How to survive house viewing season, according to a Lenton expert

*Knock knock* ‘House viewing, anyone home?’

It’s that time of year again: you’ve had the uncomfortable conversations with your hall friends, have let your home friends down nicely, and now it’s time to get a house. Viewing strangers houses is one thing; it’s an in-out job, you can have a laugh with your mates, plus you’re getting a house at the end of it. However, having people view your house is a whole other ball game.

To start with, the time frame for the visit is ridiculous. Three hours??? I’m sorry I’ve got a life to be getting on with, at least narrow it down to one. Plus, there’s no regard for human sanctity, who needs sleep anyway? I love opening my eyes in the morning to four strangers towering over me.

Another fantastic aspect of the house viewing saga is the mug who answers the front door (unlucky for those ground floor dwellers). Nothing is more disappointing than running to the door to get your ASOS package from Hermes, to find out it’s a man with a shit beard in his late twenties wearing an ill-fitting puffer jacket. “House viewing!” he bellows, “anybody in?”, which is responded with slight movement and shudders. And it goes without saying that this housemate is then obligated to do a whip-round of the house warning everyone else about the guests – Lenton stairs are pretty steep but they are no feat for me.

Then you have 30 seconds to make your next move. Obviously, if you’re on the toilet, in the shower or having a quickie, you’re already screwed, take the L and be prepared to finish up quickly.

One option is to panic tidy your room. Hide your knickers and chuck your rubbish in your already overflowing bin. But hang on… what if they’re fit? You don’t want to come off as a slob. If you have time, put a bra on, and then take position ready to act nonchalant. But where to position yourself? At your desk to look clever? Or will that back-fire when they notice your laptop’s off? Maybe the bed? Its quite seductive, but then again… what if they are actually fit?

This next step is exclusively for those on the third floor with time to spare. You’ve put on your bra; you’ve chosen your position and now it’s time to start flexing. Now, at the end of the day, the art of flexing comes down to the art of subtlety. It would be careless to display your entire kit, but the player layer swung over the chair is a nice touch. Similarly, having your stethoscope spewed out on your bed would be taste-less, however, having your medics lanyard gracefully hanging off the corner of your mirror is perfect – *chef’s kiss*.

Another luxury for those in the north of the gaff is the agency, the fluidity, the ability to move around. If you’re the unlucky one on the bottom floor, you can’t migrate. However, if you’re a loft-er or even, on occasion, a second floor-er you may have the chance for a quick escape to your friends room across the landing. If you manage to navigate this, the house viewing becomes a lot more fun. You can manipulate your conversation to seem fun and intelligent, or event put on silly animal ears just because you can. All the embarrassment of getting your house viewed goes out the window when you’re with a pal.

In the age of Rona and online uni, a further spanner has been chucked in the works. There will come a time where you will be caught in the middle of a house viewing by your online peers. There’s not much advice that can be given here as you can’t exactly tidy your room or get changed whilst your breakout room is going through the reading, can you? The only things that can be done are on the technical side of things – mute your microphone and turn off the camera so your peers don’t have to witness strangers awkwardly knocking on your door, tip-toe around your room and ask about your pathetic excuse for a landlord.

And finally, after a painful and dramatic 15 minutes, the guests leave and the housemate’s meet up in the kitchen for a well-deserved cuppa and rant about how Boris won’t allow your mates to come over but Dave from the local letting agency can bring 3 freshers into your home unapologetically. House viewings are incredibly unpleasant but Lenton wouldn’t be the same without them.