Foxtons

Did you know Foxtons is so beloved it has earned itself a tribute twitter account? It’s called @HateFoxtons, and it collects tweeter’s grievances with the renowned agency. Let’s give it a new morsel?

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Funny story…

As you probably already know, I’m flat-hunting in West London.

When I got in touch with Foxtons, the place I’d seen online had already been rented out. I sent our specs to the agent, which were a longer version of this:

  • 2-bed flat, £320-400pw, 5-10min walk from Hammersmith / Barons Court / West Kensington
  • 3-bed flat, £500-570pw, 5-10min walk from Barons Court / West Kensington
  • Closets, light, and a nice kitchen are all necessary.

He ended up showing us a few other places, all out of our budget. This week, he called me, and set up an appointment to show us more. I asked him to please send me a list of the places he had on the website that he’d be showing us, so I could make sure I wasn’t wasting my time (I claimed it was to help him prioritise which ones to show us this evening). Here’s what I got back.

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Again, they were all out of budget, but for one, which was a 20min+ walk to Shepherd’s bush tube station. And none of them had rooms which could all accommodate a double bed (1.40m is a double, I saw a 1.27m fake double one somewhere… No idea what that was), a closet, a dresser, and a desk and chair.

So I’ve developed this strange pavlovian reflex whenever I see the Foxtons sign next to an advert, i feel a cold sweat on my brow, and a shiver in my arm which moves the mouse to the “close tab” control. If it’s on RightMove? I assume the place is gone, and they will take me in a car to the middle of nowhere to show me yet another out of budget place that will not fit me. Also known as waste my time.

I just do not want to have another exchange of 6 emails or more trying to explain to a young realtor that I need a desk in my room and 2.30×3.30 doesn’t make that possible if there also is no built-in storage so will he kindly cancel the appointment for that evening.

One amusing thing he did say? That bidding 570/week on something posted at 625/week was perfectly acceptable. I think it’s the Foxtons tax.

Although there was a story, a week later, from another realtor (great guy, this one, he listens!!) about a newly renovated three bed place that a family just rented for three years at 495/week instead of 595/week. A £100/week difference! Sometimes trustworthy tenants and continuity in the tenancy is all a landlord wants.