What’s going on in the rental market right now?

It’s that time of year again – the busiest time for flatshare hunting. There are currently 44,902 rooms available and 53,939 people looking for rooms on SpareRoom right now. When demand is up rents tend to follow suit so we’ve put together a list of average rents in the UK’s 30 biggest towns and cities.


Before you check the list to see what’s happening near you, here are the headlines:

In August, the average room rent across the UK was £591 a month, up from £544 last year, an 8.6% annual increase.

What does this mean at a local level?

At the top of the rental scale was hipster-central East London, with room rents averaging £902 a month. After London, Reading rents were second highest at £528 per month and Brighton third at £491 per month.

At the more affordable end of the scale, you’ll see Sheffield (£343), Cardiff (£342) and Newcastle (£339) per month.

We know demand is up at the moment but just how high is it?

Edinburgh led the way in July with 22 people competing for every room advertised. Glasgow and Salford weren’t far behind at 14 people per room.

Surprisingly, competition for rooms in London, where average room rents were £710 isn’t as fierce at the moment; with seven people competing for each room in the most popular areas.

Here’s the full list:

Town/City Average monthly room rent Number of people competing for every room
London £710 7
Aberdeen £484 3
Brighton £491 7
Edinburgh £466 22
Reading £528 3
Milton Keynes £449 8
Bristol £444 15
Southampton £412 7
Manchester £380 16
Cardiff £342 8
Birmingham £417 10
Portsmouth £395 6
Northampton £387 6
Luton £423 4
Plymouth £368 2
Coventry £371 6
Leeds £351 15
Liverpool £346 5
Newcastle £339 5
Nottingham £356 5
Leicester £341 6
Derby £356 3
Preston £347 1
Sheffield £343 5
Stoke-on-Trent £340 1
Wolverhampton £357 2
Dudley £375 2
Hull £340 1
Bradford £292 4
Belfast £259 9

How does your area compare? Let us know in the comments below.

A Victory in the 2015 Budget

Raise the Roof logo

As most of you who’ve used SpareRoom in the past six years will know, we’ve been campaigning hard to get the chancellor to increase the Rent a Room Scheme tax threshold. We just found out he did just that in the budget, raising it from £4,250 a year to the £7,500 we asked for.

This is great news for renters – especially flatsharers. With around 19 million empty bedrooms in owner-occupied properties in England alone, we’re just not using our housing effectively. As we’re not building in anywhere near the numbers we need to, unlocking some of those rooms will make a big difference.

Here’s how:

  • Encouraging people to rent out their rooms means more supply – that helps keep rents down
  • There’s a huge demand for affordable rentals right now, especially rooms. This addresses that need head on
  • Average rents for people living with the owner are lower than traditional rents – good news for renters on a budget
  • Unlocking just 5% of those empty rooms would house almost a million people, that’s the equivalent of a city the size of Birmingham!

It’s great to see the government addressing the housing crisis with simple, effective measure that will make a difference to hundreds of thousands of people quickly, while they work out the longer term policy changes we need to fix the housing crisis for good.

Thanks to all of you who signed the petition or helped spread the word. We’d also like to thank the people and organisations who’ve supported Raise the Roof publicly over the past six years, including Shelter, Sarah Beeny and Generation Rent.
Great news all round.


Don’t have a deposit? There is help available.

For young people it can be hard to rent privately, even in shared accommodation. Rents are rising in areas of high demand and limited supply, and you need to come up with a deposit as well as rent in advance. If you haven’t got a job or received your first pay check yet, it’s going to be tough to put a roof over your head as well.

We’ve discovered that there are some sources of help available, primarily for young people who are vulnerable, disabled or at risk of becoming homeless. Crisis, the homelessness charity, has a handy search facility where you can find schemes in your local area willing to offer support. This is often in the form of deposit loans, rent advances or deposit guarantees – this latter where a charity will guarantee they’ll pay the landlord, rather than you having to find the cash.

Search the Crisis access scheme database

Please note that Crisis does not provide deposits or rent in advance to access private sector rented accommodation.

The Crisis Private Rented Sector Access Development programme, which provides housing help for single people at risk of homelessness, has been boosted by a cash injection of £1.2m, announced by the Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, today. This welcome additional funding will help more young vulnerable people find the accommodation they desperately need, and often struggle to afford even if they’re in paid work.

