Letting agents and landlords have developed a pretty bad name for themselves – especially the London ones. If they aren’t calling a rat-infested hole “a roomy studio”, they’re ignoring your phone-calls and dismissing that patch of mould above your bed as a statement wall piece. But there’s one north-London letting agent who is – quite literally – the worst. Meet Stath. He lets flats.
Now into its third season, Stath Lets Flats is, shockingly, only mildly popular; the winner of three Baftas, yet not the quite the nation’s heart. It’s a travesty, and it’s about time we gave it the recognition it deserves. Stath Lets Flats is, to put it plainly, hilarious. It’s This Country meets People Just Do Nothing with echoes of My Big Fat Greek Wedding thrown in for good measure – a delve into north London’s Greek-Cypriot community that’s as touching and human as it is inappropriate and absurd.
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It was Shakespeare who first investigated the way in which comedy is born from tragedy, but it was Jamie Demetriou (Stath) who took this to the streets of London. “It’s a pretty accurate portrait of the capital’s ongoing housing crisis”, Sam Wollaston writes in The Guardian, “and it’s an honest, fond, insider’s look at that community”.
So, it’s not just a pretty face. It has humour and it has heart, or, in the words of The Telegraph’s Chris Bennion, the show is “powerful without being political and rip-roaringly funny”. Writer for The Times, James Jackson, would agree, calling it “original…funny and mined from a place of warmth and humanity”, praising how “it elevates half-wittedness to something approaching an art form”. And unlike most London letting agents, there’s no overselling going on here.
He may struggle to let flats, but we’re sold on the show – we just hope it’s a long tenancy.
First shown June 2018, season three was released in October 2021.