Help me become a Londoner!

Smylers Smylers at
Thu Nov 19 12:36:18 GMT 2009

Dermot writes:

> This site has lots of private property rental so there's no agency
> fees

When I moved to London I found Gumtree very frustrating: lots of ads
still up even after the room has been taken, or people who weren't in
when they said; lots of people who only wanted flatmates who were in
their 20s or Australian or female (I'm none of those).  And there were
agencies on there too, but masquerading as private landlords and
generally giving off an air of dodginess.

Also, most people on Gumtree seemed to advertise places available
immediately or within a week; that made it impossible to plan ahead and
have the assurance of knowing in advance that I'd found somewhere to
live when I needed it.  You either have to start paying weeks before you
move in, or take your chances with finding something at the last minute.

In general, Gumtree seemed like a lot of hassle[*1].  Whereas dealing
with more 'traditional' places seemed to be able to arrange things well
in advance and only care about you having the money for the deposit.

[*1]  In fairness, Gumtree did eventually find me somewhere, just in
time, albeit indirectly: somebody I phoned from a Gumtree ad was moving
to a new place and touting for a flatmate there.  While we were speaking
she realized that I worked with her current flatmate.  That evening she
fessed up to him that she was moving out, tipped him off about me, and
the following morning he offered me the room.  Given that we sat in
sight of each other, it's possible we'd've worked this out without
Gumtree's help ...

Good luck with it all.


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