Reasons I am not applying to rent your flat

I am flat hunting.  I need an affordable one-bedroom flat, preferably with fly screens in the windows and space for at least one of my eight bookshelves.  Near public transport, preferably also within cycling distance from the city.  And it has to accept cats.  And — I realise I’m asking a lot — bonus points if it’s not totally grotty.

At first I thought I was being too fussy, but, you know, I have to live in this place.  I’ve had homes so hideous I cringed every time I came home, and I don’t want another one.

On the other hand, it’s a really rough market for renters.  I can’t afford to stay in my beloved inner-north, so I’m shifting to the less gentrified inner-west.  But even there, way too many places are just … imperfect.

And so, to all the landlords out there, here are some of the reasons I haven’t jumped through hoops to inspect your properties:

  • It is clearly haunted.
  • Inspection time coincides with the deadline to lodge important court documents.
  • Why would you even schedule inspections to take place during work hours?  This wasn’t happening last time I was house hunting.
  • This retro kitchen would absolutely be worth missing work for, except for the no pets rule.
    This retro kitchen would absolutely be worth missing work for, except for the no pets rule.
  • Pretty sure a serial killer has been burying bodies beneath the porch.
  • Your real estate agent’s Instagram filter failed to disguise the rust stains in the bath.
  • It is 80 million miles from public transport.
  • It is too small to swing a cat.
  • Look, cat swinging just happens to be one of my hobbies, and I’ll thank you not to judge.
  • Sometimes the cat buries his teeth on my arm, and I swing it around wildly trying to dislodge him.  Nothing weird here at all.
  • I’m quite certain I’ve transcribed search warrants being executed on this property.
  • Fairly confident that’s an unmarked police car in the foreground of the exterior photo.
  • My hipster chic aesthetic doesn’t extend to keeping the washing machine in the living area.
  • Likewise, I don’t like my fridge so much that I want to hang out and watch The X-Files with it.
  • There is a strong possibility that the carpet has mind control powers, and I don’t want to place myself at risk of being psychically possessed by a green shag carpet.
  • I'm into the concertina room divider, but the carpet's like a Rorschach test for your feet.
    I’m into the concertina room divider, but the carpet’s like a Rorschach test for your feet.
  • Nine out of 10 crime scene cleaners rate it their favourite job site in Melbourne.
  • The real estate’s use of the adjective “humble” is worrying.
  • Something about the gang signs spraypainted on the fence is off-putting.
  • I’m yet to embrace the meth house aesthetic.

Tomorrow I’ll be at the Abbotsford Markets, trying to sell some of the contents of those eight bookshelves.  But next weekend, unless I get lucky, I’ll be out there.  Again.  Inspecting unfamiliar houses, smelling unfamiliar smells, and wondering what it takes to find a not-hideous flat in Melbourne.

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12 thoughts on “Reasons I am not applying to rent your flat

    1. It makes me nostalgic for high school. Also the nomcat could climb it. (However, as the ad suspiciously doesn’t feature an address, and DOES imply that it used to be an upstairs flat, and is now on the ground floor…? Suffice to say, I decided against it.)

  1. fictionmachine

    Always double-check the no-pets clause, because more often than not I’ve found “no pets” means “no dogs”. Upon enquiring, many landlords are actually fine with a neutered cat.

    1. Also, on that same note, Ral and Fox had quite a lot of luck appealing directly to the owner sending a picture of Ally to give some context of the not-worst-house-destroying-pet ever (Ally is admittedly is a dog, but spend so much time sleeping she’s practically a cat, honestly).

      1. Heh. I’ve attached a nice picture of the nomcat to my covering letter, and explained within that he’s a good, house-trained cat who, aside from his unfortunate taste for human flesh, which I’ve kind of skate over, he’s quiet and non-destructive.

  2. Ah, the joys of looking at rental property. Discovering that the real estate agent has been using the “fish eye” lens, and the rooms you thought were spacious weren’t large enough to even put a cat into (if they allowed cats) much less swing one. Ex-state-housing, where it’s clear the place was designed down to a bureaucratic price point, rather than up to any sort of standard. Grotty places where it’s clear no amount of dedicated housework is going to be able to even make a start on the process of improving things. Landlord colour schemes from the “ooh, that’s cheap” palette (personal observation: cornflower blue appears to go with almost everything except 70’s era burnt orange). Looking for the small gems of liveability, and trying to see whether there’s a chance of fitting all your stuff into the available space.

    Putting in an application, and hearing nothing back. If you’re lucky, you hear you were unsuccessful.

    1. ARGH, WHAT IS IT WITH ALL THE BLUE CARPETS? Was there a sale somewhere?

      I’m kind of lucky, in that my current place, though lovely in many ways, has certain idiosyncrasies — the bathroom walls are corrugated iron, various floor boards are rotting, the kitchen is on a slant. So I’m easily impressed. But yeah, the last thing I want is another place where the lino ONLY looks clean if you scrub it with bleach, and then only for a day.

  3. You gen Ys don’t know how easy you’ve got it. When *I* was a lass, we were happy to let our fridges watch the X-Files with us. Why are you denying your white goods access to pop culture narratives? Because Youtube, that’s why.
    Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go yell at some kids to get off my lawn.

  4. I had a rental bedroom with a concertina door. Never again. They are completely useless at keeping out a cat who is determined to wake you up at like 4:00am. In my new place, having a real wooden door that I can shut in the cat’s face seems like an outrageous luxury.

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