Why it pays to write an interesting ad

Built by the bare hands of Zeus, decorated by DaVinci, and perfumed by the flora of the Garden of Eden, this room availability is a once in a lifetime event.

So begins the best flatshare ad we’ve seen on the site this week. It’s always great to see people being creative with their ads – it gives you a real sense of the personality of the person in question.

For example:

A little bit about me: Having spent a number of years defending Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor with my fearless friend, Battlecat (I left due to some workplace bullying relating to my bleached blonde bob style haircut and questionable speedo related dress sense), I came to London in 2005 to work in a stupid American bank.

OK, so not everyone will share this guy’s sense of humour but then that’s the way it works with flatshares. You’re not going to get on with everyone you meet but, at least in this case, if you find the ad funny there’s a fair chance you’ll like the flatmate.

The ad ends:

If you’re interested, aren’t going to kill me while I sleep, or look through my underpants drawer, drop me a line to arrange a viewing.

We’ve reproduced the entire ad below – it would be a shame if anyone reading this after the room had gone (which I’m guessing will happen pretty quickly) missed out.



Built by the bare hands of Zeus, decorated by DaVinci, and perfumed by the flora of the Garden of Eden, this room availability is a once in a lifetime event.

Having housed the likes of Winston Churchill, Einstein, George Best and Kinga from Big Brother, you are looking at a property steeped in history and culture.

If you’re looking for a place to stay with a bed that will make you feel like your back is being kissed by a thousand pocket sprung fairies, you’re looking at the right place.

Located a stone’s throw from Brockwell Park (if you’re Fatima Whitbread), less than a 10min walk or 3 minute sprint (if you’re late for work) from Brixton Station, you have all the amenities and entertainment that South London has to offer on your doorstep:
From the White Horse (30 seconds walk), Brixton Electric (5 min walk), Plan B/o2 Academy/Brixton Village (10 min walk), to Cla’ham High Street (15-20 min walk)…..you will wake up with more hangovers, half eaten kebabs and regrets than a Newcastle Hen Party.

The room for rent is a bright, cosy, very quiet double room, with plenty of storage, French doors and an ornate* fireplace. (*Non-functioning; I’ve tried).

The flat is a two bedroomed conversion in a Victorian property, with a patio garden, which is brilliant for BBQs, and summer drinks. (due to the weather, the BBQ success rate = 13% and summer drinking success = 100%).
The main room is a split kitchen/living area, which, as you can see from the photos, is where Banksy placed some of his definitely original famous stencilled art – don’t believe what the skinny jeaned, pointy shoe’d East London types tell you.
There is a big basement for all your non-Fritzl storage needs (bikes etc).

Bills are shared and come to about £150 a month each.

A little bit about me: Having spent a number of years defending Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor with my fearless friend, Battlecat (I left due to some workplace bullying relating to my bleached blonde bob style haircut and questionable speedo related dress sense), I came to London in 2005 to work in a stupid American bank and would like a flatmate, who, like me, likes to keep it quiet and civilised from a Sunday night to a Thursday night, either working on my glutes in the gym, or wearing my jim jams in front of the TV (which has Sky Sports).
I keep the flat quite tidy (for a bloke) and have a cleaner who comes round once a week to sort out the hard-to-reach places.
I don’t do the “let’s buy our food and cook together” malarky, partly because I’ll eat all your food, but also because I work in a stupid American bank and have to eat cereal before bed at 10pm, BUT mainly because I’ll eat all your food.

I spend my weekends with friends, eating (half) kebabs, playing golf, watching/playing sport, enjoying the day and nightlife of London, and, save me please…… gardening.

If you’re interested, aren’t going to kill me while I sleep, or look through my underpants drawer, drop me a line to arrange a viewing.

Why proposals to extend tenancies might not be welcome

Recent proposals published by The Housing Voice Alliance, in their report into ways to fix the ‘broken’ housing market, include extending tenure in the private rental sector from six months to 24.  The call was intended to improve security of tenure, particularly for families with children, who are currently vulnerable to eviction at the end of a fixed tenancy and have a need for greater stability. But could this proposal have a negative impact on a growing contingent of tenants in the private rental sector?

A SpareRoom.co.uk poll conducted over the last couple of days has revealed a strong preference amongst flatsharers for shorter tenancies. Mostly young professionals in their twenties and thirties, over 300 tenants have voiced their opinion so far, with nearly 80% saying they would view the proposals negatively.

