Moving house in a broken rental market


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My life in housing went something like this:

  • Live with my parents
  • Live at University in dorms
  • Rent a room from a friend
  • Live with my parent-in-laws
  • Live with my parents
  • Rent a 2 bed house
  • Rent another, cheaper, 2 bed house
  • Rent a studio apartment
  • Rent a room in a house share
  • Live with my parents
  • Rent another room in a house share
  • Live with my brother-in-law
  • Live with my parents
  • Rent a friend’s apartment for cheap, while she waited for her aging father to move into it
  • Rent a room in a friend’s apartment, whilst living with her aging father
  • Cat-sit for a month in a friends house
  • Rent a 1 bed house

This is, I suspect, fairly typical of my generation.

We are currently trying to move again: we are leaving the over-priced housing market of the South East and heading north, thanks to my remote job giving me options. We should reduce our housing costs by £2-300 a month by doing this. It sounds good on paper. In reality it means diving back into the rather stressful rental market.

Anyone remember when you could go to a letting agent and feel like, I don’t know, they might help you find a decent-ish place to live?

Now Rightmove and Zoopla have turned it into a frenzied free-for-all. Yet another thing the internet has made easier and simultaneously ruined! One letting agent told me that, when a property hits Rightmove, they receive around 500 calls from tenants looking to view. It’s not a surprise then, that I have found my inquiries routinely ignored.

I am surprised nobody has written a guide called The Stress Free Way to Find a Good Value Rental Property (that doesn’t suck and will let you have a cat). If they haven’t, it may be because there is no way to actually manage this.

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