What is it? A room without a door that – due to the fact this is listed as a Mon - Fri rental, only – you are allowed in for 120 hours of the week, maximum;
Where is it? Peckham / Peckham Rye sort of way. You can pretend you are not au fait with Peckham, as if every birthday party you've been invited to for the past five years hasn’t been at Levels, Four Quarters or Bar Story, but you are and you cannot escape it. You have walked down the road and marvelled at the feet on sale. You have been in the McDonald's at 11.55PM and revelled in the anarchy of it. You have caught two trains and a bus to get to the Bussey Building for an underwhelming gig. You have got lost inside the Big Morrisons and somehow watched a film for less than a fiver at the Multiplex. You may as well just give up this north-of-the-river charade now and admit that Peckham beats through you like a drum, and just fucking move there. The annual money you'll save on 2AM Ubers away from Peckham alone will cover about two months' rent.
What is there to do locally? Truly no clue, never been
Alright, how much are they asking? £785 pcm.
Of all the parameters considered flexible and lenient by the landlords and estate agents of this pulsating, ruined city, there is one we have not yet considered: the calendar.
Previously, we have had: optional kitchens, or the idea of a segmented bedroom as repulsive, or a shower combined with a toilet because why do you need both separately, or a studio as a component of a flatshare, or &c., &c., &c.
As best I can tell, being a landlord in this city is a complicated game where you take the robust fundamentals of a rentable flat – a bedroom, a separated bathroom, a different room for a kitchen, a leisure room, the furniture to sit and sleep on, windows, a lockable door, the concept of sleeping in your bedroom alone and not a few feet away from another bed with another human adult in it – and breaking them down into various configurations and sub-configurations, monstering the very concept of renting a property in London, to the point that we have this, which is a studio flat (nominally: it doesn't have an entry door or any furniture or anything even approaching comfort, and no bed, and the bathroom was the most insanely angled thing I’d ever seen before I scrolled down and discovered the kitchen) that you are only allowed to live in from Monday until Friday.
If you want to live in your house over the weekend, you're better off finding somewhere else. This is not one of your weekend flats. I don't know who you think you are, but you're fucking not sleeping here on a Saturday.
Before we even get to that – before we even get to the fact that you are not allowed to sleep in this flat for 48 hours every weekend! Before we even get there! – we have to confront the fact that this is a wildly-designed shithole created by a maniac and completely overpriced for both the area and the size of what is it – which, again, is a house you are not allowed to dwell in 29 percent of the week, and therefore, you would fucking think, would be 29 percent cheaper than every other flat in the world, but somehow isn't.
So here's your main and only room, which is hollow and empty right now, but, when you move in, has to function as your bedroom and leisure room (between the hours of 9AM on Monday and 9PM on Friday ONLY), and not sure about the logistics of that – are you meant to move your bed and adjacent furniture out of the room on Friday and back in on Monday, or is that allowed to stay? – but: as rooms go, it is a fine, if underwhelming, and a little bit small, multi-purpose room, which doesn’t have a door on it, which for some reason just prangs me out somewhat, as if whoever is flat-sharing downstairs could just creep up into it at whatever point, shake you gently awake and say: hey. Hey, prick. Time's up. It’s midnight on Friday, meaning it is now Saturday. Pack your shit up and get out. You can come back Monday morning.
Then we have the kitchen, which tapers to a point, which – and I can’t be sure, but mentally extending the angles available to us here – I think just shrinks down into a massive triangle? I simply cannot imagine the configuration of worktop or doorway that allows you to enter this room with anything other than a sideways crab walk or – and I somehow consider this more likely – you have to just leap through a pass-through window and hope for the best. Anyway, the kitchen has a full oven and a four-top hob and we're at the point in the column where I can actually say: that's quite impressive, I wasn't expecting that. That is how low our standards have now become. Ah, an oven. What a treat.
Here's your bathroom, which is quite good if you’re into photographs that give you full-blown panic attacks. There are seven tiles on the floor of that bathroom, that is all. That is all the available standing space you have to you. I'm not saying bathrooms have to be huge – this is a fully serviceable bathroom! It's finished to a high quality! – but I do have to breathe in and out of a paper bag just to imagine stepping into it, and I cannot even begin to imagine how On Top it would get if you have to sit in there for any length of time to, say, have a shit.
But the fundamental question that remains about this flat is not how jagged and insane the angles of it are, or how limited the size, or how soullessly glossy the finish, or where that staircase leads: the question simply is, what happens to the flat when you are not allowed in it?
The listing says the property is shared with one other flat: are they kicked out at the weekend too, or are they in charge of kicking you out? Do the keys change, a special fitted lock or doorcode that only clicks in on Friday and off on Monday? Where are you, like, supposed to go (we've touched on it before, but there is a special sub-class of London renters who are, essentially, city workers who live in Wales or the Cotswolds or somewhere distant, where the idea of a three-hour morning commute is untenable so they simply work in London during the week, renting an absolutely basic flat as they do so, and commute to their mansions for a lush nice weekend, and that’s fine and all if you want to do that, but very crucially: why would a person doing such a thing exist in Peckham, a city commute grey zone)?
Is the flat rented to someone else over the weekend? If you want to stay for the weekend, do you have to ask especially, and do you have to pay more? What does your flat become when you are not there – pop-up tattoo studio, chemsex host, stash house? Does anyone enter or exit your flat while you are not there who could, feasibly, do something unreasonable to your toothbrush? And, crucially, the rent on this alone is already £785: if you add 29 percent to that, to rent all the weekends of the month, you're looking at about £1,012 pcm. Does this shard of kitchen look worth more than a grand a month to you? Does this lack of a bed look like one thousand pounds' worth of room? Is it really worth all that to live vaguely near the Peckhamplex? To the Bussey Building? To John the Unicorn?
Up to you to decide, obviously. You are your own person and I've been told that I have to respect that. But no. No it is not.