Rental Opportunity of the Week: A Boy’s Sofa for £850


What is it? What is that sound? It’s a high-pitched, huge, crackling sound, almost — like a robot the size of the planet rubbing its metal fingers together, or the wind howling in the low, soothing way it does before disaster strikes. Whether it is – what is it? Four or five great ancient gears, buried deep underground and forged by a people older than history itself, slowly squeezing and spinning? It’s a rumble under the concrete of your feet that you can feel but not hear? What is that sound, what is that sound. It’s like a huge tree has fallen and all your nerves are on fire. It’s like standing right on top of the Empire State Building – balanced on one toe, right on the tip of the peak – and all around you is somehow silence and noise. But what is that sound? Ah, oh: It’s the cost of living noise that is finally hitting London’s horny landlords. It’s the sound of a man’s couch.

Where is it? Ealing Broadway. Have you ever met anyone who lives in Ealing Broadway? You’re in a pub, maybe, for a friend’s birthday. Larger group than expected so you are all standing around the table instead of sitting at it. The only person you really know here has gone to the bar (Saturday night, it takes a long time), so you’re stuck chatting with strangers. Who is this? Someone you don’t know’s friend, look. He tried to ask you “how your fantasy football is going this year” but you don’t play it so you had to move on really fast. What could you, what’s there… ah, this always gets them going. “Have you come far?” you say. “Where do you live?” And then he sighs, looks around, lowers his head to his neck and leans toward you, as if announcing a sad and terminal diagnosis. He just influenced the attitude of a doctor telling you to get your arm off. And he says, “Ealing Broadway.” Damned hell. How long will he stay with that damn Neck Oil?

What is there to do locally? Well, the man is still there, so you can ask him. ‘And is there much to… what is. Ah. Is there anything good in . . . is there anything good to do in Ealing Broadway?’ He looks at the ceiling and stands on tiptoe for a moment. He comes to you again. Look at him. You can somehow tell by his nervous energy that he is a reformed smoker: Right now is the perfect time in the night, 8pm towards 9pm, where one is clambering through the crowd and out onto the streets for a cigarette would be perfect now. Could hear yourself think, for example. Take a few puffs of fresh, crisp air in the evening before sucking down a lungful of tar. Always nicer people outside, somehow, and that’s part of the appeal of smoking: the staring, the wonder. You can see a hand shaking in his pocket, looking for something, but – no.

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Why do you think he stopped? You would put it at 32. It’s always one of three reasons, at 32: a late start to the health rush in his late twenties, dad develops a wheezing lung disease that ruins the mood for the next three Christmases, or a new girlfriend says he wants to improve his “sperm health.” if they are “serious to try”. This man has written ‘Under Armour® brand cycling leggings’ all over the place. He quit smoking to save a few seconds on his charity triathlon time.

It’s been four, maybe five hundred years since you asked the question. He went to the edge of the universe and back. ‘Oh, Ealing? Nothing to worry about mate. Yes. Damn everyone.”

Okay, how much are they asking? £850 PCM but crucially that is without bills. Keep that in mind, the accounts thing. We’ll come back to it on the bills.

Since time immemorial, ever since the Romans entered this swampy stretch of Thames and announced it in ‘Londinium’, this city has been ravaged by horny landlords. You know what a horny landlord is. You know what I mean. But just in case, I’ll be explicit anyway: horny landlords are landlords who are horny and have a spare room, and to appease the horniness bubbling in them, they will offer that room outside – “””” WOMEN ONLY ”””’ — free or heavily discounted rental, and down the e-mail chain to find out, for example, they’ll say something insanely insane about socks and feet. The problem with horny landlords is that, because of the economy, this scam often works: young women move to this city every day, from satellite towns across the country or from smaller countries in Europe, and they need a place for them and their two suitcases and a bag to stay in until they get a job and a boyfriend, and often a £150 PCM rent and a sleep on the couch in a room that you can never be 100 percent sure doesn’t have hidden cameras in it. only viable option for a short time. I’m not saying it’s good, I’m saying it’s real. If you put a gun to my head and let me take a moral stand, I don’t think we should allow horny landlords.

