, it would. But similarly, would the bathroom have less of a "Body, age unknown, found engorged and melted into the bath" vibe if it didn't have a sort of tiled dividing column thing separating said bath from the toilet? The answer is also yes. So you can see how nature and nurture have come together to make this thing feel like a Halloween special. Part of the house seems like blood might start pouring, black and thick, at any time from the walls. But another part of the house feels very much like the estate agent couldn't be arsed putting money on the electricity meter to take the photos, so just used the flash on the digital camera they got free with the desktop PC their family bought in the literal year 2003.

Let us consider the property, though. Could you live here? You could – until the voices start whispering mouthlessly while you sleep, or until the fridge starts screaming, or until the girl with green skin and lank hair and a tattered old wet dress made of silk stares eyelessly at you while you bathe – but you would not be happy about it. For instance: why is there a wardrobe directly under this lampshade? Is it structural? Is it holding it up? Look at the other wardrobe: is that… in front of a door? Is this the most pathological arrangement of two wardrobes ever, ever, in history?

The Homerton Wardrobe Project

Or: look at this. I don't know what you have on your tick-list for a living room, but "a sofa with the cushions all fucked", "the only window in the house" and "mystery ceiling wedge" are not too high on mine. Looking at this photo actively depletes your Vitamin D. It leeches it out of your body. Keep scrolling before your bones start decaying.

Mysterious wedge, I wanna get close to you

The kitchen is fine if you like only being illuminated by a single naked fluorescent strip-bulb and clonking into a massive glass dinner table every time you try to move a pan from the oven to the sink. It genuinely says quite a lot about the state of London right now that a gloomy, cluttered room such as this can be considered better than a number of the kitchens we normally see on this (formerly much loved, but the returns of love are diminishing) column, because usually you only get, like, a two-burner hob, or Just A Microwave, and to actually have a full oven and an entire washing machine – as well as an upright fridge-freezer combo! Come on! – genuinely makes this quite appealing. Who cares if the entire property is apparently designed for a vampire to live in without being bothered by the sun! At least you can cook a pie in it!

A horrible kitchen

But the pièce de résistance, really, is this bathroom, which is hell, hell, hell hell hell hell hell hell hell. The fact that these two under-lit photos don’t even begin to tell the story of it confirm that it is some sort of eighth or ninth circle: a… bath that is apparently… positioned behind a toilet? A sort of… three-column arrangement right in the centre of an already small room? Is there a shower? Unknown. The bath has a special handle to haul yourself out of and a sort of gloss-finish piece of wood behind a low alcove which makes me think that it is actually difficult-to-impossible to stand up out of it without crouching. There is no additional sink, so you have to wash your hands post-toilet in the bath. No mirror, no natural light. There is a towel radiator, but I just know that it’s always set to "scalding".

Haunted bathroom #1
Haunted bathroom #2

This flat is listed as a two-bed, which means two entire humans are meant to share this bathroom, this listless place, this lightless room, these wardrobes. I do not see where the second bedroom is meant to go. There is no bed in the first bedroom, either.

Pay your £1,300 and pick your flatmate wisely and curl up together, shivering, like balls on the floor. Sage this place and bang gongs around it and try to clear the spirits out before they confront you in the night. Ignore the night-screaming and the unusual fever dreams. Mop up the blood that leaks from the walls, open the doors when they slam closed on empty rooms, try not to think too hard about the fact that the inept idiot who took these photos is making at least double your salary to do that. Pay your £1,300 a month. Embrace the hellish joys of Homerton.

@joelgolby (h/t @hannahcatburke)

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