HP went and looked at the three flats. He took pictures with his phone and sent them over. The first was quite large, with an extra box room. But it’s a little out of the town centre, and since I don’t know the city I wanted to be close to town. The second was in the city centre and immaculately decorated. In fact, it came with a flat screen telly, this funky mod wallpaper in the lounge, new carpet, an alarm system and a spaking new kitchen and bathroom. But it was a little more expensive than the others, and – well, to be honest – the fact that it was so perfect put me off. Living there might be a like living in a hotel. I mean, couldn’t very well blue-tack my Wicked poster over the new wallpaper.
But the third place. It was just right.
This was the flat that I was originally interested in. It’s in the West End, so (according to HP and the agent) just ten minutes walk to the University (evidently where all the night life is) and five minutes into the city centre. It’s got a huge galley kitchen, a lovely carved wood and marble fireplace and hardwood floors. And there’s a lovely big white sofa in the lounge, with an over sized matching ottoman. Plus, it’s kitted out with all the other furniture, a bed, a little kitchen table, a desk, and so on. The flat has this lovely crisp white theme with all the furniture matching.
HP was sending me the images as he walked around the flat. I was at work, but my boss let me take my break to talk to HP about the apartments. I fell in love with the third flat. I had HP hand the phone over to the estate agent so that I could tell her that I wanted it, and this is where things get so very frustrating.
This agency doesn’t do a first-come first-serve sort of thing. She said that there are two other couples (did she think that HP and I are a couple? Don’t know?*) who wanted the place. I needed to give them a set of required particulars, which they would send to the owners of the flat who would choose their favourite renter based on our references, income, etc.
Oh my god. I thought the stress of flat hunting was over! I finally found a place that I like at a price I can afford, and I have to freaking compete for it. Oh, and the list of paperwork that I have to provide (just to be considered) is ridiculous.
*A letter to certify that I’m employed
*Recommendation from my last landlord
*Letter from my bank saying that I have enough money to pay the rent
Holy poo. Talk about over kill. I’m just applying to live in a flat not adopt a child. Hell, I’m not even applying to live in a flat, I’m competing to live in a flat. I feel like I’m in some sort of paperwork version of a reality show.
‘You have the worse tenant application. Please leave the estate agent’s office. Good-bye.’
The application and the bank statements aren’t a problem (my bank balance isn’t great, but I can cover the deposit and first month’s rent), and neither is the letter of employment. In fact, I’ve gotten my employment contract, so I can just give them a copy of that. Also, my boss at the shop said she’d give me a character reference. But what am I going to do about the reference from my landlord? I didn’t have proper landlords in Glasgow (I am not going to Goatee, Fringe or Marathon for a reference), and it’s now been years since I was in the Uni flat (and why don’t I remember going through this sort of thing for the Uni flat?). I was quite stressed about this, so HP said that he’d pretend he was my landlord for the last flat, and give me a reference.
I’m worried that they’ll notice that the same person looking at the flat is also the landlord reference. But HP can’t even remember if he told them his surname, so he doesn’t think they’ll make the connection.
I have until the end of the week to get the estate agent the paperwork, and they’ll let me know if I’m chosen by next Monday. Then if they choose me, I can move in on the first. However, if they don’t chose me, then I’ve got to find another flat in a week, because I start my job on the 6th of February.
Like I said before, I HATE ESTATE AGENTS!