Thursday, 20 December 2007

Murder flat to let again

Recently spotted at Kirkstall newsagents, note advertising:

Flat to Let
Self-contained studio flat
£325pcm Inc. council tax + water
6 Raynville Road, Kirkstall, LS12 2TF

Nothing odd in that you might think. In fact you might be thinking that's quite a reasonable rent for Kirkstall. Maybe you would ring the landlord and arrange a viewing.
What kind of background would this gentleman give you about the property?
For instance the fate of its last tenants?
How would he talk up the benefits of living in a converted pantry at the back of a larger, also rented, detached house?
Could he mention any improvements made since August and the demise of the previous tenants?
Or is the flat still as I remember it, a tiny kitchen, a tiny living/sleeping space, and a cupboard that serves as a washroom and toilet?
Should you somehow be talked into renting this priest hole, you might learn from your neighbours that it's now known locally as "the murder flat", but quite probably you'll not last longer than a few months, as with so many previous tenants.
If you did hear the story, you'd probably wonder how two people managed to live in such cramped conditions, and perhaps reflect that it's hardly surprising one ended up being murdered by the other, who in turn killed himself by driving his car into a lorry.

This tragic episode was widely covered in the local media around the August Bank Holiday 2007.


Oxymoron said...

I'm not sure there's much can be done about this particular example.

But I do certainly think that private renting tenants should have more rights nowadays. You can live in a property for ten years and have children in the local schools yet you can't make any alterations to the property and the landlord still only has to give you two months notice to move out. That is bad for communities.

I know as a private tenant that I find it impossible to settle in a property knowing that I'm only ever two months away from being forced to move.

In the 80s and 90s if you wanted to settle you could buy a property and the mortgage was often less than rent, but now high prices force people to rent when they would prefer to buy.

EmmaLou said...

I live in this flat!
How is it that my landlord didn't have to tell me about this?
and yes, it is still the tiny little hell hole described.
Oh, and if you know of anywhere up for let i'd be very grateful to hear about it, time for me to move i think!

Roxanne Clements said...

Maybe you could be a little more sensitive. This was my cousin.