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CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
So I'm about to start my first real job and I'm planning to rent a flat in london (where the job is) ph34r.gif

I stayed at home with my family while at uni so I'm totally clueless about the whole thing...

Anybody got any advice? If you have any tips about what to look for when looking for flats, what questions to ask potential landlords etc. that would be really helpful smile.gif
Sir Psycho Sexy
Just make sure you'll have enough money to live on after rent and bills, those buggers are expensive. Don't over stretch your finances to the point where you're constantly relying on credit cards or overdrafts, it's a slippy slope.
Mata
Always check on what the expected bills might be and find out who is responsible for them, especially things like water rates.

Check plug sockets. Lots of older buildings don't have nearly enough plug sockets for modern living. Discuss this with your landlord or letting agent if you don't think you'll have enough. If they listen sympathetically (even if they don't do anything about it) rather than telling you to shove off, then you've probably got an alright bunch to let from.

Always check the heating - see how many radiators are in the house. I stayed in a place that had one radiator for the entire building but we didn't notice until we moved in. It's not a deal breaker, but it's worth being aware of.

Find out what the phoneline is currently doing - is it disconnected? Is it on hold? Is there even a line installed?

Check to see if you can switch power/water/gas suppliers? Most landlords will allow you to do this and you can save money if you do.

Look at the neighbours' gardens. You can tell a fair bit about how much trouble they will be by the state of their house (not always, but it can help).

Trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right then don't go for it, no matter how desperate you feel to find a place.

Check the windows. See how difficult it would be to break into the flat. If you are really in doubt then ask for decent locks or to get the police around to strengthen the property. The police will usually do this free of charge and they are constantly amazed by how few people know about it.

Err... That'll do for the moment.
WeeJ
Check out how much the Council tax will be. Bane of my existance!
elphaba2
Plumbing! Check for signs of water damage--any kind of discoloration on the walls, baseboards, etc. Find out the name of the apt's janitor (dunno anything about London, but here just about every place has a landlord, to whom you pay rent, and a janitor, to whom you say hello when your pipes have exploded) and make him your best friend. He is from Peru? Your mother is from Peru! He likes to eat pizza? You adore MAKING PIZZA FOR PERUVIANS. Etc. This is a nice relationship to have with the man who makes sure your pipes do not explode again.

Give yourself plenty of time to find a place. Watch out for sneaky roommates (if you have them). Be excited! Have a big housewarming! Explore the neighborhood and meet your neighbors if they seem like they'd be into that! Find out when Bulk Trash Day is and go on a mad furniture dash, picking up all type of semi-functional IKEA bookshelves and incredibly heavy antique armoires and slightly squeaky office chairs (by far the top three most frequently dumped-out-without-entirely-good-reason furniture items on Bulk Trash Day).

Good luck! Congrats on the job!
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
Thanks everyone! biggrin.gif Lots of good advice, I will try to keep it all in mind when looking round places.
snooodlysnoosnoosnoodle
Ooooh moving out!
I have moved many times in the last 6 years but I still forget about things when looking at places so my main advice is this - if you look at lots of places and a lot of them are dire don't be too excited about the ones that seem decent because you will overlook little things like Mata mentioned (the place I've just moved into has a ridiculously small number of plug sockets D: ).

At the same time don't be put off looking at as many places as you can possibly find (RightMove is your friend) if something looks promising then arrange to see it. Letting agents are generally pretty decent, they may try to push the good points of a property but I've never met one who hasn't taken "it's not for me" as an answer.

Are you going to be looking for somewhere on your own or a house share? If it's a house share try to see it at a time when other people will be there so you can see what they're like - do they stick to their rooms or are they pretty sociable? Do they rota cleaning, is there a kitty for shared goods (toilet roll, cleaning stuff etc) and have they got any weird schedules (eg working nights) that are likely to cause you issues with noise when you're trying to sleep.

Good luck!
Hobbes
QUOTE (snoo @ Sep 7 2009, 06:39 PM) *
I have moved many times in the last 6 years


^ Sounds like me!! Not good for the ol' credit check, mind you.

One word to keep in mind, from a financial perspective, is contingency: try, if you can, ensure you have money set aside for the unexpected. Even just a few untouched quid can help when something suddenly needs attention.

