It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means: it’s time for our weekly instalment of What I Rent.
For those not in the know, What I Rent is our regular series that takes you inside people’s rented properties, to find out what they get for what they pay, plus how they’ve made rented spaces feel like home.
Last week we were in Southport, Merseyside, with Lou, who pays £600 a month for a two-bedroom house.
Today we’re hanging out in Cricklewood, London, with Bipasha.
She’s a 37-year-old researcher in gender and politics, and lives with her partner of eight years.
The couple moved into their flat in January 2020, having moved to the UK from Australia for Bipasha’s partner’s work.
Here’s what they rent.
Hey, Bipasha! How much do you and your partner pay to live here?
Our rent is £2,150 per month. Bills are approximately £350 per month.
And what do you get for what you pay?
We have a reception room, a kitchen-dining (we have converted the dining space to a TV area), three bedrooms and two bathrooms. We have converted one of the bedrooms into a home office. We also have a back garden and a shed.
Do you feel like you have a good deal?
This is the first and only place that we have lived in the UK and overall, we think it is a reasonable deal considering we were looking for a multi-year tenancy contract. Our awareness of the local market is not the best.
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Whereabouts is your home based? What do you think of the area?
Our home is in Cricklewood, next to the Gladstone Park. It is a lovely, tree-lined street with great neighbours and in good proximity to the Jubilee Line and the Thames Link.
Living next to a park is always a great thing in London.
How did you find this property?
Through a property rental website, I do not remember which specifically.
How have you made this place feel like home?
We moved to the UK with our furniture and collection of our art and artefacts which we have collected over time in our travels. We try to reflect our personalities and our interests in our home decor (for instance, one would find feminist and sports coffee table books).
The first covid lockdown hit within two months of moving in, so we ended up spending a huge part of the lockdown doing up the house and making it our own.
Both my partner and I believe that it does not matter whether we are in our own house or a rented one, it needs to feel like our home.
Like many other people, I also adopted indoor plants as a lockdown hobby, filling the house with a lot of green.
We quickly learned that the UK is also one of the best places to be in if one loves antiques, and as we travel all over the UK, we do pick up small bits and pieces for the home.
Have you found it difficult to decorate when renting? Is your landlord happy with you doing bits?
Our landlord is very accommodating and gave us the freedom to do the place our way. We do use command strips for the smaller art pieces to keep wall damage to a minimum.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
This is a tricky question for us. By London standards, we have a lot of space for two people. However, we moved from Brisbane, Australia where we owned a much larger house, so this initially felt cramped even after we had prepared for a downsize and had quite a bit of furniture disposed of before our move.
Are there any problems with the home you have to deal with?
For any concerns, we contact our landlord who is extremely proactive in getting them solved.
Do you have plans to move again?
My partner’s work is time bound in the UK and we are in London for a few more years. Our hope is that we do not have to move out of this flat as we quite like it.
Do you want to own a place some day or are you happy to rent?
Absolutely we would like to own a place, but for now we are happy with where we are.
What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am.
Check back next week to have another nose around a rented property.
How to get involved in What I Rent
What I Rent is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that takes you inside the places people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what’s normal and how much we should be paying.
If you fancy taking part, please email [email protected] You’ll need to take pictures of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your bedroom or living area.
Make sure you get permission from your housemates! You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’re paying for rent, as that’s pretty important.
We’re not just after the prettiest places out there, by the way. We want the reality of renting, so if you’re currently renting a place you hate, we’d love to see that too (and sympathise greatly!).
This article contains placements with affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links on these placements.
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