From an implausible housing situation comes an avalanche of implausible ads. See if you can sift the real bullshit from the bullshit we've just made up.
1. Which one of these has NOT been advertised for rent?
We've all heard the horror stories. But which one of the following hasn't* been advertised online as a room for rent in London?
a) A garden shed in a living room
b) A shower in a kitchen
c) A car in a garage
*Though it's only a matter of time
2. Which one of these 'effortless commute' claims is real?
Everywhere likes to consider itself a stone's throw from central London. Even if it's properly not. Which one of these claims is genuine?
a) "Residents of this studio apartment will be able to effortlessly commute to and from Central London as Hounslow Central station will be located just a seven minute walk away."
b) "Residents will relish the effortless commute into central London from Slough. The commute involves no changes, and allows ample preparation time for the day ahead ."
3. Scaremongering bullshit about cupboards
You find some very strange blogs on websites trying to flog you houses. One of these appeared on a blog for Emerald Gardens in Wembley. Which was it?
a) "Researchers from UCLA found that mothers' stress hormones spiked during the part of the day when they were dealing with the clutter in their homes – there was a clear link between high cortisol levels and a high density of household objects."
b) "Researchers from UCLA found that unsightly cupboards cause a spike in homeowners' anxiety. The quality of a cupboard is widely judged to be metre-stick for the rest of the property. Bad cupboards equal unhappy homes."
4. The slight oversell
All of these lines are ridiculous. One of them is from a genuine ad for a property on the South Bank. Go on, guess which.
a) "Surely one of the finest residences in the whole of the city."
b) "Buckingham Palace has got nothing on this luxury condominium."
c) "The most prestigious residential complex not only in London but in the whole world."
5. A properly creepy proposal
There are some odd landlords with some very odd requests out there. One of the following was a real ad we found on Craigslist. Take a punt on which.
a) "I'd like to ask you about your hobbies... Now when you sacrifice a goat and you rip its heart out with your bare hands, do you then summon hellfire? Or do you just send out for a pizza?"
b) "Accommodation offered in London close to everything. Looking for young female to help me have a baby become a father. Genuine offer — I just want to be a father."
1: C. To our knowledge, no one has yet dared try to pass off a car in a garage as a bedroom. But a shed in a living room, and a shower in a kitchen? Absolutely. Both deliciously sent up by Joel Golby from Vice.
2: A. Although it's almost 50 minutes on the tube from Hounslow Central to Charing Cross, Galliard Homes suggests that's an effortless commute. Oh, and don't forget that extra seven-minute walk.
3. A. Yup, rather unbelievably, one blog claims that the cupboard situation at Emerald Gardens will lower your stress levels. Which will instantly rise again when you see how much you've paid for them.
4. C. Don't get us wrong, we wouldn't mind owning a luxury apartment on the South Bank. But surely to call it the most "prestigious residential complex not only in London but in the whole world" is to undermine Buckingham Palace somewhat.
5: B. This was a genuine offer on Craigslist:
We wrote an article about this phenomenon. Apologies if you were thrown off the scent by the claim the flat is "close to everything". This is clearly a false claim, but one that was made nonetheless. The first quote is taken from the Danny Boyle film Shallow Grave.
How did you do? Does it matter? What a sorry state we appear to be in.