But the one thing that makes horny landowners work for horny landlords – the looming and horrific reality of the economy – is finally working against them. The point of horny landownership is this: it exploits the financial power imbalance that arises between someone who’s been working for 15 years and living alone and has a room for two and a low-interest mortgage, and someone who’s just graduated with barely the train ticket to the city. That financial imbalance is as old as time, and it means many people begrudgingly have their landlords take a shower once a week in exchange for rent reduction. But the point now is that the economy is finally affecting the bottom rung of the tightly controlled class ladder, and. We will. This man’s fucking living room now costs £850 a month to live in:

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“*Women only*”, the ad reads. “I have my living room for rent in Ealing Broadway… My sofa is 2m*1m in size and can be used as a single bed. The room is furnished, all furniture is new and bed linen can be provided. There are currently two tables in that room, but I can always change them if needed. There is a door so it’s a separate room… Due to the size of the room and the bed only need one person… I work in Canary Wharf so I will go to the office at least 2 days a week , hope a clean and tidy roommate.”

So basically you can sleep on this guy’s couch for £850 a month, but he’ll also be there three days a week, and also your bed is still his couch, and maybe he’ll move the tables there and maybe not , and you also have to be very clean and tidy when you sleep on his couch, in exchange for £850 a month. Landlords in this city only offer female sofas to sleep in for horny reasons – if it wasn’t horny the sofa would be for rent for everyone, and it would be driven by greed and not horniness – so it’s just a case from figuring out which direction this landlord’s horniness is bulging. If I had to guess, I’d say… well. So there’s a zither in the living room/bedroom. It’s medieval reenactment lust. They make you drink mead and throw gold coins at your toes as you dance.


Letting someone sleep on a couch in your house sucks. It’s good, but it sucks. You know, it happens. People stay out too late, they come to London for the night, whatever. We have a big couch. It’s fine to sleep on it. But that room with the sleeper in it isn’t yours anymore. It’s smeared with their blanket and a pillow. A good friend of yours is sitting in their underwear and drinking a coffee you bought them for. TV at a low volume. “Should we have breakfast…?” No friend. New day. I’m done with you. Other things to do. This is not exactly a pleasant experience. It’s not the end of the world if it happens – I’m glad I’m in a position in my life where I can offer people a bank! I hope the sofa offer can go both ways, and one day I can sleep on theirs! – but let’s not beat around the bush. Letting someone sleep on your couch is quite unpleasant for everyone involved. Why would you want someone to do that, a complete stranger, and every night of the month, in exchange for £850? What kind of teen man do you have to be to go along with this?

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The point is that £850 a month to sleep on a couch isn’t even close to a good deal – you can still find rooms in houses for that price in this city, despite the rental crisis, and one that you can’t. don’t wake up with a zither freak smelling all your shoes – meaning the cost of living crisis could finally drive the horny landlord out of this town once and for all. A note from the ad: “The price is for rent only, bills are not included if inflation is rising, council tax bracket is D.”

A strange quirk of shit landowners and the energy crisis has resulted in some unexpected winners coming out of it all: people who signed a contract “including bills” before the huge energy cap changed, and who live in a single small room, sure, but whose landlords are all completely stuck with the energy costs associated with it. I think I’m only describing about 5,000 people in the entire UK here, but I do want to say to them, may the universe continue to bless you, and don’t forget to leave your heating on 24 hours a day, and if possible, let the shower on while you go to work.

For the rest of us, a grim picture of the current housing market: £850 a month to sleep on what is undoubtedly a horny person’s couch, in a room that is in no way yours, with two tables and a zither , and you also have to pay bills on top of it. Horny landownership may be a niche form of it, but it still depends on someone being desperate enough to live on a couch in a sex man’s house for £850 a month.

At the moment that is not feasible for anyone on earth. But how long will it take? Six months? Maybe eight, with a push? This sofa won’t sleep for long. If you want to put a gun to my head and make me take a moral stand, I don’t think this is a good thing.

The post Rental Opportunity of the Week: A Boy’s Sofa for £850 appeared first on VICE.


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