Our Facebook page has received a torrent of comments on the subject, explaining why flatsharers are coming out against the proposals:

“That could be totally impractical for a lot of people who rent. Especially younger people who are maybe working their way up the job ladder and may need to move to different locations based on their work,” says one respondent.

However, the response also reveals a lack of understanding of current tenancy contracts. Many flatsharers are worried about the implications of an extended contract, and see themselves as being locked into a tenancy, with the landlord having clear rein to increase the rent at any time.

They clearly don’t want to feel stuck, as one of the benefits of flatsharing is the flexibility to move when your circumstances change. Many feel such a move would hand too much control to the landlord, and a handful even suggested shorter tenancies of just three months would suit them better.

Sharers also raise interesting points about wider implications that may not have been anticipated by the authors of the report. Could a 24 month tenancy place further restrictions on who is accepted as a tenant, with perhaps stricter rules on deposits and guarantors coming in, as landlords seek to reduce their risk? This, as one of SpareRoom’s flatsharers points out, could lead to a lot of people finding it harder to get a tenancy agreement in the first place, and further exacerbate the housing crisis.

As more and more young people are sharing, whilst the options of renting alone or buying a home outright remain closed to them for the foreseeable future, policy makers and leaders of the housing sector would do well to note their worries and frustrations. Not everyone in the rental market is a family looking for security of tenure. And if the employment market is to be truly mobile and flexible, the housing market might also need to reflect this reality.

Housing minister announces taskforce to end back garden ‘shanty towns’ in UK

Housing minister Grant Schapps has announced a taskforce to put an end to the growing number of ‘beds in sheds’ rented out by unscrupulous landlords. According to the Communities and Local Govenrment website thousands of beds are being rented out in sheds and outbuildings, mostly to immigrant workers (many of whom are in the UK illegally).

Schapps said:
“It is a scandal that these back garden slums exist to exploit people, many of whom are prepared to return voluntarily to their home country but instead find themselves trapped into paying extortionate rents to live in these cramped conditions.

“I want to see a crackdown on these criminal landlords. So today we are launching a national taskforce, made up of the police, local councils, the UK Border Agency and HM Revenue and Customs to close down these ‘beds in sheds’, help those living there to be reunited with their families and ensure their so-called landlords feel the full force of the law.”

Many of these illegal dwellings are visible on Google Earth and most fall way short of the minimum standards for rented accommodation in the UK, with sanitation being one of the main issues.

The first step of the process took place yesterday when Shapps and Immigration Minister Damian Green held the first in a series of cross-Whitehall summits with representatives from the police, the UK Border Agency and local government.

Taking in a lodger series starts next week

The New Year always sees a rush for shared accommodation. In fact January is the single busiest month on SpareRoom.

In part, no doubt, this is driven by a new batch of people taking in lodgers to cope with the post-Christmas financial hangover. With that in mind we’ll be starting a new series of blog posts as from Monday, full of tips and advice for anyone thinking of renting out the spare room in their home.

It’s a big decision and one you shouldn’t take lightly. Luckily we’re on hand to guide you through the process and we also have plenty of advice from others who’ve done so (and who can point out the pitfalls in advance to help you avoid them).

Check back on Monday for post #1


Another month, another winner – £20,000 given away so far

As we do every month, SpareRoom has paid another lucky winner‘s rent in October. This month it’s the turn of Maurizio who lives in west London.

maurizio-large Maurizio enters Live Rent Free every month and won with one of his loyalty entries (free entries SpareRoom give to regular competition entrants as a reward for their…you guessed it…loyalty.

Maurizio says:

“I’ve used SpareRoom a few times before and started entering the competition religiously every month, so it now finally paid off! I have also recommended it to a number of people I know. I live in a very expensive area, Kensington (W14) and thanks to this great news I can pay off my credit card and buy a nice gift for my mum who lives in Italy.”

Maurizio’s prize takes the grand total we’ve given away in rent to a whopping £20,006.51

For a chance to win your month’s rent in November don’t forget to enter now.

As an added bonus, this month’s Live Rent Free is run in conjunction with Sarah Beeny’s Mysinglefriend.com. They’ve donated an iPad so November’s prize is a month’s rent plus an iPad.

Snakes and Hakas (or How to Scam a Scammer)

We recently heard from someone who’d spotted an ad on SpareRoom, replied and was concerned that there was something fishy going on. We stop over 99% of scam ads before they even get onto the site but the odd one contains absolutely no clues until the advertiser starts emailing people. We’d already spotted this and were investigating it so the user said he’d carry on communicating with the scam landlord to see whether he could get any more info out of him so we could track him down.

