Now there are a few things that are actually essentials in this world: food, water, and shelter. It’s the trifecta of requirements to exist and live and simply stay alive. And there are a few sure-fire things in this world that we can rely on: that London letting agents and companies will take wannabe renters and buyers for a ride, and Black Friday deals and sales. And the world is clearly coming to an end, as the two have collided to make life even more of a capitalistic hellish wasteland for tenants.
Black Friday deals on a human necessity
In a move that can only infuriate anyone with two working brain cells, letting agents and landlords are advertising properties on letting site Rightmove with Black Friday deals. In some cases, they’re offering a decreased reservation cost (which, by the way, no one should have to pay). Pay a decreased (from what? we ask) reserve cost of £99 and they’ll even give you a £500 John Lewis gift card! But obviously, this reserve cost is not a deposit, nor will it impact your rental amounts each month. Instead it’s an extortionate attempt at presenting a deal, with a gift on the end of a stick, that ultimately leaves the renter no better off.
In other cases, landlords are adding text to the top of their listings with one-day incentives to make decisions about housing and comfort at the drop of a hat. One such listing reads “BLACK FRIDAY SALE ONE DAY ONLY TODAY.AVAILABLE ON A SHORT (6 MONTH) LET IF REQUESTED. otherwise rent for usual term (sic)”. The listing includes photos with clear evidence of black mould. So if you’re happy to desperately make your decision immediately, you can rent the flat for a mere six months – with no clear benefit or reduction in costs otherwise. Oh, and mould. Which we assume is included in the cost.
Is it so bad? (yes)
Now, look, jokes abound about how great a Black Friday sale would be for property. It speaks to the commodification of human necessities and the strident march towards a capitalistic free-for-all (that some might say we are already in). It’s a horrific sign of the way that so many of those in charge of properties are simply unable to view tenants as human beings, but little more than sources of income.
Fancy jumping on the property ladder and making sure to complain about rising costs as you hoard living accommodations from the human populace? Some property ‘investment’ sites, which I won’t link to, are even advertising Black Friday deals on their courses. I assume these are courses such as “How to argue that a 20% rent increase is fair” or “Turning off human empathy 101.”