I’ve not shared a flat or a house since I was a student. I started off in Salford’s walled community of Castle Irwell (it didn’t come with free access to swimming pool, sauna and Jacuzzi when I was there; the kids have it so easy nowadays) and then became one of the last residents of a Salford Precinct block called Larch Court. Having been condemned, with wallpaper coming off the walls and much damp, it was very, very cheap.
If I’d been stuck here living on benefits I’d probably have joined the kids in fire brigade bating. This involved setting a fire, stoning the fire fighters who came to put it out, then taking a beating off the riot police. In the day these scallies got to play football with community police officers sent round to understand them. As a student flat with a high balcony it was a great place from which to watch the fun, knowing this was just for a couple terms. I paid to return to Uni a week early so I could nab the best room; what would have been the living room when it was for proletariat families.
Interestingly, Flat Mate World (powered by EasyFlatmate) only recognises two kinds of tenant. Alongside students are professionals, who may not be in the professions at all. They are simply people who do not depend on the state. But surely there’s room for misunderstanding as Manchester bedsit land has traditionally focussed on Whalley Range and you find many professional ladies bathed in red light there.
Real professionals look for house and flat shares in South Manchester suburbs like Didsbury, Chorlton and Withington (Fallowfield or Rusholme at a push, or if you’re an ex-Manchester student who doesn’t want to be a graduate).
Graduating in the early ’90s was a big mistake. It was the depths of recession and none of my cohort had jobs to go to. We ended up renting from a drug dealer in Old Trafford (we didn’t know his profession when we signed on the dotted line, only finding out when the Manchester Evening News put him on its front page) who used to collect rent promptly and personally (as you might expect).
In hindsight, we might have been better off looking for a house or flat to share. But house and flat shares can seem a bit daunting. It’s all very well sharing with some soft-arsed students, but real people are another matter. It’s a hard task picking a flatmate or a housemate. The thing is interviews of any type are difficult. A potential flatmate of housemate is hardly likely to reveal their inner psycho if they can help it, so Flat Mate World ask for your star sign before you can share a flat or a house.
So if you’re on the hunt for a flat share or a house share, try Flat Mate World. It’s free.