Home Rental industry Another hellish Airbnb turned into an apartment for rent

Another hellish Airbnb turned into an apartment for rent


What is life like in London? Hell. Here is the proof, beyond any doubt, that renting in London is a nightmare.

What is that? The economic replica of an over-hyped Airbnb market decimated by COVID and the brainworms of buy-to-let landlords deciding they want the exact same profit they signed up for anyway, inflation and the cost of living crisis be damned, and the whole property market backed to the hilt by the government saying: oh come on then

Where is he? As if to say: This is a fallen vacation rental studio in Stoke-on-Trent.

What to do locally? I’ve only been to Stoke-on-Trent once and that was to meet Eddie Hall, then World’s Strongest Man (although I personally think if you win World’s Strongest Man world, you’ll literally call yourself “the strongest man alive” forever, Because come on. You don’t stop being one of the most overloaded electric motors in history just because someone pulled a truck a little faster than you a year later Can you imagine, as a six or seven year old boy, being able to play “my dad is tougher than your dad!” in the playground when your father is Eddie Hall, the strongest man in the world? The untouchable energy must be as close as a mortal feels to God).

As far as I know from my brief stay there, the whole town revolves around Eddie Hall, the strongest man alive. There’s a big gym there where he works out and a hairdresser downstairs where he gets his undercut added. All the roads in Stoke allow Eddie Hall to spin giant bespoke motorbikes and the occasional big well-sprung truck. Each restaurant has a 64 oz. a steak and a big cheesecake in the fridge anytime in case Eddie Hall squeaks through the double doors. And the townspeople, all of them, flock to Eddie Hall: they buzz around him in groups, they turn and gasp at his size and his power, they only talk to each other about Eddie Hall, how they saw him at Tesco doing a department store, how close their house could be to his. Then Robbie Williams shows up once a decade and they do it all but with him.

That’s all Stoke is, to me: the home of two men, one a generational entertainer and the other the third most powerful man to ever live, and nothing else. There’s nothing else in Stoke. Which makes me wonder: would you allow your city to be a ghastly gray mass of nothing if it could give birth to two world-changing sons? Does the trivial nothingness, the strange accent between the two of Stoke, have power? If you wanted to give birth to a child who will go on to touch the face of greatness: is there a statistical probability of doing so in Stoke (pop. ~256,000) than anywhere else?

In London, a Robbie Williams could get lost in the noise. In Manchester, a teenager Eddie Hall could be distracted from his weights, his cardio routine, his early diet. Maybe there’s something alchemical in Stoke. Perhaps there is something brilliant and inspiring in its nothingness. I hope I never have to go back to find out

Ok, how much are they asking? You don’t want to know.

I want to know You don’t want to know.

The whole point of this column is: I want to know I don’t—I don’t think you can to understand This number.

tell me the number Don’t forget it’s in Stoke, okay?

It’s in Stoke I know but: I really need you to know it’s in Stoke. Say the words with me: ‘It’s in Stoke’.

It’s in Stoke. I recognize it’s in Stoke £1,229 pcm

Kiss my ass! Yeah.

In Stokes? In Stoke!

IN STOKE? I say.



FEED! I know I know. I say. Feed.

Interior of a one bedroom studio apartment for rent in Stoke

Remembering, of course, this, from the start of the pandemic, when a genuine Airbnb owner looking like a “magician-with-dark-ties-to-the-artist-industry-pick-up exclaimed about how the company had let him down by allowing a global pandemic to occur that prevented him from his divine right to have an empty housing stock giving him passive income even if he didn’t. it was literally illegal for everyone on the planet to travel back then.

I obviously appreciated that: in the dark, early, “what will happen and for how long? days of the pandemic, seeing a community from the worst end of the gig and app economy – people who have ruined cities and towns across the planet with their stupid get-rich-quick schemes somehow! People who stole even more accommodations from the already limited supply just to provide an experience that is by no means 1% as good as going to a hotel! – have huge meltdowns because their “businesses” were threatened was extremely spiritually nurturing to me. It was a dark time for all of us: seeing this guy who looked like if Jhonen Vasquez was illustrating the Capitol assault going crazy on Main was just the sting of light I needed.

Unfortunately, of course, as always, things quickly came to their senses, as in: The great cogs of government and capitalism moved quickly to protect those who owned property and literally no one else. The sudden months-long vacuum in the vacation rental market has caused an irreversible problem for today’s national rental market: much more skim-clean-kitchen-in-your-room-because-it-is- handy-when-you-are-in-a-new-city-! apartments and lodgings fell into the already dirty pool of rental properties for all of us, and all had this weird, exaggerated impression of how much they were worth because they were normally rented by the day or weekend.

Basically: Renting property in the UK is even worse now than it was before the pandemic because all the Airbnb crap they couldn’t rent to tourists when tourism was even banned from existing is now in the housing supply, and all of these apartments are listed at an insanely high price because they are owned and operated by idiots and quacks, and the idiots and quacks who run the existing rental market (agents realtors, landlords) see these numbers and think they are not indicating some stupidly ambitious number invented by some moron, but actually the “market rate”, and so they raise their rent accordingly to match it.

So in short: the reason your landlord thinks you owe him more rent now after two years of scattered employment and a generational cost of living problem coupled with years of stagnant wage inflation is because the Airbnb from your postcode charges too much, and it’s too expensive because no one wants to rent it. That’s all a very long way of saying: Here’s a £1,229 studio apartment you can rent in Stoke!

Close up of toiletries and towels

We know it’s a fallen Airbnb from the tell-tale cash shot: a close-up of two towels and single-use toiletries rolled up on the bottom of a made bed. This is how you differentiate potential vacation rentals from 12-month contracts: 12-month contract owners don’t care if you see a raw mattress, a set of empty shelves, a roll of toilet paper at a sheet on the support. Airbnb ”’hosts”’ do a minimum of gray and soulless staging so you can imagine what it would be like to live in a kitchen that’s also your main room for a night or two in Feed.

I wonder what Stoke’s tourist industry is like – how many people go there, solo, for anything? Even when I went to see Eddie Hall and marveled to see him eat a burger before lifting over my head, I still picked up a train the same day – and thought the owner of this property could have gone to great lengths to get a buy-to-let mortgage just to run this Airbnb for 20 nights a year, so now they’re offering it for general rent. Only… it’s a bed, in a kitchen, isn’t it. They forgot that. It’s a bed in a kitchen on an unnamed road in Stoke. Like watching TV placement. I’ll just put the image of the TV placement, here, again:

Interiors of a one bed studio apartment for rent in Stoke

It was put there by a psychopath.

There’s a lot wrong with this apartment – the bathroom door just opens, like, straight into the bed; you have to navigate through an ill-placed office to even enter the property after that; the size of the kettle is particularly depressing; down lighters, an anemic black and white canvas print of a flower, gray on white, the usual unsightly owner problem. But most depressing is just the sheer fantasy of the price: that someone, somewhere, thinks that bed in a kitchen is worth £1,229 a month (a figure so precise he had to literally calculate it on a little sheet math!), and they think there’s someone out there who can both afford it per month and also want to spend it living in a terrible kitchen in Stoke, and also that the person who owns that always owns more goods than me, and probably you.

Bad gray and picture print in one bed studio apartment to rent in Stoke

This country rejoices in rewarding people who contribute to the worst aspects of it. Look at this kitchen in Stoke and ask yourself: maybe give up everything and accept to become one of them Newsnight spectators who secretly donate to the curators. It really seems like the only way forward in this hellish little pigsty.