bedsit? bedsh*t more like!
September 21, 2006 12:51 PM   Subscribe

I made a hasty decision and now I'm regretting it.

Just today I signed the contract, and handed over the money for a bedsit (in London, UK). I think I may have made the worst possible decision in my life.

After lugging my clothes and other essentials from my old flat, I discovered that the bed was simply uninhabitable. It seems that the last tenant had broken off one of the legs on the bed and just wedged it back between the bed and floor. Not only that, but the but one of the metal slats(?) had been broken, so half the bed just sinks down.

I've tried ringing both the landlord, and his agent to see what can be doneand can't get through to either (I've spent about £10 just this evening trying to get through). And as if all that isn't enough, the wall between my room, and the next is paper thin, and I can hear his TV as if it was right next to me.

I've not eaten all day, and feeling really fragile. I don't know what to do. Frankly I'd like to just get my money back and find somewhere else. But that ain't going to be possible is it?

Is it?
posted by iamcrispy to Law & Government (14 answers total)
I think you should eat something, first.
posted by Alt F4 at 12:54 PM on September 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: good idea.
posted by iamcrispy at 12:56 PM on September 21, 2006

ah the memories of London living. Speak to the landlord about the bed, hopefully he can help.

Then, get to know the guy next door and establish a rapport that enables you to talk about the TV issue. eg. he is not playing it too late. I suggest going for a drink with him/her. Could pay dividends.

I had a guy below me who used to go mental at the noise I made.. mainly me, playing tunes at outrageous times. Turns out he was Mr Angry because his girlfriend was a beeatch. Once that was over and we began hanging out, playing Halo etc... things were cool.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:00 PM on September 21, 2006

And as if all that isn't enough, the wall between my room, and the next is paper thin, and I can hear his TV as if it was right next to me.

I'm sorry to say this, but this is extremely typical of bedsit living.

Read the contract again. You may have a cooling off period. I'm struggling to find a reference, but for some reason I thought this is legally required (don't quote me on this!) .. anyway, read that contract.
posted by wackybrit at 1:02 PM on September 21, 2006

I'm out of my reference range (US, no idea what a bedsit is) but can you pull the matress up to insert a board to replace the metal slat? If so, short of a home repair store in downtown London, a lot of the bigger businesses should be receiving merchandise via wooden pallets. With a saw, hammer, and a few minutes you could add that slat in.

For the broken leg... a cinder block?

Just to make things somewhat ok till you can get in touch with the landlord.
posted by jwells at 1:33 PM on September 21, 2006

get a futon and sleep on the floor, or one of those inflatable matresses.. those are great. just kick it under the bed when not in use
posted by petsounds at 2:08 PM on September 21, 2006

I'll second the inflatable mattress as a cheap solution - my $50 air mattress has a pump that plugs in, inflates and deflates in 2 minutes, and it really quite comfortable (more than my old lumpy futon, anyway).
posted by cgg at 2:58 PM on September 21, 2006

Bedsit. I learned something new.
Well, you contracted for a room with a bed, and they gave you not a bed, but a twisted broken metal thing. So ask the landlord for a real bed. You might get him to comp the cost of an air mattress if you can't get through to the landlord today.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:03 PM on September 21, 2006

no real advice for you, just sympathy from a fellow london resident. this city is the shittest place in the world when you don't have a home you're comfortable in.
posted by ascullion at 3:20 PM on September 21, 2006

Wow, I lived in a bedsit/SRO and I never knew it. The one I rented in Ottawa was called a single-room furnished bachelor suite, shared bathroom. God that sucked. And bedsit is a better name.

My recommendation is to bring up the bed issue with the landlord ASAP, and if it's not solved to your satisfaction, move. Not providing a sleepable bed is a failure to live up to his end of the contract. Don't feel bad about not paying him either, if he doesn't follow through.
posted by Kickstart70 at 7:47 PM on September 21, 2006

Bummer man. I can empathise as I've just had a stressful time looking for a new rental in London on short notice, but luckily managed to score a really nice (and cheap) place the night before I had to leave my old place. In the process I did a bit of googling on tenancy rights. From what I saw the landlord has responsibilities to repair items like a bed. Regarding your right to leave, it depends on the contract but it is unlikely to be permissible, unfortunately.

It could be worthwhile checking if there is some cooling-off period with tenancy contracts which would allow you to break it early. Or maybe you can find a replacement tenant by advertising (on or whatever) to satisfy the landlord?

Some info on noise (and more) here, though I think the idea of meeting the neighbour might be a better idea to start with.
posted by Onanist at 1:16 AM on September 22, 2006

Bedsits tend to be called studios lately, at least when it's a sale and not a let. Sounds classier, don't you know. Although not as good as a single-room furnished bachelor suite. I'm quite impressed by that.

That said: is your deposit much more than a month's rent? 'Cause you can always just up and go and leave no forwarding address. That's what the deposit's for, right?
posted by corvine at 5:25 AM on September 22, 2006

I'd like to just get my money back and find somewhere else. But that ain't going to be possible is it?

I'm currently working in a real estate department.

You've almost certainly (99% sure) signed an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. As a rule these do not have 'cooling-off' periods. You are contractually locked-in for the term of the lease (almost certainly a year) - it may well have a 6 month break clause however.

First things first. Get hold of the landlord. Explain that you've had a change in circumstances and would like to move on.

If this is a no go you may have to be pragmatic and accept that you're going to take a financial hit and that you're going to have to live there for a month. If it's really that ghastly could you sofa surf with friends and / or family for a couple of weeks of that time? Also you'll be surprised by how effective ear plugs can be.

I presume that you've paid a month's rent in advance and a further 6 weeks deposit. The likely outcome here is you not paying your next rent instalment and losing 6 weeks deposit when the lease is forfeitted. In the grand scheme of things your happiness is much, much more important than £600.

Good luck, be strong and don't be afraid to as for help from friends and family. Where is your bedsit by the way?

Bedsits tend to be called studios lately, at least when it's a sale and not a let.

The difference is that studios have their own washing and toilet facilities; bedsits share them with the residentsof other bedsits in the building.

Disclaimer: none of the above is legal advice; I am not advising you in any capacity.
posted by dmt at 9:14 AM on September 22, 2006

I'm late on my AskMe reading, and maybe in the week since you've posted this, you've resolved the situation one way or another. But if not... and if, for whatever reason, you end up needing an inflatable mattress... I highly recommend an Aerobed. We have one that we use for guests, and people are always amazed at how comfortable it is.

It's not perfect--at one point, before our furniture arrived, I slept on it for about three weeks, and by the end, my back was bothering me a little. However, I am in my 30s and have always had a bit of a dodgy back. I suspect that it would not be a problem if you are younger and/or have a better back.
posted by yankeefog at 3:14 AM on September 28, 2006

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