The exchange of emails below is worth reading for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s a good lesson in how scammers communicate so it’s worth arming yourself with the knowledge (things like not being able to view the flat without paying, insistence on Western Union payment etc)
  2. It’s damn funny. Our tenant (let’s call him J.) has a wicked sense of humour!

After an initial enquiry about the ad our tenant had the following response.



I realy appreciate you have interest in my flat, the flat located at the city center of clapham (1 XXX Road,Clapham Junction,London Battersea SW11 London) is  very close to amenities like,restaurant, medical center and university……the flat is fully equipped with modern facilities. wireless internet service, dishwasher, microwave, washing machine and air conditioner.
The flat comprises living room,bedroom,kitchen, dinning room,bathroom and toilet…the rent is 500pounds monthly including all bills and the refundable security deposit is 500pounds.
I have been here in the Stoke for past 3weeks with my family due to transfer at place of work and we will be here for 20 months. So, i am renting my apartment for maximum of 18 months and minimum of 1 month.

As regards viewing, I’ll suggest you visit the apartment and view the exterior for the time being. I already gave you the address, I have been disturbed a lot by prospective tenants such that I came all the way from Stoke and waste my time, some doesn’t have the cash for the rent but I wouldn’t like to go through such stress anymore. Please, kindly get back to me and let me know your decisions after viewing but I’m very sure, you will never regret this apartment and if you plan to make reservation of the flat let me know.


I looked at the exterior on Google Maps streetview, and it looks fine to me.  From the photos, it looks extremely nice inside, and I’d really like to view it in person, when convenient for you.

I’m a professional working in the City.  The rent isn’t a problem.  I need to give my current landlord one month’s notice to move out.  So ideally, I’d like to move in one month after viewing the flat.  But if that’s a problem and you need someone in sooner than one month, I can sort something out.  I’d like to rent it for the maximum 18 months.

I’m available at any time.  When is convenient for you to show me the flat?


I really appreciate your interest in my apartment, I will be willing to rent out my apartment to you.In renting the apartment we will both sign a rental agreement contract form then i will post the keys of the apartment plus other necessary documents to you or i should come back to london and hand over the keys to you in person after your first month rent  and the deposit payment 1000pounds has been confirmed. Do get back to me with the below information so that we can proceed further:

Your full name:
Your full address:
Move in date and out:

With those information,i shall prepare the rental agreement which will be signed by you and me. When you have the contract, you will have to print it out, sign it and scan it back to me along side with the payment receipt (to be transferred into my bank account).   The address you provide in the mail is where keys and other necessary documents will be posted.


Hi again,

Before signing anything, or paying any money, I need to view the flat myself in person.  Also, in your first email, you said the deposit is £500, not £1,000?

Let me know when is convenient for you, or your agent, to show me the flat.  Then we can take it from there.


The 1000 pounds is for a month rent and deposit. there’s no body to show you the flat i have all the keys with me…I have been disturb alot by prospective tenant that telling me to come for viewing all the way from Stoke to london and when i eventually come back for viewing they didn’t have the cash for the rent some didn’t show up again telling me that they finally got another flat many stories like that. that’s why i am giving you the address of the flat to make exterior viewing. I have to see the proof of a month rent and deposit before coming back for viewing.



I am not going to pay or sign anything until I have viewed the interior of the flat, and have the keys.  After I have viewed the flat, I will sign a tenancy agreement.  After I have the keys, I will pay the deposit + first month’s rent.  Not before.

I’m sorry, but this all sounds very suspicious.  If the photos are of the flat, and there aren’t any problems with it, then I can assure you, I’ll take the flat.  But I’m absolutely not going to send you £1,000 in good faith that you’ll send me the keys and tenancy agreement.  Would you?


Hello again

I’ve had second thoughts.  I’m really desperate for a flat, and really want this one.  How do I send the money to you?


Attached to this email is the lease contract form try to print it out, read the terms and conditions, if you are okay with it, sign it and scan the last page of the form to me where you sign so that i can sign my own part to proof that you have pay for the rent and the flat has been reserved for you.

After that you will proceed to bank and make deposit of 1000pounds which is for a month rent and deposit into my bank account.