There is a massive difference between being able to 'afford' a place, and being able to 'afford a place and live'. It's all very well acknowledging that you have the £XXXX.XX each month to cover the £XXXX.XX bills/food each month. But then what? Do you have enough money to enjoy a bit of life occasionally? Will the odd cinema trip push the budget? Will visiting friends by car/bus/tube/hovercraft cost a little bit too much. As Sir. Psycho Sexy said, quite rightly, you do NOT want to become dependant on loans and credit cards. Indeed, if you can avoid them altogether, then all the better! Due to various circumstances and bad decisions, I have my fair share of credit card debt that I will soon be back in a position to hack away it. But having those numbers having over your head can affect everything from your stress levels, to the chances of getting positive credit checks for things you DO need.

Be aware that no matter how good your forecasting, you will probably forget to include a particular cost in your budget. For example, Mata suggested checking if the phone line is there/operating/connected, etc. If has been disconnected because the previous person did not pay their bill on time, or the property has been empty for a while, etc, then you may have to incur a charge to get it connected again. It's nothing backbreaking usually, but it's yet another cost.

Some of your monthly bills like council tax, and utilities like electric, water, and gas, often have discounted rates for people living alone. I don't know if this is going to be the case for you but, for example, I get approximately 30% off my council tax as a "Single Person's Allowance." Every little helps smile.gif

As a tenant, always check in your agreement who is responsible for maintaining items that remain in the property - from furnishings (if any), to electrical applicances, boilers, radiators, etc. Some landlords will expect you to cover the costs of repair, and some will do it themselves.

Finally... negotiate! No matter what the agent's price is, you should not expect to pay that. I got about 12% off the monthly rent of my current flat. Sometimes negotiation isn't as simple as getting cheaper rent. Sometimes you can get the landlord to pay your council tax instead, or your water rates (because he can put this through as an expense, thus reducing his tax bill, rather than just taking a cut in income), or create a more flexible agreement. Obviously, negotiation is a lot more limited in high-demand areas. But give it a shot smile.gif

I was shown around my current flat by a letting agent who told me it had been on their books for a couple of months without any real interest, and that initially the landlord had actually wanted to sell it, but got no takers. He had chucked out his previous tenants prior to putting it on the market, and so I could assume that by this point he was fairly eager to start making money on it once again. Through the agents, I offered about 12% below his asking price and was told that he would drop about 5%. I said no, I wasn't willing to go to that price and, a little later that day, I got another phone call from the agent saying that he was willing to go to my price, but only if I had a 1 year minimum lease. My reply? No... I want it at my price, with a lease that includes a six-month break clause in case I want out earlier. He accepted smile.gif

To be fair, you can't always push the landlord/agents too far in all cases.

I know that the general rule for buying a property is that, ordinarily, you should be able to pay at least 5% below the marketed value. I'm not sure how it stands with renting, but saving money is always worth a shot. Anybody that agrees the rent or purchase price without at least TRYING to negotiate is foolish, I think.

And finally (I know I said finally earlier, but I just remembered something else): never agree on a property based on one viewing. This might seem obvious, but I know several people that have signed documents and moved in, having only viewed the property once. You need to see those bricks at least twice before you even make the offer.

Oh... also... biggrin.gif ... take a drive, if you can, around the area at night and during school exit times, to see what kind of "behaviour" takes place in the area. During the day, when most of the street is at work or school, it might seem wonderfully pleasant. But once the schools empty, or the sun comes down, things can change drastically.

Good luck smile.gif
Moosh
Ugh. I'm seeing all this from the other side at the moment, trying to rent out a room in the flat I just bought. Being a landlord getting people round to view and possibly rent is a nightmare. Especially as I'm landlord/occupant.

Sorry I don't have anything constructive to add to this, just complaining about people really.
froggle-rock
I don't really have anything to add apart from good luck happy.gif
Daria
Firstly: good luck!
Secondly: whereabouts in London are you settling down in?
Thirdly, to add to everyone else's excellent advice: if the estate agents seem dodgy, then check them out. Look them up on the business register, if they have a website then check it for content (i.e do they actually have properties on it?) and make sure you have the contact details of the agent you're working with.

Estate agents are jerks. However much they may seem nice, or amiable, they aren't- they are just trying to pressure you into doing what they want. If they ask for personal data for things like a credit check, then stop and think about what they are asking for: when I was looking for flats in May, a couple of friends and I had put down a deposit and were in the process of the credit checks. They had asked for a copy of my last tax return, because I am self employed, and got really snotty when I asked for their data protection reference number. In the end, the guy who ran the business said he didn't want us moving in because we seemed like trouble. Quite specifically that I seemed like trouble. However, you have rights, so stick to them!

