I AM the Littlest Hobo. Once again I'm packing up my, ahem, meagre, belongings and moving to pastures new. Ish. I mean, it's only really round a couple of corners but it is lovely. I have negotiated slings and arrows aplenty so far with this new place. To date I've spoken with three different estate agents about it, ascertained that although it technically could be sold from underneath me, it most likely won't, decided it's worth a punt and have now started the traditional process of haemorrhaging cash to whichever estate agent demands it at any given time.
So far, I've stumped up £100 to my new estate agents, let's call them Robbing Cocklords, to 'reference' me. This means sending two emails - one to my old landlord and one to my current landlord. Robbing Cocklords just phoned me and said that my old landlord 'hadn't filled the form out correctly' and my current landlord (let's call them Thieving Cuntbags) are demanding a fee to give a reference and could I call them both and sort it out.
You'd think they could make those calls, given that I've spent £100 on this service. But I duly make the calls. My old landlord is a sweetie and we had a nice chat while he did the form over the phone (as I suspected,
he, being an intelligent and erudite solicitor, assumed that his email vouching for me as a great tenant would have done in lieu of the form, but apparently not). Then I steeled myself to call Thieving Cuntbags. I hate calling them. They have an army of interchangeable women who answer the phone and all plead ignorance about whatever it is I'm calling about until I'm fantasising about poking their eyes out with a rusty spoon.
This time it was Julie. As taking money from me was involved, she managed to be ultra efficient and said that, yes, I do have to pay £15 + VAT for the privilege of them filling out a form that would take approx five minutes.
"But I've just spent £100 for someone else to sort all this out - now I have to give you £18 as well?" I said. "What for?"
"To release the reference," she said.
"But what does that mean? What do you have to actually do?"
"We have to email the form back."
"And that takes you £18s worth of working time does it? Amazing. A-maz-ing."
I paid the money. Of course I did. What else can you do?
And over the next month I can look forward to paying my rent on this place, paying rent on the new place and handing over a gargantuan deposit, while most likely having to beg for my deposit back on this place.
Still, when I'm installed in wooden floor, exposed beam central, it'll be totally worth it. Oh yes. Sash windows, very little space and plenty of street noise, come to me...