Once you have done with the deposit, get back to me with the scan copy of the deposit reciept to proof that you have make the deposit into my account and as soon as i recieved the confirmation of the money i will get back to you and we can now arranged how to meet in london later today or tomorrow and hand over the keys and the reciept to you in person.

Here’s my details to make the transfer.







Thank you for the tenancy agreement and your bank details.

I have a couple of questions about the agreement.  It says, PETS: Tenant shall not keep any Pets on the Premises without the prior written consent of the Landlord.

I own a Naja Naja (Indian Cobra), called Pete.  I hope you’re OK with me keeping him in the flat?


Ok no problem.


Thank you so much.  Snakes get such a bad press, especially six-foot cobras, and I often have problems when moving into somewhere new. I appreciate your understanding.

The agreement also says, ALTERATIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS: Tenant agrees not to make any improvements or alterations to the Premises without prior written consent of the Landlord.
Looking at the photos you sent me, I think the colour scheme you’ve gone for might anger Pete.  Did you hire a colour consultant?  Also, if he did escape from his wicker basket, he would be well camouflaged against the bedroom walls.  Not a good thing.

Please may I re-decorate?  I would like to paint the walls Raspberry Diva in matt.  Would that be OK?


If you’re ready for the flat go ahead and make deposit into my account and get back to me. No time to waste.


Please be assured, I am absolutely ready, and able, to make the deposit. I just need to confirm a couple of things with the contract first. Obviously this is all subject to contract: we need to agree the terms first.

Can I re-decorate the flat?  Please let me know.

I’ve agreed with my current landlord that I can move out immediately, so I’m just waiting on you to agree the tenancy agreement terms.


Yes no problem


Awesome.  You’re a great landlord, dude.  Has anyone ever told you that? 🙂 I can’t wait to move in.

Before I make the deposit, I have just one more question that I can think of: Tenant agrees that no signs shall be placed on the Premises without the prior written consent of Landlord.

I’ve always loved that sign, “Trespassers will be shot.  Survivors will be shot again.”  Could I please put that on the front door?

Thanks so much


Yes as long as you’re still in the flat


Wicked.  I love you, man.

OK, one other thing: Tenant shall not use or have any liquid-filled furniture, including but not limited to waterbeds, on the premises without Landlord’s prior written consent.

I have a confession to make.  I’m still stuck in the seventies (wasn’t that a groovy decade?!), and, well, I have a waterbed.  You wouldn’t have any objections to me sleeping on a waterbed, would you?  It does wonders for my back pain, and, to be honest, it would be a deal breaker if I couldn’t have my waterbed in the flat…

Can I please have a waterbed in the flat?

Thanks again

ps I have pre-authorised a transfer of £1,000 with my bank.  I just need to give them the final confirmation to send it to you.


Alright no problem.


By the way, in relation to this clause: “At the expiration of the Lease, Tenant shall peaceably surrender the Premises to Landlord”

If I perform the Haka (my traditional ancestral war dance) when I move out at the end of my tenancy, will that count as “peaceably” surrendering, or will I be in breach of the tenancy agreement?

I’m very sorry for all of these questions, but the agreement does say: “The Tenant signing this Rental Contract hereby state that all questions about this Rental Agreement have been answered.”  And I don’t want to breach the agreement – I obviously want the deposit that I’m about to send you back when I move out.


Yes is better to ask this before moving in. No problem about that and your 500pounds will surely refund back to you after the contract end.


Cool, thanks man, ‘preciate it.  Ka mate, ka mate! ka ora! ka ora! 😉

I just spoke with my bank and the transfer should be going through sometime today.  I’ll let you know when it’s gone through! 😀

My address for the tenancy agreement is xxxxxxxx.  Could you please insert this into the agreement and re-send it to me to sign?

Thanks much!

ps I want to move in next Saturday, 15 October, for 18 months, please.  So I would move out on 15 April 2013.  Hope that’s OK with you?


Good morning,

I’m not with my laptop today because I’m kinder busy, fill the last page of the contract form with the move in date and out  and sign it.

Then send it back to me with the proof of the transfer, for how long the money will be credited into my account today?



OK, here’s the last page with my details and signature.  Are you able to counter-sign it, and email it back, before I give my bank the final go ahead to make the transfer?

Sorry, i just realised I should have put 15 April, 2013 (not 2011) on the move out date – please can you amend it by hand when you sign?



No problem, will do that.