Check how much the agents charge for admin fees, inventory fees etc etc. It can add up to a lot more than you would have expected, and on top of the deposit it can dig a big hole in your pocket.

Read the contract. You're perfectly welcome to, and if there is something you don't understand then get someone to explain it to you.

Check whether you'll be renting via the agency, or straight from the landlord and the agency just get a finders fee. The latter can be good if you want to do things like change the date when you pay rent (sweet talking one person is easier than sweet talking an estate agent), however if you just rent through an agency then you can usually be safe in the knowledge that they will do things by the book- you will have an emergency number to ring for plumbing/ gas/ electricity faults etc.

If you are shown a pretty grubby but gorgeous flat, then point out to them that you're interested but the state of it isn't acceptable. Most agencies will get places professionally cleaned before you move in, but it's always good to be on top of them about things like that.

As Mata said about the radiators, make sure they are there. Electric heaters eat vaaaast amounts of electricity and you won't want a big winter electricity bill. Also, check for double glazing and proper fittings to hang curtains. A blind may look pretty, but it doesn't keep out most of the light in the mornings, and it doesn't keep in the heat.

Halogen bulbs make everything look cool, but they also eat up lots of electricity.


There's probably more, but I think my post's big enough already.
Also, can I join the Hobbes/ Snoo party? I've moved 5 times in the last 2 and a half years happy.gif
Mata
Oo, good one. If possible, always go for double glazing, and make sure you get keys for the windows.

Always get household insurance. It's worth it, as I discovered when several thousand pounds of my stuff was stolen last year.

As Daria says, if it's not clean then point this out while you're looking around. Get them to clean.

Take photos of the place when you arrive, especially grubbby bits or broken things. If you think the agents are going to be picky then email a copy to the agents for their records as soon as you can, so there is evidence for when you move out.

Always check the inventory. If they don't do one (they might charge you for this if they do) then do one yourself. Note every single minor scratch, dent, grease smear on the walls... Everything! Send a copy to your letting agents as soon as you can. This can save you a lot of bother later on.

There's a lot of good advice in this thread (probably a scary amount) but try to trust your instincts. You'll be fine.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
To answer some questions:

I'm moving to west london... my job is in chiswick but I'm considering anything within walking distance of a tube station at the moment. Most of the the flats I've bookmarked are in the ealing area, and I'm going to visit a few there tomorrow (through an agency). It seems like a nice enough place from afar (google streetview ftw) but I will have a lot of time to walk around when I'm done tomorrow.

I'm planning to get a small studio flat to myself rather than share. Not so keen on living with people I don't know.

I don't drive, so the amount of exploration I can do is limited, but the train to london is quite cheap if I book online so going back to a flat for a second look is still an option.

I think I'm going to be alright for money - I've got a rough idea of how much I want to be spending on stuff and I should have plenty left over as long as I don't make any silly purchases. There's no way I'm getting a credit card. I've got a starting bonus and some money saved up so deposits/advance rent shouldn't be a problem.

Anyway, thanks again for all your excellent advice! I will have to write it all down so I don't forget anything...
Mata
Oh, and take a digital camera so you can compare flats afterwards!
Cath Sparrow
And a list of questions you want to ask dont rely on remebering them.
Hobbes
QUOTE (Daria @ Sep 9 2009, 01:45 PM) *
Also, can I join the Hobbes/Snoo party? I've moved 5 times in the last 2 and a half years happy.gif


Sure thing! In the last 6 years I've made 7 "full" moves (i.e. staying somewhere I called 'home' for X amount of time). If I include non-"full" moves (i.e. the temporary arrangement of a bed or room for Y amount of time), then it's 9 times.

And I might yet still move again before the end of this year. Lucky I've got at least one friend who doesn't mind helping me lug stuff in and out of a van each year smile.gif
Daria
I like moving house! I've moved 14 times in total happy.gif


Crazy, I'm afraid I know *nothing* of West London because I am Cool Like That and have only lived in crappy areas in the east and southwest. Well, it was technically a squat in Brixton and it was for a few months. It was considered home, though... However, you seem to be on top of things!
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
I hope so!

