Buyers flock to rubbish-filled flat


The kitchen

A two-bedroom flat in Tulse Hill, London, has gone on the market for £285,000. From the outside it looks like a perfectly serviceable block of flats, but one glance at the interior photographs and any buyer's enthusiasm for the property would be sorely tested.

It's difficult to know what's most shocking: the fact that the flat has been marketed in such a state, or the fact that it will easily find a buyer, regardless.

On the face of it, this is a decent-sized two-bedroom flat, with a number of extras that you don't normally find in a block of London flats - namely a garage, separate storage room and a share of the freehold.

The estate agent's description doesn't give much away, hinting only that it 'would benefit from updating'.

However, the photographs are something else. There's the bedroom with its mismatched curtains, boxes piled high, and clothes littering every surface. There's the lounge where more mismatched curtains hang off the rails, and every surface is filled with scattered boxes, papers, books, pictures, photographs, and even a lampshade perched on top.

But perhaps most impressive is the kitchen, where every inch of the surface is cluttered with junk - and even the hob is used as a storage area. Clothes hang across the window, and washing up fills the sink.

The agent has said that the pictures of the inside of the flat have been included in the marketing, so that people don't get a nasty shock when they look around.

Take a look inside

Inside the rubbish filled flat

Inside the rubbish filled flat

Plenty of interest

Anyone who has ever listened to a word the experts say, might assume that the decision not to have a bit of a clear out before putting the house on the market would be an expensive mistake. A perfectly serviceable flat is hidden behind the piles of junk, which could end up putting buyers off and driving the price down.

However, the bizarre truth is that buyers in London are so desperate that they don't care how a property is presented. There are 13 buyers for every property on the market, and Alex Gosling, managing director of estate agents, told the Evening Standard that: "London properties are selling like hot cakes but in the current market they do not have to look that edible."

A spokesman at Brooks Estate Agent highlighted that the condition was reflected in the price, and that he had booked the first viewing within hours of putting the house on the market. He told the Telegraph that the property was untidy rather than filthy, and that the owner was not physically able to tidy up.

Other unusual photographs

It's certainly not the first property to go on the market in this state. There was the Victorian semi in Erdington in Birmingham which was put on the market with photographs showing unmade beds piled high with clothes, books and rubbish, the sofa covered with debris, and the kitchen filthy and cluttered. After the property hit the headlines, the agent removed the interior shots from the website

Another unusual decision was made in November last year when a property in Bristol was advertised on Rightmove. The house, in the Easton area of the city, had been generally spruced up for sale. However, in the spare bedroom the owner forgot to remove the plant pots, cabling and ventilation systems that had been used in its former life as a cannabis farm. When buyers spotted the photograph it was hastily removed.

Other homes have particularly striking interiors which equally don't seem to be deterring buyers. In November a house in West London hit the headlines, after the estate agent's photographs revealed that every room in the house was painted and decorated a striking shade of purple. Even as the house was clocking up website hits from curious sightseers, the agent said that a buyer had been lined up.

And there's always the argument that weird photographs are better than leaving it up to the imagination of the buyer. One house was on the market briefly last year which simply stated that because of the owner's 'unusual hobby' they were unable to take any internal photographs.