Daniel and I are looking for a furnished room to rent in London while we look for work. After many discussions with folk that have already “done the London thing ” it seems that there are a few sites that help people like us find others willing to rent out their rooms to complete strangers, with reference checks, of course. After a few weeks of trawling through room advertisements, I am a little more daunted by finding a room to rent than I am by finding a job.
How do you market yourself to be the flatmate that everybody wants to live with?
Living in many sharehouses over the years, I think it is safe to say that we are well experienced with living with other people, animals, couples, professionals, uni students and idiots who refused to pay rent for months at a time. Strangley they all started out as mates and we have never lived with a ‘random’ (with the exception of a few months with that guy in a trench coat many years ago). But how do we know they even liked living with us? Would they be honest if I asked?
There are a few traits that you want to find in a housemate, and many more that cross a line… But how do you know where the line is without knowing the person first? As some of our ex-housemates will tell you (Peter), I am slightly OCD when it comes to tidying and tend to move things when I clean, often getting me in trouble when keys or shoes go missing. This is not something that you admit to a potential new housemate. When they ask for a clean housemate, how clean do they want you to be? Personally, I think cleanliness should also relate to personal hygiene, which is another essential housemate trait.
When someone states “we don’t want someone who will stay in their room all the time” does this mean I have to watch awful tv with them in the lounge room, struggling not to gouge out my own eyes? And why would a 45 year old be looking to rent out to 21-30 year olds? If you advertise that you are down the road from the pub does that mean you like to spend all of your time there, or does it mean that it is a really noisy area and we will never get to sleep? And please let me know how 7 people can fit comfortably in a 3 bed, 1 bath flat!
If I am over analysing these ads, how are they perceiving my room wanted ad? How much information do I give?
“We are both friendly 26 year old professionals and recently married” seems to have had a mixed reaction… 26 = a bit young. Professionals = No parties. Married = possibly boring homebodies, never leaving the house.
So, to clarify – “We work hard during the week but enjoy relaxing after work and love spending our weekends travelling, watching football (or any sport), watching films (most genres), listening to live music (pop, Rock, indy, hiphop, etc.), and going out to museums, parks, pubs and clubs. We are clean and tidy, but relaxed and respectful of others’ privacy. We also like to catch up over a tea (no milk, no sugar, thanks) or a beer/wine with housemates and friends.”
Fantastic, enough said, I think!
I have strategically mentioned that we are sociable and how I like me tea, but missed the bit about Dan leaving his shoes on the front mat. And I don’t think they need to know he can scull a beer in under 30 seconds. I also don’t want to spoil the vibe by mentioning that neither of us like reality TV or that I have limited cooking abilities. Lets just get to the meet and greet stage first!
We are moving to London on the 11th of August. Please wish us luck!
Published on: Jul 10, 2012 @ 16:02 #12monthhoneymoon 12