On second thoughts I'm a bit concerned about money and how much I can afford to spend. After taxes it looks like I'll have to spend nearly half of my income on rent, and on top of that there's bills, transport costs and food to worry about. It seems doable but I'm thinking it may be better to settle for somewhere that's less expensive than I'd like just so I'll be able to save some of it unsure.gif
Hobbes
QUOTE (crazymat @ Sep 13 2009, 11:04 AM) *
I'm thinking it may be better to settle for somewhere that's less expensive than I'd like just so I'll be able to save some of it unsure.gif


I'd definitely recommend that if you want to have any money for doing "fun" stuff that might often involve parting with the cash. Also, you never know when SOMETHING suddenly needs an influx of money. And it's nice to know you have some sitting around being 'spare' for such an occasion.

I think to be able to "afford" to live somewhere, you should be able to cover your rent, all bills and expected outgoings, and still have some money left each month. Not that it's always possible, or even an option, but if you CAN cope with a smaller place then... smaller place = fuller wallet.
snooodlysnoosnoosnoodle
Remember it's a lot easier to move from a smaller place to a bigger place once you can afford it than moving into a big place and having to downsize due to money issues!!
Daria
Last year at uni, my rent was two thirds of my income (not including student loan, but that managed to fizzle into surprisingly nothing) and it was awful. This year, different flat, it should be about one third which is, if I remember rightly, what one should aim for when figuring out finances. I was spending all my non-uni time working, which meant no time for socialising... but I needed the money to socialise.
And London is expensive. Oh so very expensive- it is very easy to spend £100 on one weekend and not notice, only to find on monday that you've just spent that week's wages on... not a lot. Not that I have ever done that >_> However, there are plenty of free things to do, you can get your cycle on and you can shop carefully and cleverly. Maybe having a Funtimes Jar would be useful (note to self: make one) which you put cash in now and again to use for going out. If you have no cash in it then you don't go out: thereby getting rid of the Just Take My Card With Me And Won't Have More Than A Couple Of Drinks line of thought. Not that I'm guilty of that one, either dry.gif

Going back to food: just make sure you have a well stocked dry-foods cupboard. Rice, pasta, noodles, fufu flour (African shops will sell it: ground cassava you mix and beat with boiling water and eat with very spicey stew. Surprisingly good and fills you up), tinned tomatoes, tinned beans, spices, soy sauce, Maggie sauce etc etc. That way, you can get away with buying a very small amount of dairy and fresh fruit/ veg each week. (Last December, I was so poor when I found a pound coin on the floor I was actually overjoyed as I could buy some fresh veg!) Whether you just can't afford it, or whether you just want a larger proportion of money freed up for funtimes, it can be useful. Also, you'll probably have a local market with plastic bowls of produce where any bowl costs £1.

Sorry, I feel really patronising now. Tell me to shut up if I am!
elphaba2
Fufu! Waaaant. Want.

*ponders whether she can cycle 15 km roundtrip to the African part of the city*

*on a bike with no brakes*

*probably not*
Daria
I found cocoyam fufu last time. It's pink and looks like Angel Delight biggrin.gif
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
QUOTE (Daria @ Sep 13 2009, 08:16 PM) *
Sorry, I feel really patronising now. Tell me to shut up if I am!
Not at all! Thanks for the advice smile.gif The funtimes jar is an awesome idea. Should make me much more aware of how much money I don't have!

Cycling is a great way to save money but I will need to get a bike and learn to ride it first (yeah, I never learnt to ride to a bike...)
Mata
DEATH BY FUFU! /Futurama

I mostly have a cupboard of condiments and tins of tomatoes. All it takes then is a minimal amount of actual ingredients and you can make great tasting dishes for not much dosh.
Hobbes
Paprika.

Always keep paprika in stock. The greatest spice (?) on this world.
WeeJ
K, so I came home last night to find the radiator in our hallway has leaked everywhere. It's soaked everything and destroyed the floor sad.gif

Good news is this won't cost us a penny to sort as we rent. Bad news, we have no heating until it's sorted. Fingers crossed it stays warm.

Anywho, reminded me of this thread smile.gif
Mata
This is where you find out how good your landlords are. Mostly they should jump into action and get it sorted very quickly. A few... Well, it could be a cold Christmas. 'Hopw you've got the good kind!
froggle-rock
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Sep 14 2009, 05:38 PM) *
Paprika.

Always keep paprika in stock. The greatest spice (?) on this world.


