Student Lettings, English Students and us with accents.

As any second year in University in England, I began to search for new accommodation for third year, after the house I lived in turned to chaos as a house mate pro-claimed himself king and faulted everyone, including me, for mistakes that weren’t internet our own. We lived in turned heads and twisted tongues and slurs and ugly words behind gritted teeth. He called me a two-faced cunt for disagreeing with him for his absurdity and obsession with rules (I’ll tell you more later). Walking to campus one day, I found a nice little house for two of my friends and I, and immediately called the landlord.

He saw my caller ID as foreign and notified me immediately I had to pay a whole years rent in advance.

“International students must pay a year in advance.” He said.

“A whole year?” I ask, surprised.

“Yes.” He’s already annoyed.

Again. “12 months?”

“Yes.” He’s angry. “I’m not trying to be funny,” he has to pause “but I’ve had students, chinese ones, who’ve run off and not payed.”

Racist pig. Now I’m annoyed. “But my current student letting lets me pay six months in advance.”

“I don’t do that.” He grunts.

I pause. “I’m not that rich, sorry. Have a nice day.” I hang up.

I am left baffled. Twelve months. Nobody can pay rent twelve months in advance, let alone students who don’t have a steady income – even if I did work full-time. Here is this man, refusing to rent to international students because of incidents prior (it is clever, I give him that. He doesn’t want international students, so he puts an impossible task for us). It is not the first time though. My current letting agency would also only let me rent 6 months in advance because they’ve had “Chinese” students “run back home and not pay” the manager of ‘Student No Fee’ had told me as I asked if I could pay three months in advance instead.

Even in halls, after an exchange student left (back to Germany) my other flatmate hoped that it wouldn’t be an “asian” student, but she quickly reassured me she didn’t mean it like that. Like what? The english hate accents, especially foreign, unless they are french. Then they fetishise, because that’s a “nice accent”. I’m not even exaggerating that they ignored the german exchange student. When her accent became too heavy or too strong, five people would turn away simultaneously – no wonder she never contacted them again.