For the past four months, me and my partner have been living in one room with an ensuite. One room means no proper TV, no kitchen, no lounge, and an incredible strain on our relationship. You see, after uni finished, we moved to his home town to live in an outbuilding near his parent's house until we both had stable jobs and had saved up enough to put down a deposit on a rented house or flat, and have enough money to buy furniture. Because the graduate job market is a bitch, we had to wait until the beginning of September for both of us to have secured jobs, and even by then we were itching to have our own home.
'Home' is a bit of a weird word for me now, it's something I've been lusting after for so long, but just haven't had for years. Student housing isn't a home, and going to your parent's house for the holidays is just really displacing. Having a place to live that is solely ours is something that occupies the majority of my daydreams, and I have countless pins on my 'Home Inspo' Pinterest board.
On Monday we found our dream property. There were so many things that we wanted in a place, but were willing to compromise on, but this place had exactly what we wanted. I spent all day in a feeling of euphoria: finally there was an end goal to our saving and wishing and dreaming. We went fruit picking later in the day (I know it's Autumn, but hey, it was fab), and the PYO was growing Christmas trees ready for the festive season. We had the best time talking about having a real tree this year, imagining where it would go in our new home, and even discussing getting a baby one for our bedroom. I've never seen my boyfriend so excited, and I was on Cloud Nine.
Later on in the day, we paid all of our agency fees, and the initial forms were sent over for us to fill out to get the ball rolling on our future. We paid everything we needed to straight away, and I felt the most at-ease I have felt in months.
Then, on Tuesday morning the estate agents called to let us know that the landlord had pulled out. And what was it over? Our hamsters. Now, we weren't sneaky little bastards, pretending that we had no pets until we had secured the property. From the very first moment we told the agency about the hammies, and got them to check and then double check over the phone with the landlady that she was okay with us having them. The irony of this is that we made sure this was done before we viewed the property so that there was no chance of us falling in love with it and then being turned away because of the pets.
Our hamsters are pretty old - like I have to check if they're still there every morning old - and we've never left the cage open. Even if there was a chance of that happening they more than likely wouldn't free themselves, preferring to stay in their cosy little nests, and we always keep the door to whatever room they're in closed, so that if the worst does happen they're not going to be roaming the house.
I can hear you all going yes, yes, maybe some landlords just don't want pets in their home. And that's fair enough, but why can't people just be upfront and say no from the start?!
Ultimately, we are now once again home-less, having to start looking all over again with a three week deadline on when we need to move in. I do shift work, which includes all weekend and most evenings, and my partner works 9-5. It's hard for us to find time to view properties together, and we were hoping that this would be the last one that one of us had to take time off of work to see.
The most frustrating thing of all is that we did nothing wrong, and showed ourselves to be good potential tenants. We were honest from the start. We paid our agency fees within five hours of viewing the property. We were keen and open to moving in whenever the landlord wanted us. All in all, you missed out on the opportunity to have tenants you could trust, and we're left angry that we've been mistreated this way.
Have you had a similar problem when house hunting?