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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Housing Lottery

Tuesday 21 February 2012: So today we go to view the only property we feel suitable on the letting agents list. We drive over early and take a look at the area, it’s raining, road works just outside are making the traffic look like a demented snake and there’s the disembodied bark of dogs in the air.

To be fair, the area may not be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but at least it’s convenient for local amenities. We wait for the landlord to arrive and when he does, he has other people with him. It soon becomes apparent that we’re all here to view the place. The front door opens and we’re met by carpets that have three inches of dirt around where they meet the skirting board. (the previous tenant mustn’t have had a very good vacuum cleaner – if any).

The kitchen has paper down to soak up an undisclosed puddle of water, the bathroom is as cold as Captain Scott’s moustache, and the purple bedroom with luminous butterflies assaults the retina.

It turns out that the agent does block viewings of properties, asks if the clients are interested, and then decides which one will get it. Despite being better odds than the lottery, we feel it’s an unfair situation to put people in.

We discover that the funky smell in the dining room is coming from a half pot of yogurt on the windowsill, (weeks past its ‘best by’ date), we take this as our cue to leave, just as the two lesbians in Harrington jackets decide to take a second look upstairs at the purple bedroom.

Fifteen minutes later the letting agent calls to ask if we’re interested, the reply is a resounding, no!

We spot a sign in a newly refurbished property a few streets away, a quick phone call later and we’ve found an ideal house for us.

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