Flatting in the UK…


So who would’ve thought that getting a place to live (one of those small things called a human right) would be so hard to do?

Apparently this letting agency, Ludlow Thompson, is making it their mission for it to be as hard as possible. Two weeks ago we tried to get them to start the process of reference checks and so on, only for emails and calls to fall on mostly deaf ears.

Then finally they get back to us – oh, the last guy who pulled out midway hasn’t paid his administration fee, therefore we can’t continue with a new candidate until that fee is paid. (This was two days ago). Sure, so we follow that up – turns out it has been paid – the flatmate who has moved out tersely reminds Max, the letting agent, via email.

Suddenly their memory works again and then next thing we know I’m being asked to call him to pay my fee. Literally no sooner than I see my bank balance deplete, he becomes uncontactable again. One email comes back to confirm payment and the process for reference checking begun, but that’s it. What a laugh.

The reference check process – a bit lofty. Its an automated website (by automated I mean clunky) that takes your basic details and pretends to do some sort of validation (which means giving you stuff all support and having to play a little game with the buttons and fields). Oh sorry, and I’m discrediting the behind the scenes work…read on.

I submit all that the online system asks for, with noticeably some important information missing like – who my guarantor will be for the fact that I have no income.

This is at 3am in the morning by this point, so I go to bed happy that I’ve completed everything they require.

Midday, I awake at almost eerily the moment I receive an email from the referencing people, “we need more detail”… and ask for it to be emailed to them… great. Asking for things that seem to have no actual bearing on my renting… but non-the-less I give the information requested and ask a few questions… as at writing this I still haven’t had any reply… of course…

However, they did get my guarantor’s information (Hi, dad) – should probably follow up with him to see if he received anything from them…

Friday is a new day, and with that new day I hope I will have new answers and hope in the company I have paid the equivalent of 700 NZD to.

Watch this space.


Geek, wanderluster, pochemuchka, wannabe-polyglot, photographer and UK-resident kiwi here for the travel.

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