Ah, London. City of art, culture, world-class bars, amazing food, and Croydon. Where the streets are paved with Gold (Label) and people from all over the globe come to brave black snot and night buses for the joys of Fabric, picnics in Hyde Park and the secret hope that, somewhere, the Hugh Grant version of Notting Hill really does exist.
And, of course, where a two-bed flat costs more than a tropical island.
Don’t get me wrong: London’s brilliant. It’s worth all the trouble to live there. But there’s nothing more deflating than handing over several month’s hard-earned wages to move into on a glorified rabbit hutch half an hour away from a tube station.
Except, of course, handing it over to a London estate agent.
Estate agents everywhere get a bad rap. But In London, I swear the stereotypes are true.
Here are ten things we just can’t stand.
#1 The “This is the Last Flat Available in London” Pitch
We’ve all been there. You visit a property. It stinks. Literally. The “toilet” is an open sewer that you suspect leads directly into the bowels of hell. There’s a dead rat in the bread bin. You would rather pour hydrochloric acid into your eyeballs than live here. But then your estate agent sighs and shakes his head and says, you know, at this time of year, and in this area, and given your budget… and somehow you find yourself turning to your housemate and saying, “Well, I suppose if we got rid of that mould…”
#2 The Jargon
Unless we’re talking about Kim Kardashian’s bum, let’s not call it a “stunning rear aspect”, okay? It’s a view from a window. Overlooking a patch of scrub. And straight into the flat of that creepy man who always seems to be naked.
#3 The Mammoth Deposits
Some say that back in the day, when Londoners were fancy free and the property market was tangentially connected to reality, you could find a flat and move right in without so much as a guarantor. These days, you can be asked for anything up to six months’ advance rent plus a six week deposit. Hoping to snaffle up that crumbling studio in Barking? Time to put your kidneys on eBay.
#4 The Way they Blatantly Ignore What You Want
#5 The Hidden Fees
So… explain to me how pressing Ctrl+P on your keyboard translates into a £300 “contract preparation” charge?
#6 The Way They Won’t Take No For An Answer
Ooh! A text! Oh, from the estate agent. A phone call! You again. Who’s that waving at you frantically across the street? But.. how do you know where I live!? Just don’t look under the bed, now…
#7 The Brazen Displays of Personal Wealth
Ah, I see that you are driving a Golf Automatic and wearing genuine Louboutins. Tell me again what happened to my £250 “inventory fee”?
#8 The Glaring Omissions
If you were renting a place in the Hebrides, you’d understand that there are some amenities that are harder to come by. When you live in Zone 3, having an estate agent tell you they didn’t technically lie about the total and permanent lack of internet access comes seems a tad on the sneaky side.
#9 The Suits
Where does one even find a high shine pinstripe suit in 2015? How are you shopping in the 80s?
#10 The Post-Payment Personality Switch
While you’re looking for a flat, London Estate Agents are your best buddy. They laugh at your jokes. They have time for a chat. They ask about your home town and your Mum and Mr Fluff the guinea pig you had as a kid. Riiiiiight up until the moment you sign your name on the dotted line and hand over that giant wad of cash. And then – poof! – they disappear into the ether, never to pick up the phone again.
What about you?
Is there anything about London estate agents which really grinds your gears? Or perhaps you ARE one – and are tired of all these haters. Either way, share your comments below, and share this post with all your lovely followers!