That’s not a problem, if I sign it now and send it back you and you didn’t make the deposit there’s nothing I can proof to you that you haven’t paid me since I have sign it and you know that once I sign the form that means you have paid for the rent. Your money must be confirmed in my account before I sign it and send it back to you to bring along on the day we arranged for meeting.


OK, no problem, I understand – I’ll give my bank the go ahead.

I’ll get back to you in a bit.


I’m out of the office.  My bank says the account name doesn’t match the number.  Please can you check and tell me again, do I need any other information…? please help.  Really want this flat before someone else makes a deposit…

What to do?  Bank closes in 45 minutes.  Waiting for your reply.


I don’t just understand why you dont get through with the transfer, all the information is correct, you can make the transfer via electronic banking which is online banking or go ahead to westernunion or moneygram outlet and make the transfer to my name as the reciever that’s more easier for you to make the transfer and the transfer is very easy, when you get there you don’t need any asistance to make the transfer just collect the transfer form and fill it, your name will be as the sender’s name and my name will be as the reciever’s name, give the agent 1000pound and he will give you the westernunion receipt to pick up the money here with the westernunion details and make sure you make the transfer in a minute transfer ok?

Here’s my details to make the transfer.

(I was very tempted to leave these in but they’re probably fake – Matt)

xxxxxx xxxxxx
xx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx,
xxxxxxx XXXX XXX

Once you have done get back to me with the scan copy of the reciept to pick up the money here and i hope you get this done now.


Thanks, dude.  I’ll give these details to my bank.  Do you have a reference number for the transfer?  Please check you haven’t already received the money anyway.  There is more than enough funds in my account!!!!!

By the way, I noticed this in the agreement:  Signature by the Tenant on this Rental Agreement is acknowledgment and he/she has received a signed copy of the Rental Agreement.

I don’t want to be difficult, but could you please now send me the countersigned agreement?


I told you, once I received the transfer details to proof that you have paid for the rent I will sign it and send it back to you to bring along when we are going to meet in person.
Your rent must be confirmed before I sign the contract form. You don’t have any problem with that.
Again go ahead to western union outlet and make the transfer now that will be more easy for you than the problem you’re facing to transfer the money via bank transfer ok?

Western union is very easy to transfer money you don’t need any bank account to do that just do it the way I explain to you to make the transfer now ok?


Yes, yes, fine.  I understand about the agreement!

I don’t use Western Union.  Period.  If you don’t want a normal bank transfer, then fine.  I can find another apartment…

As I said, I expect to hear back from my bank tomorrow now… what’s your reference number if they ask for one?


What’s your bank name? I gave you all the information to make the transfer. I don’t know why this is difficult with your bank this is not my first time to received money through my account.
I don’t false you to rent the flat. Since you’re having problem with bank transfer that’s why I choose to received the money via western union.


Let me know what you think? Are you going to make the western union transfer now or not? I have other prospective tenant that also email me about the flat is because of you I ignore there emails.
Please let me know.


Is the flat still available?  I don’t have time to go to a western union outlet.  What other account name or address do you have that can I give my bank to make the transfer work?  They can’t do it with the one you gave me.


I’m only waiting for your reply before I response to others that also interested.

That’s my account to make the transfer and I don’t know the reason why is difficult for your bank to make the transfer and I told you  to do it as online transfer  that will go through and since you’re having problem with all this.

Western union is all around the corner in london, visit any location around you in your lunch time and make the transfer or you do the western union transfer online. All this is very easy.
If you really need the flat you will get this done now.
I’m only waiting for the confirmation of your money before I sign the contract form and send it back to you.


I’m also ready to refund the western union charges back to you or you can also deduct it from the money you’re to send, that’s not a problem for me.

Your response is very needed now.


Hello again

Look, the truth is, I had a very bad experience with Western Union one time.  When I was buying my water bed (thanks again for letting me keep that), I used Western Union.  I ordered it, paid with Western Union, it arrived on time.  When I opened the package, the colour was Iced Frappe, NOT Raspberry Diva!!!  My colour consultant specifically told me Raspberry Diva goes with my eye colour.

I totally blame Western Union.

Now you understand.  If there was an Eastern Union, or even Northern Union, I would use that.  Is there?  I just prefer north to south, east to west, you know?  I have family from Hull.

There is a very slim (and, I mean, very slim) chance, that I might (just might) be persuaded to send you money via Western Union.  Send me £50 to my PayPal account (this email address) to cover the Western Union transaction fees.  That would prove to me, beyond any doubt, that you trust Western Union.  I would then send you the £1,000 for the flat.