Marry me?
Hobbes
QUOTE (funked)out_frog @ Sep 21 2009, 07:40 PM) *
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Sep 14 2009, 05:38 PM) *
Paprika.

Always keep paprika in stock. The greatest spice (?) on this world.


Marry me?


And they say romance is dead.
patback87
Sounds like everyone has given you good advice. My major points I look at when I'm looking at apartments are, if I come home really late at night am I going to have to worry about getting mugged or caught in some gang crossfire (I'm not sure how crime is in London), on security I think someone already mentioned it, when I lived in Chicago I got burglarized twice, the first time I made a couple of mistakes, I lived on the first floor and should have thrown a red flag about my back door not being fitted in the door frame properly and that my window air conditioner wasn't secured properly, the second and most recent one wasn't my fault they actual broke down my door to get into my apartment.

Also I don't know if you guys have something like renters insurance like we have here, I would suggest it, that was the first thing the cop told me in first break in that I should get renters insurance, in the States usually the landlord only insures the physical building and it's your responsibility to insure your belongings against theft, fire, water damanage, and whatever else may happen to your stuff.

Another few things to look at is laundry, it seems like a very minor thing, but my last apartment in Chicago didn't have it in the building and I lived in a neighborhood that lacked anything but dry cleaners, at first I was trucking my laundry on two buses to go to the nearest laundry mat and then I bought a portable washer, but what I'm saying is that if you building doesn't have laundry make sure there is a laundry mat close by.

I'm trying to think of other things other than the fact to make sure that you like it enough to live out the lease and possibly another lease, again I'm not sure how leases are done for you guys, but the standard here is a year lease and usually they are tough to break unless your landlord is a slumlord (my first apartment had a water leaking issue right above my toliet mulitple times and it would take them forever to fix it and it was never enough to constitute breaking the lease, most major leasing companies know how to bend rules just enough) or you can sublease and find someone to take your lease over.

That's just my advice, I've moved a lot since I moved out of my parents for school, not as much as Hobbes, but I think it's been 5 times in the last 4 years and actually 6 if I count when I lived in the dorms and moved floors for summer housing, I only lived in my second apartment in Chicago for about a month and a half, I broke my lease because of the break in, but that was because I had a decent landlord and I kept bothering him about my safety.

Finally back to safety, I'm not sure if you lived on campus when you were at uni, but just good advice when it comes to living in a city is to always be aware of your surroundings and if something doesn't feel right follow your gut. I have certain rules I set myself to follow when I'm out late, I usually don't listen to my music after a certain time and try not flash my cell phone or any other vaulables out. I had a friend get held up in his neighborhood (one of the safest in the city), because he made a couple of mistakes one he was listening to his music late on his EL ride home, which he had big expensive Bose headphones, and he saw the people follow him when he transfered EL lines and they followed him all the way to his street. Needless to say the story kind of ends well after he was held up he ran up to his apartment called the cops and luckly the cops caught them and he got most of his stuff back, they had ditched some of his stuff. The sad part of the story is the one that actaully pointed the gun at him had just gotten out of jail for doing the same exact thing and out of the three others two were 16 year olds. Again I don't know what crime is like in London, I'm basing this on my experience in Chicago and NYC.

So I hope all of that helped and good luck, it's often about luck and stumbling upon a nice place and being in the right place at the right time. Sorry for the long post, but I'm just trying to give you some advice from my experience with renting and living out on my own.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
Thanks for the advice!

I've found a flat now... its more expensive than I would have liked but includes all bills and seems pretty nice so I decided to take it since I was getting sick of visiting places. The lease has a 6 month break clause so I might decide to find somewhere else once I've gotten to know the area better. I ended up visiting quite a lot of flats but unfortunately I was too slow to put a deposit down on the one I really wanted, and then another one I made an offer on was let to another tenant who had put down a deposit through a different agency and was willing to pay more than me sad.gif

I'm not sure about insurance yet as I don't really have anything of value besides my computer but it seems like it's probably a good idea anyway?
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (crazymat @ Sep 24 2009, 04:07 PM) *
I'm not sure about insurance yet as I don't really have anything of value besides my computer but it seems like it's probably a good idea anyway?


