Tiny London flat to let at £780 a month

Could you live in a studio flat that was only marginally larger than a prison cell?


London studio flat

A studio flat in Kentish Town was originally just one room in a terraced house. It's now on the market as a home to rent - measuring just 8 feet by 9 feet, plus a bathroom big enough for a toilet and a sink. To squeeze a bed in, the owners have built a mezzanine platform, so in order to go to bed the resident would have to climb on a fridge and then scale a ladder. Once up there they would have just two feet of head-space.

This tiny room is up for rent for £780 a month, and there has been no shortage of interest. The agents told the Observer newspaper that it was the smallest they had ever let, but that they had already had more than 50 enquiries about it.

Rents in London rose 10% last year alone, so people have the choice of either moving out, spending their entire income on rent, or seeing the size of what they can afford shrink rapidly.

However, the size and price of rental properties like this has raised concerns as to whether the price of rental property in the capital has reached a level where people are compromising too much in order to live centrally.

We reported in January that there's a new breed of flats which are too small to qualify as studios - and are being let as 'semi-studios'. These are often no bigger than a single bedroom and have crammed beds, sinks and microwaves into a tiny space in order to charge around £500 or £600 a month for them.

There are bound to be some residents in these properties who are miserable and desperate and cannot see any other workable solutions.

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The plus side

However, while there are laws relating to property rental which state they must be safe and clean, there's no minimum space requirement. And in the world of small homes, there is another side to the story.

There are plenty of people happy to pay the price of space in order to have convenience that they can afford. It explains why a 10ft 4in by 8ft 4in studio near Harrods, which was divided into a single bedroom and a wet room, was sold for £90,000 in 2012. It also explains the former cleaner's cupboard in Chelsea, which measured 11ft 3in by 7ft 3in, which was on the market in 2007 for £170,000. And it explains the attractions of the £100,000 studio in Notting Hill which is even smaller than any of the others: 7ft 6in by 3ft 4in. Half of the room is taken up by a single bedroom on a raised platform - with a tiny bathroom and cupboard underneath.

There are also those who are happy to live somewhere small, and unremarkable, for the sake of keeping their costs low. So, for example, at the moment London's cheapest studio flat is in Streatham Hill and priced at £70 a week (£303 a month). The bathroom is separate and shared. It's hardly anyone's idea of desirable living, but with the average London rent now £1,132 a month, it offers food for thought for anyone wanting to make the most of what they take home.

But what do you think? Could you live in such a small space, and would you want to? Share your thought in the comments section below

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