Let me know when you’ve sent me the £50.  This whole flat-finding business is doing my nerves in.  Please, give me back my faith in humanity.

I hate to cut this short, but I need to feed Pete.  He hasn’t eaten for a few days.  No, I can assure you wherever I’ve ever lived, there has never been a rat problem.


I told you to deduct the transfer charges from the 1000pounds. You can also make the transfer via money gram and why can’t you make the bank transfer as online transfer?


Money gram?   What?  How many grams of money do you want?  I don’t know how much £1,000 weighs, man.  I can’t make the bank transfer as online transfer because it’s bank transfer, not online transfer.  Bank transfer is different to online transfer, right?

Anyhoo, I see what you mean now – deduct the transfer charges from the £1,000.  Right, I get it.  I looked at the Western Union website to work out how much to deduct.  Actually, the charges are £28.40, not £50.  I worked it out by saying I would send £1,000 to find out the charges for that which are £28.40.  Then, I deducted 28.40 from 1,000.  1,000 – 28.40 = 971.60.  Next, I found out how much the charges would be to send you £971.60.  It said they would be £28.40.  971.60 + 28.40 = 1,000.  So I will send you £971.60, which means I pay Western Union £1,000.  OK?

But first.  I’ve been keeping my Guru  (as well as Pete) in the loop about our negotiations.  You may of heard of her – Guru K (see attached photo).  She’s my rock.  I’ve been having long and frank teachings from Guru about my trust issues.  Apparently, I have some bad kaurma blockages from my past life as a rat.  I find it difficult to trust people I’ve never met.

Guru’s teaching is I need a photo of you holding a document that proves you are the legal owner of the flat (maybe a utility bill or something like that with the address on it).  Email me one.  Then I will perform a trust ritual with Guru to clear my chakra blockage.  In return, I’m willing not to receive the signed agreement from you.  Then I will send you £971.60.

Light & Blessings


Listen to me, I don’t have time for all this to keep emailing you and you didn’t do the right thing at the right time, I don’t have to be holding a Utility bills and taking a photo of it,  money gram work the way western union works. I gave you bank account to make the transfer you didn’t get it done,I told you to make the transfer via western union or money gram you’re still delaying everything…I don’t really have time for all this. Are you sending the money now or not?



I can sense your frustration.  I’m frustrated too.  Please, let’s help each other get through this.  I know I have trust issues.  And maybe you do too?  It’s OK; I know it’s hard to admit.  Help me to trust you.  I’ve been meditating on this with Pete, my snake, and I feel ready to trust again.  This is an important part of learning to trust.  Do you want a photo of me too?

Ask yourself this, how much would you pay NOT to send me a photo of you holding proof of ownership?  In reality, by not sending me the photo, you’re choosing to pay £971.60 to do that.  Would you really pay £971.60?  Even if you would pay up to £971.59, you would still make a profit out of it.  If you would pay £100 so that you didn’t have the hassle of emailing a photo (I think that’s overpriced, myself), then you’re making a profit of £871.60.  Let’s say you would pay £1,000 not to send me a photo, then you definitely should not send me a photo, it wouldn’t be worth it, if you’re only losing out on £971.60.

Do you need me to send you instructions?  What kind of phone do you have?


I can see that you’re just wasting my time.




Without the proof of the transfer, I’m not going to email you again.


I understand.  I need proof that you own the flat first.  Then I can send you proof of transfer.

You send me proof of ownership (OK, it doesn’t have to be a photo of you) > I send you proof of transfer > you send me the keys.

Really, I just need something to show me you are able to rent the flat to me.  I would be stupid not to demand this.  Do you think I’m stupid?


I gave you the contract form that’s what you need. No problem you can look else where.


OK OK, wait.  Here’s the proof of transfer.  Now when do I get the keys, yo?


Time waster


At this point our tenant got fed up of trying to get more info and decided to call it a day. A valiant (and entertaining) attempt though, I think you’ll agree! Let’s hope Pete the cobra was finally re-housed somewhere with a calming colour palette

Join us for a Guardian panel discussion on renting

From 12.30-1.30pm today we’ll be joining a panel, including experts from Citizens Advice and Countrywide, for a live rental discussion on The Guardian website. Tenants will be able to ask questions relating to their tenancies, landlords or simply how to go about finding somewhere to live in a crowded rental market.

For further details and to submit your question visit The Guardian website