Absolutely, never under estimate what an upset losing any or all of your person belongings could be.
patback87
It's good to hear you found a place. Even if you think you don't have much stuff in insurance is good to have. I think what bothered me most about the whole thing was the fact that the people got away with it. The police tend not to investigate property crime so much at least in a big city, they have bigger crimes to solve. Not that I don't want them solving murders, but you just feel so violated because they were in your personal space.
snooodlysnoosnoosnoodle
QUOTE (crazymat @ Sep 24 2009, 04:07 PM) *
includes all bills and seems pretty nice


That is always a good thing, means you know exactly how much you'll be paying out every month rather than having things taking every spare bit of cash for 10 months (Council Tax, Water) then having 2 months where you suddenly feel rich but don't realise why until you've spent it and then regret not saving at least some of it.

Anyway, congrats! When are you moving in and when can we see pictures!!! I am such a nosy so and so.
TigerLily013
QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 14 2009, 08:15 AM) *
DEATH BY FUFU! /Futurama

I mostly have a cupboard of condiments and tins of tomatoes. All it takes then is a minimal amount of actual ingredients and you can make great tasting dishes for not much dosh.


I thought it was SNU SNU, not FUFU lol! Sorry just noticed that now.

Anyway hope the looking into things and moving is going okay Crazymat. Not sure how the housing market is over there, over here in Ontario it seems to be slowly improving again. Cheers!
Mata
Get contents insurance. Tescos do pretty decent rates.

I would also highly recommend occasionally doing back-ups of anything important on your computer - that goes especially for important documents, but music and other stuff you've paid for too is a good idea. Definitely, definitely do this for anything on a laptop. If someone were to break in, that's the first thing that they will go for. I hope you never need it, but rented properties are usually targetted more than purchased houses because the security is usually worse. Despite the scary warnings, this kind of stuff isn't incredibly common, but it's bound to happen at some point in your life unfortunately, so it's best to be prepared.

I hope the move goes well!
Moosh
Ugh contents insurance. I was trying to get some a week or two ago, but apparently being a full-time student and living in a flat that you own outright* means no one will insure you. Eventually had to get it in my dad's name.

My current property issue is how bloody long it takes to get connected for phones/internet. I moved in and called BT to get them to put the phone in my name. 11 working days. Then I wanted to sign up for internet (not from BT). Another 3 weeks. How can it possibly take that long?

*This is not strictly true, but for legal purposes it is.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
Yeah, I'm not looking forward to the lack of internet when I move in. My isp better not take that long... 3 weeks is ridiculous!

Will check out tescos insurance (also if anyone has any other recommendations that would be awesome). I'll try and make sure I do regular backups as well. Again, I don't have anything really important, but I won't be too pleased if I have to *ahem* legally purchase my movie/music collection all over again!

I'm moving in on the 1st of october. Might be able to upload some pics once I'm there if I can find somewhere with free wifi...
snooodlysnoosnoosnoodle
Direct line have 50% off home contents insurance at the moment!! I also have my car insurance with them so got a bit more discounted because of that but I'm guessing you probably won't have a car if you're going to be living in the middle of London!

Hope the move goes smoothly smile.gif
elphaba2
Crowded cafes are your best friends. Think Starbucks. They will not notice immediately if you do not order anything. And if they do, buy a giant delicious cookie to nibble at during internet breaks.
Daria
Yay for finding somewhere!
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
Argh contents insurance is confusing! How do I find out things like when the property was built? unsure.gif

I think I will be spending a lot of time in starbucks/other cafes in the next 2 weeks. BT suck.
Moosh
You don't have to be that accurate about when it was built, generally the decade should suffice.
Mata
2 weeks is actually pretty fast for turning on the internet in a new house. It often takes around four weeks.

As CM says, rouhgly guess the decade the house was built. If you don't have a clue about that, take a few photos inside and out, post them on here and we'll take a shot at it.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
Yeah I've got no idea...

There's a picture of the outside here but I won't have any other photos until I move in on thursday.

Oh and the 2 weeks figure above was just to connect the phone line - I'll still have to sort out internet after that as I'm going with a different ISP. Strangely, I received an email from BT yesterday saying my service begins on thursday, so maybe they aren't so bad after all.
Mata
Hmm... Sash windows and big lintels... It's tricky to say. The pillars look more like the twenties, but the height of the ceilings makes me think of the late 1800s. I've no idea, but it's not recent. Your landlords should be able to tell you if you explain it's for the insurance.
Lurker in the Park
ph34r.gif I call twenties on that. Also, don't leave your shower on all day, it causes you to have a damp flat and gives your flatmates panic attacks. *whistles* ph34r.gif
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