17 things you’ll only know if you’re a millennial renter in London

Liz Connor
Shutterstock / George Rudy

London is great - we have world-class restaurants, destination bars, sprawling green spaces and annual pillow fights in Trafalgar Square.

But anyone who’s lived in the capital knows that there’s nothing worse than being a renter here.

This is a city where Harry Potter cupboards, garden sheds and bizarre ‘wipe clean’ flats are sold as dream homes by estate agents. Where ‘hip’ neighbourhoods are declared with the arrival of the first turmeric latte barista and subsequently rent prices shoot through the roof overnight.

If you’ve ever cried into your keyboard after having a quick scroll on Right Move, or desperately sold half of your necessary possessions on eBay in a bid to make your rent, here are a few other millennial renting lows you’ll probably relate to.

1. Your rent is half of your income

Every time you transfer your rent to your landlord, you die a little inside.

2. Flats will get snapped up before you’ve even had a chance to look at them

...leading you to put a £500 holding deposit down on a flat that you haven’t actually seen, relying only on a few tiny agency photographs to make your decision. Moving in day is like the ‘big reveal’ in Changing Rooms, and much like the ‘big reveal’ in Changing Rooms, it often ends with tears.

3. If you go through SpareRoom, prepare to live with a weirdo or multiple weirdos

You could end up with the guy who leaves passive aggressive Post-It notes on your washing up or the girl that likes to knock on your door to ask why you won’t ‘chill with a bottle of wine’ with everyone else, in silence, while watching Strictly Come Dancing. It’s fine, you never liked human interaction anyway.

(Shutterstock / Camilo Torres)

4. If you move in with a friend, prepare to argue

Who bought the last tube of toothpaste? Who used the last of the washing up liquid? Who left the bin bag in a place where foxes could get at it?

Few friendships can survive a 12-month period of gaslighting each other over household mishaps. Make sure you get a 6-month break clause if you plan on being lifelong besties.

5. Gardens are like gold dust

But it’s fine because the park (which is 20 minutes walk away) is basically like your garden. Or so you tell your non-London friends while internally screaming.

(Shutterstock / Solis Images)

6. As are living rooms

You know, because Jane from SpareRoom lives in there.

7. Agency charges are the worst

Prepare to go grovelling to your parents.

8. An 'up and coming area' means you’re living in one of the dingiest bits of London

But it’ll probably be hip eventually if you survive there until the first organic wine shop opens.

9. If it seems too good to be true on Gumtree, it probably is

A luxury one-bed flat in Hampstead at under £700 a month? Call the police.

10. Something will probably be broken

Along with your will to carry on.

(Shutterstock / fizkes)

11. You’ve considered living on a houseboat

Why not pack it all in for a nomadic and romantic life on the water? One that means you can afford to go and eat at St John and shop in Cos.

12. Or you’ve considered moving in with a partner for survival reasons

You'd own separate houses if you lived in Halifax, but £300 on rent is too good an offer to turn down - even if you're pretty sure the relationship is doomed.

13. You’ve actually moved house with Uber

Why rent a van when you can squash all your possessions in the back of a Toyota Prius?

(Shutterstock / Africa Studio)

14. You’re slowly moving to Zone 6

It’s been a slow retreat out of the city - you started off in Camden and now you’re on the final slog to Croydon. At least they have a Boxpark now.

15. And you lie about where you live

Your postcode is firmly Leytonstone, but you still tell everyone you live 'near Broadway Market'.

16. You pray that a rich entrepreneur like Alan Sugar or Richard Branson will take pity on you and transfer you some money

Well, it could happen.

17. But you wouldn’t ever pack it in

Because you’ve got tickets to Secret Cinema and are this close to finally getting a table at The Palomar. And besides, disposable income is overrated anyway.