September 15th, 2020
Offer LetterHi Lisa, Thank you for the call and update on where we stand with the property. If you could, we'd love if you would forward the following on to the landlady. From what you've said it seems that most of her concerns are, understandably, around the complexities of HMOs and the care for the house itself as a home. Dear Madam, I hope you're well, and thank you for considering us as tenants for your lovely property on Musard Road. I understand that you've already had our offer through but I thought it might be worth getting in touch just to clear up a few concerns you may have. Let me first just say how much we absolutely adore the property, it has such a wonderful airy feel, in a delightfully peaceful neighbourhood and as soon as we first visited we could feel the family atmosphere, something we highly value. As a group we are about as close to a family as professional shares can get! We've been best friends for nearly fifteen years and have always had a dream of living together in London, and we feel very fortunate to have stumbled across the perfect home. With regards to the HMO, we are very happy to contribute to the costs of having this license arranged, and willing to work with any concessions that may be involved. We feel that to pay for regular professional cleaning of the house, to keep it in tip top shape.———At this point I did some Googling around the HMO, to try and find out what the regulations were that I was promising we would meet. Here we fell at the first hurdle. The minimum room size for an occupant over the age of 10 is 6.5m2. Braddy did the maths fir the tiny room he had accepted ownership of, it came out around 6.2. We would never have this house, it was never even remotely possible for us to have this house. Frustrating isn't the word. Ollie and I sat defeated on my bed, in the depths of our doldrums. A call came through from Oliver, from Hamptons, the estate agent who'd shown us around a property on Lysia street that morning. We'd gone in high spirits, thinking we wouldn't really need to because we were so close to Musard Road. I didn't pay a huge amount of attention but the house was gorgeous, with a slightly smaller but equally well (if not better) equipped kitchen, an enormous living area. Well furnished, only a small decking instead of a garden but I'll invest in some outside plants. The main plus over Musard was four double rooms, nobody would have to slum it in the single. After the tour we stood in kitchen with Oliver and he let us down about HMOs in general, how they're very awkward, extremely rare and don't go through very often. Basically, and we'd already sussed this from other rejections, no landlord is going to bother going to the work for an HMO for five when they have offers from four. Understandable, but frustrating, like not getting the interview that you know you'd smash. So he advised us to put in our best offer and hope for the best. At this stage we were still fingers crossed for Musard, but this was difficult news. He advised we split up as a two and three and look for two places nearby. We left, and went for a walk by the river, which is gorgeous, mulling over what Oliver had said. It was the first time an agent had seemed to know what they were talking about regarding HMOs and it didn't look good at all. I called Shaws and they said they'd get back to me. We left Hammersmith, and drove homewards. Ollie got a call in the car, it was Oliver telling us we had good news as Justina had just let him know that two of us were family. This wasn't true. Back to where we were before. I'll tell you what we can do, said Ollie, we can get McDonalds. So we did, and while we were there Lisa called from Shaws, with an essential No. But, she said, if you want to put something together to send on to the Landlady I can do that. So I started drafting a letter, to put to rest all her fears and try a last ditch attempt to sway her. See above. Home again and the HMO shut us down. We would never live at 2 Musard Road, despite everything amazing about it. Later that afternoon, another called from Oliver. The landlady at Lysia Street has received an offer but it's below what she was hoping for, if we get in with something good it might just fly. Actions stations, trying to contact everyone, see if people are happy with this going through. Dan's in. Flood's having the day from hell somewhere in Northampton. Eve's in, says Flood will be too. Finally we get Flood for a second and he says he trusts us but he's not happy about it, thinks we're probably being fleeced by the agent. We go for it anyway, information we already have from our Musard application. £3800, our maximum budget, though Braddy wanted to go higher. It's sent and we wait. The next day, I'm in Cold Ash and Ollie calls me, we got the house. Holding deposit paid, documents to sign, passport pictures sent off, more documents sent back. Things to read, things to think about. Discussion around rent payments. Who'll have which room, who can bring what to the house, we fill in the Google Sheet I'd made for furnishing a house. References with Homelet still ongoing. We'll get this house, we've got this house, we're moving house, all five of us together in one place, for what might end up being the best year of our lives. And Mars is coming with us of course. The cat was never as much of a problem as five people.
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