london rental opportunity of the week

London Rental Opportunity of the Week: Willesden’s Most Bizarrely-Placed Cabinet

£750 a month to sleep behind a small low wall on a pile of your own clothes.

by Joel Golby
05 December 2018, 3:06pm

(Photos via Gumtree)

What is it? It’s a studio apartment. That’s it, I’ve finally done it. I’ve run out of fun and/or in any way interesting ways of saying "studio apartment". We’re done, finito. "And when Golby saw that he’d finally exhausted every single way of saying 'studio apartment, London', he wept; for there were no more worlds to conquer"—
Where is it? Willesden;
What is there to do locally? I just read a Time Out article about "things to do in Willesden" and one of them is “sit in a café in the tube station” and another one is “go to exactly one nice street that has plants on it”, so I’m going to take an educated guess and answer this one with "fuck all";
Alright, how much are they asking? £750 p.c.m.

Ever since we were told we have about 12 good years left before the planet dehydrates and explodes, I’ve been living my life differently. Freer, somehow, in a more fluid gear. It’s harder to worry when death looms over all of us. The planet is in a dark shadow it will never escape, and the apocalypse event will be total. There will be no action film heroics from any of us. We will not somehow escape tsunamis while clutching our makes-us-human character-arc daughter. It will not be you, and your child, and that dog you saved, and a farm full of – against odds! – green shoots of crops in the six months after the planet dies. You will not be Brad Pitt with his hair tucked behind his ears squinting at the horizon, why – yes! – another band of human survivors waves at us from out of the dust. No. We’re all absolute write-offs, dead as shit. There will be no retirement plans, or cruises, or dying papery in a bed surrounded by our weeping family. We’re all getting scorched to death by the earth. And what I am saying is: if you want to spend your entire pay packet impulse-buying clothes off Depop, absolutely do that. There is no point saving a thing. Buy that Umbro sweatshirt. Death is coming for all of us.

I should probably mention: I am writing this from the midst of a particularly existential hangover.

The point, I suppose, is this: we have around 4,380 days left on Earth, and I think we should spend those days being as nice as possible to ourselves. That means good food and good drinks. Good times spent with good people. And also very crucially not living in this tiny little studio shit-hole in fucking Willesden:

willy d

First impression of this, you might be thinking: this is not so bad. You’re right, but you’re also wrong – to pass the LROTW test of "not being too objectively awful" you basically need a place that’s clean, has no visible damp and doesn’t have anything outwardly wrong with the configuration of it (no toilet in the kitchen or anything bizarre like that), and this passes over that low bar. But look closer: my friend, where is the bed?

There is no bed here. This space I've marked out below is the only possible place you can put a bed, which means cramming a bed (which you have to buy yourself) into the only available non-toilet space in the whole apartment, which is here. So now you will notice there is literally no space left for anything else:


This extractor tube is very simply not plugged into anything. That metal vent is basically a special machine designed to blow grease smells up into the air and over a wider area. Someone mounted a cabinet directly by a window so when you open the door you block out approximately 40 percent of the flat’s sources of natural light. There are no curtains, no blinds.


Here’s the toilet, which if I’m being picky I would say "someone’s mounted the seat on at the wrong angle", and if I’m being less of a diva I would say "a lot of the tubes on that wall don’t go to anywhere or do anything". I would also say, "There seems to be a trend in rented flats in the past year where anyone installing a toilet leaves warning stickers on there, as if landlords assume their tenants are so block-headed they cannot do a shit without somehow complexly injuring themselves on the porcelain."


I don’t know, I am fatigued by this. The little incidental dividing wall between the kitchen and the minute living space. The fact that someone seems to have stacked a large footrest sideways against a wall to take a photo against. The complete lack of a wardrobe or any viable storage space. This line from the description box on Gumtree: “Newly renovated studio flat has become available to rent." Like: maybe I would understand if it had always been like this. Maybe I would get it if this layout and the erratic expectation that someone could live in it is some hangover from a corrupt landlord from the 60s, 70s, long-since dead, who designed this living space up as a form of torture and anyone renting it out now is just doing their best. But no, no. No: someone in 2018 has drawn this up, got builders in to make it happen, signed it off, inspected the work, gone, "Looks like about £750 a month, this. In fucking Willesden as well," and put it up to rent.

We have 12 years left of this shit before Earth is scorched up by the sun. Don’t spend your remaining days giving your money to bad landlords.