It was a baptism with fire and fully expected back Then. No one had heard of gas safety certificates, (if they had, no one bothered to enforce them) no electrical safety checks and no landlord licensing schemes. Fire regulations were for sissies and a source of mirth for the landlord, who, in any case was probably fully insured against your accidental death, due to negligence.
I just handed them my cash and hoped for the best. For my final year, I shared a 2 bed flat with two male students from college. Standard practice was to turn the living room, into a bedroom, and – wait for it: There was only ONE bathroom, which the three of us shared not just with each other, but with a guy couple, who lived in the flat above. Yes – the ONE bathroom was communal for TWO flats. Hot water and electricity worked with some sort of bizarre meter thing, where we put coins in. There were inevitable arguments with the other sharers as to whose turn it was to feed the beast. I do believe, we also shared with a family of rather large mice – not sure, they may have been rats, or they may have been related to the landlord. Nonetheless – the flat was cheap and it was central, so that’s all I cared for those days.
I had my own little room with an exceptionally filthy carpet, think a giant petri dish. The building itself, was so dilapidated, that the window came off. Yes- just before my final exams, when I tried to open the window, it came off, right in my hands, frame and all.
Up until that point, it never crossed my mind, to complain to anyone. Deposits were viewed as a kind of a largesse gift to the landlord, no matter what. Come to think of it, I do not believe I ever saw my deposit back, in any of the places I ever rented. Ah those were the days, where landlords enjoyed absolute power.
In many ways, they still do. If you cross the ‘landlord’, or their dodgy managing agent, how are you going to get references for your next place?
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