How to advertise a flat

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably learnt yesterday that I'm moving to London next month (hurrah!), which means I have to find somewhere to live. Merely searching for flats on the interweb is proving illuminating, let alone viewing them...

If you ever need to rent out your flat, make sure you follow my handy guide to charm your potential flat/housemates before they've even begun living with you!

1. Don't include any pictures with your advert. It's 2010, people. Really, there is no excuse. Yes, I understand that there's probably no pictures because the room is a dive, but I for one won't be coming to view your place without a picture. Do us all a favour and put some pictures up. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words.

2. Include pictures of the house/bathroom/kitchen/garden but none of the bedroom. This screams that you're offering out the box room. And only £700pcm - wow, bargain! If you can put a picture up of everything else, you can put a picture up of the bedroom.

3. Don't include the cost of bills. This one is quite annoying. Sure, some people give you the all-in cost, but then there are those who say "bills extra" but don't give you a ballpark figure. I've seen the monthly bill cost vary from as little as £40 a month to £150 a month - people need to know to be able to budget! FAIL.

4. "We have a massive TV and a huge chill-out area, complete with a set of decks."
I may want to go to a party at your house, but I don't want to live at the 24/7 party house, thank you very much. The thought of randomers dotted around sleeping off the night before and using the last of my milk to make themselves a cup of tea doesn't appeal. Next!

5. Use shoddy spellings and grammar. A typo or two is fine, we can all make msitakes [sic], but an advert punctuated (or not punctuated at all!) with mistakes is a no-no. If you can't string a sentence together, I seriously doubt your ability to make small talk beyond z-list celebrities when I bump into you in the kitchen.

6. "Females only." In some circumstances it is perfectly reasonable to advertise this. However, when you're a 40 year old man and you want a female between the ages of 18-25 to share your flat and use the excuse that "girls are cleaner", I start to think two things: Firstly, you probably expect your new tenant to clean up after you. Secondly, you're probably having visions of her cleaning up in a French maid's outfit. Let's face it, you're a perve hoping to score, aren't you?

7. "In a safe neighbourhood." By which you mean "safe" as in the street meaning of the word safe. That's right, your neighbourhood is pure turf warfare.

8. "You won't be disappointed if you view this room!" I think I'll always be disappointed. That is, unless you're offering me a huge bedroom with en-suite (separate shower and a Jacuzzi), dressing room and private kitchen, in a marvellous location, all for £50 pcm, including bills, and I have the rest of the house all to myself. No? Didn't think so.

9. "Mon-Fri ONLY" or "Weekend ONLY". Amazing. This flat looks nice, it's at a reasonable price... Oh wait, that's because I'm only allowed to live in it for part of the week. Next!

10. Don't include distances. How far away is the tube? The nearest bus stop? The supermarket? Don't forget you're trying to sell this flat to me - a little information would be nice.

And yes, I know all about the horrors of flat viewings... Expect a post on that joy soon enough! Is there anything I've missed though? What's irked you when you've been trying to find a place to live? Do share! xoxo


  1. On the other hand have you found anything? My friend and her housemates were looking for someone to share their house in N4. It's like 10 minutes from the tube or 5 minutes from the station for National Rail services. But they found someone :( I would have pointed you in their direction. I'll ask them to let me know if they know of anyone looking for a house mate (don't worry they are early twenties lol)

  2. I'm going to be looking properly from next week. I've just been getting a feel for the London renting scene. :)

    And thanks, any room-for-rent shout-outs will be appreciated!