My personal Springboard experience has already been well-documented here on this blog. However, what I have thus far failed to mention is that as of March 2016, I will become a Springboarder again, for the third time! “What’s so good about Springboard?” I hear you cry. “Why when you live less than 5 minutes walk from thebuilding in a perfectly comfortable flatshare with two generally amicable people, would you go through the upheaval of uprooting yourself once again to move several hundred metres back up the street?”

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Well, here’s why:

For the all-inclusive accommodation: As previously stated, I am fortunate enough to currently live in a decent flat with 2 (generally) affable young people (whilst the 3 of us are not best friends, I have in fact been far luckier in this regard than many people I know when finding flatmates through websites such as SpareRoom.) an issue that causes contention on a regular basis is the payment of bills. My personal proposition was to divide each bill that landed on the door mat 3 ways, however, my flatmate and the longest standing tenant in our flat had other ideas. She devised a “completely fair” (apaz) payment system, that still mystifies myself and our 3rd flatmate 2 years later.

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As a part of this completely fair and seemingly unquestionable system, I have been tasked with paying the gas bill on a monthly basis. This varies hugely on a seasonable basis. In summer our monthly gas bill can be as little as £30, but in the winter it has been known to rocket up to close to £200. As you can imagine, this makes trying to budget on a monthly basis both frustrating and incredibly difficult. It also makes Springboard’s all-inclusive accommodation, with 1 fixed monthly payment to cover your rent, water, gas, electricity and council tax, with fibre optic broadband, cleaners, laundry facilities, building management and maintenance all included in the price, an ABSOLUTE GOD SEND.

Maintenance: One of Springboard’s most valuable assets is Rob, Springboard’s go-to-guy. Rob lives in Springboard’s West Hampstead building, on-site or close at hand when needed, and  is employed full time by Springboard to ensure the smooth running of their properties.  Rob genuinely cares about his tenants and goes out of his way to ensure they have the best possible overall experience at Springboard and in London, as well as just collecting their rent at the end of the month.

Whilst in many ways Rob provides the service you would hope for (and that those with limited knowledge of  the London rental market may well expect) from a landlord, once you have acquired a little experience of renting through agencies and private landlords, you will soon learn that both Rob’s good nature and responsiveness are rare.

To give just a couple of examples from the extensive list of incompetence experienced in dealings with my current estate agency, I could talk about the saga of the shower leaking through our living room ceiling, drenching the furniture below and requiring us to run about like mad things emptying overflowing buckets and saucepans to catch the drips, until the agency could eventually send someone round to fix it. Until the same thing happened again.  And again, a couple of months later.

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However, all you really need to know to paint a clear picture of what I am dealing with here, is that something as straightforward as replacing a  thermostat took 3 return trips as the handyman sent had (as usual) been improperly briefed, and did not speak English, so was unable to take guidance from myself or my flatmates.

Which brings me on to what I like to call, the faff factor. In my experience, outside of Springboard, getting anything sorted is a severe headache. Or, in other words, a time-consuming, stress-inducing faff. From liaising with your landlord and estate agency, to getting an engineer round to install your broadband, to having to find a replacement cleaner for the umpteenth time because yet again that one you really liked has handed in his/her notice. At Springboard all these things are taken care of for you for just one fixed monthly payment. Of course, from time to time our Springboard properties do experience problems, but we aim to get these fixed as soon as humanly possible, with minimal disruption for our tenants.

The one time of year your agency won’t hesitate to get in touch however, is to inform you of your annual rent increase! When renting at Springboard what you see is what you get. All Springboard’s West Hampstead rooms are en-suite and decorated to a high standard. By contrast, whilst the rent in my current flatshare continues to increase on an annual basis, the flat itself is becoming shabbier and shabbier, due to wear and tear. Whilst a lick of paint could do wonders, I struggle to justify paying astronomical amounts to live in a flat of deteriorating quality, with a bedroom the size of a cupboard, fluctuating bills, a shared bathroom, an unresponsive agency and questionable (on occasion) flatmates.

In short, moving back to Springboard will allow me to budget effectively and save money. It will take the stress out of

renting, at the same time as allowing me to meet new like-minded young people in a friendly and sociable environment. Going forward, the only thing I’ll have to concern myself with is dragging myself out of bed to be at the office in time (a challenge in itself) So, if you’re flatsharing frustrations are similar to mine, why not get in touch with Rob and arrange a Springboard viewing today.

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