Britain’s landlords with the smallest rental properties

posted on 03/03/2016 10:05:34 by James McAllister

Location, location, location. No, not the TV show with Kirsty and Phil – but rather, the number one rule of buying or renting property. The basic idea is that if your property is in a desirable location, you can stand to add a serious mark-up to the rental value of it. However, certain individuals have begun to exploit this idea, with rental markets in areas such as Birmingham, Manchester, and London in particular, seeing a surge in the number of “self-contained properties” on the rental market.

A “self-contained property” is the polite term for any cupboard, garage and box room that has been “creatively” renovated (for lack of a better term) to cram all basic amenities into one “convenient” space – or at least that’s what they want tenants to believe. In reality, these miniature rentals are less about lessons in economic space living, and more about renting cramped spaces to the growing numbers of individuals who are competing for the limited affordable space in British cities.

These have-a-go-landlords throw out the rule book when trying to create rental options in the small amounts of available space, and often with bizarre and hilarious results!

Have the hardworking landlords of Britain got anything to worry about with this recent surge of wannabe landlords? Well, let’s see what you’re up against; below we take a closer look at some of the more imaginative options available on the UK rental market.

For the midnight snacker

Are you partial to a midnight snack? If so, this could be the ideal property for you.

This handsome flat is situated slap bang in the centre of London’s Hammersmith and proudly boasts a generous offering of a bed, dresser, desk and a kitchenette - all in the same room for your convenience. In fact, the only reason you’ll have to use a door in this apartment is to get into the “cosy” en-suite bathroom… or to escape those yellow walls!

Surprisingly, the main selling point of this property is not the flat itself! It’s the apartment’s relative location to the centre of London that attracts potential tenants. For the modest price of £130 per week (!) one lucky tenant can travel home from the centre of London in under 30 minutes – where they will no doubt spend the rest of the evening staring at yellow walls. Which begs the question: would you not rather stay at work?    

Asleep on the job

Have you ever wished that you could just curl up and go to sleep at your work desk? Good news! Good news! Introducing: the desk-bed. This “genius” brainchild of a Lewisham flatshare means that now you can!

The advert offers little in the way of description, so we can safely assume that what you see is in fact what you get… a desk. But, before you write this one off completely, it’s worth noting that you do get a router and a mattress included – and honestly what more could you ask for? Apart from a TV, a radio, storage, a heater, floor space, or possibly a window? But that’s only if you’re being picky.

For just £74 a week, this bizarre offering would make the ideal rental option for any work-at-home Hobbit looking to make it in the big city.

Hugging the toilet

Is there anything worse than waking up in the dead of a freezing cold British winter and having to slip the warm clutches of your duvet to get into the shower? Never fear, a landlord from Earl’s Court has developed a solution, by removing the need to walk between your bedroom and the bathroom.

In this sterling example of modern architectural design and space efficiency, this landlord has chosen to ignore traditional conventions by developing his own unique fusion of interior design… either that or the bathroom was an afterthought.

For a cool £130 per week, a lucky tenant not only gets a prime spot in London’s Earls Court, but they also get to be one of the first to try this functional fusion of rooms. However, we’re not totally convinced it’s going to catch on. 

The Harry Potter experience 


First time away from home? Short on money? Thought you would make a go of it in the big city anyway? Well of course it makes sense to be in the centre of London, and it doesn’t get much closer than Paddington!

Unfortunately, there’s not much that £40 will buy you in London, but it will get you a week in this fantastically situated crawl space for an authentic Harry Potter experience… We did say it won’t get you much.

Just a tip: when you begin considering a room that comes with a recommended maximum height, you know it’s time to re-evaluate you priorities.  

Fancy box

So you’ve seen some of the worst properties on offer, but they’re not all that bad. With some design flair, and a serious dose of common sense, it is possible to convert a confined space into a liveable self-contained apartment.

There’s no denying that this North London property has flair, but it comes with a price. For starters, the property has been valued at an eye watering £275,000 – and for that you get little else than an excellent postcode, and some inventive spacial design. There’s also the issue of the toilet being in the shower… although this could help you save time in the mornings – not that you will need to rush to get to work because you’d be less than thirty minutes from the heart of the city.

However, with such a hefty price tag, this is definitely a case of style over substance. You can buy a lot of house for £275,000, or at least one that doesn’t require you to walk over the kitchen work tops to get to bed.

Do you know of any micro-flats? Why not let us know on Twitter. Simply tweet at @makeitcheaper 

James McAllister

James is an online content creator at Make It Cheaper. Having previously created a variety of content for a number of websites and media outlets, James focuses on making it easy for SME owners to find interesting and engaging content - as well as useful guides and online tools.You can email James at

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