“Room to let. Non-smoking, non-enthusiastic, non-cool preferred.”



As living arrangements have taken over from weddings as the AMT question topic of the season, let’s hear from Alistair:

I’ve recently been flat hunting in London. Due to the competitive nature of London dwellings at prices I can afford, I’ve found it to be much more like an interview or
X Factor audition every time I see a room, rather than a viewing of the property.

So answer me this: should I play it cool and collected when I view a room, or should I go all out and let my full personality shine through in an overly enthusiastic horrible mess?

Try operating on a setting somewhere between those two extremes, Alistair, because most people don’t really want to share with either a sociopath or a chatterbox. Aim for engaging, but not too needy. You can unleash the real babbling lunatic Alistair when you’ve successfully signed the lease and it’s too late for them to get rid of you. Aaah-hahaha!

Readers, please visit the comments to give Alistair your own tips on how to wow his potential new cohabitants, because it has been many years since I had to audition a flatmate (Martin just moved in with me without even asking, and I DON’T EVEN GET MY OWN ROOM). But I would recommend that you don’t turn up late or use a false name. Both of those used to sour the start of the vetting process, and it rarely improved from there.


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3 Responses to ““Room to let. Non-smoking, non-enthusiastic, non-cool preferred.””

  1. SoRefined Says:

    I don’t think this situation can be treated like a first date if there’s a lease involved. After a bad first date, you can opt not to contact a person again and in general there isn’t much of a time or emotional investment. If you move into a place with a year lease and then discover that your normal self is a poor fit for a roommate, it’s going to be a long year, not to mention that you’ve already schlepped all your stuff from the old place to the new one.

    Don’t go out of your way to be a different person than you are–if you can’t be comfortable being yourself in your home, you will dread walking through the door. That’s no way to live. Find someone who doesn’t find an enthusiastic person to be a mess. There are plenty of people like that out there. I know I’d take that over an apathetic aloof type pretty much any day.

  2. fegbarr Says:

    Treat it like a first date – go out of your way to pretend you’re a normal, functioning human being in the knowledge that the person opposite you is doing the same thing, safe in the knowledge that you’ll both start to get a feel for the other without actually having to show them what you’re like.

  3. alecpaton Says:

    Try and ask intelligent questions about the local area, ammenities etc. And try and keep your balls inside your trousers at all times.

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