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Today I should finally move house. This has taken over 6 weeks to sort out. 'Not long', you say? Well this is rented property, and I'm so impulsive I found the place I liked 2 days after starting looking. The rest of the time was spent with the sorts of kafka-esque bureaucracy that you would think I was applying for membership of the WTO, not renting a house.
The catalogue of farce and human error that this has entailed seems to be a feature of my house moves, so perhaps others can learn from my mistakes. I only wish I could.

Avoid the following and your move will be as smooth as an estate agent's patter.


  • Believe anything the estate agent says.

    Ok, its a cliché, but these people even lie about things that don't matter. Remember - these people are the same level of scum as lawyers or venture capitalists. Ok, I should be used to the hidden meaning in the words "I promise I'll call you tomorrow", but not from people that I'm paying not inconsiderable sums of money to work for me.

  • Burn your bridges.

    Of course, it's a fantastic idea to tell your current landlady that you'll "definitely be gone within the month". Nah-uh. Nothing like the prospect of someone else moving into your current place to induce a state of blind panic when your move gets postponed again

  • Co-let with people with no references and no credit history.

    Ok, my credit history is pretty crap, but I've got a good job. But people who arrived in the country the previous week don't help to grease the wheels of petty bureaucracies. "Can we see their work visas". No you fuckwit. They're EU citizens, and have as much right to work here as you or I. I suppose you ask Welsh people for visas too?

  • Rent your house from a corporate lawyer.

    Oh yes, just the sort of anal retentive, biro sorter that you want poring over the minutiae of your references.

  • Order your furniture before you have the key to the house.

    I was so pleased with myself. I dragged myself off to IKEA (mmmm, meatballs) and chose some stylish yet affordable icons of scandinavian design. I pay the £25 to have them delivered to my office on the day I'm supposed to be moving. Now I've an office full of beds and sofas after my move fell through.

  • Dress casual.

    I don't normally wear a suit at work, so why would I wear one to look at a house. Surely people aren't that shallow? I was idealistic fool. This time I wore an expensive suit and it was all yes, sir. no, sir. how high, sir. Sigh.

That'll do for now, but I'm probably being wildly over-optimistic in thinking I'll get the keys today, so this list will most likely grow. And my ill-founded faith in human nature will shrink further.

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