Love London, but not British tenancy
Some of you might have read my post last year “Two-in-one-move“. It was about splitting up as a family between London and Denmark. That was my first encounter with British bureaucracy and the lack of British tenancy rights.
Today, 1½ years and a Brexit referendum later, nothing seems to have changed. Before moving into his London apartment, my husband reported several deficiencies to the property managing company, including broken electronic blinds. Since then, we have sent dozens of emails, with no effect. Of course, not being able to look out the window is not the end of the world. It is worse to live without heating in December and January! The heater broke down on December 5. After numerous emails, threats (although withholding rent is not allowed) and a bad cold, we have been granted reimbursement of our expenses for one tiny temporary electronic heater. Hooray!
Should we move?
There are available apartments in London, with prices as steep as before the Brexit referendum. Viewings can be arranged, provided you are willing to disclose everything about yourself including age, income, employer, children, weight, shoe size (ok, maybe not the last two). We saw a few apartments and agreed to have a draft contract sent over on one. Never heard a word from the real estate agent since. Apparently, London’s’ estate agents do not work on commission!
Thankful for spring and my home country
Britain’s real estate market reminds me of the Wild West, and I feel grateful to live in Denmark, where tenants are protected by the Danish Rent Act. Well, spring is approaching, so no rush here, my husband has spare sheets and blankets and will stay warm until next winter.
For other unfortunate tenants and people moving to London, here is a bit of guidance.