Renting in London is fun, isn’t it?
Paying hundreds to live in a house with a bunch of strangers, putting up with an hour-long sweaty commute, and desperately asking your landlord to please, please just fix the oven so you can actually cook dinner. The dream.
An added bit of joy in the renting market is that it’s tricky to know if you’re paying a reasonable amount.
There’s such a wide range of rents you’ll hear of that it’s tough to figure out what you should be paying and what you should be getting in return.
We started What I Rent to provide some clarity on the situation, taking you inside a different person’s rented property each week.
This time, we’re spending time with Abbie, who shares a three-bedroom flat in Manor House.
Hey, Abbie. How much rent do you pay?
I pay £520 a month for a double room in a flat I share with two other girls.
We pay our gas and electric quarterly, but all the bills work out to be about £50 a month.
Do you think you have a good deal?
It’s not too bad considering the distance to a tube station (10 minute walk) and the size of my room. I don’t think I’d be able to find anywhere much cheaper.
What do you get for what you pay?
We have the upstairs of a house but we also have a garden to ourselves. There are two double rooms and one single, plus one bathroom. Before I moved in I was worried about sharing a bathroom but we don’t have any issues.
Do you like the area?
It’s in Seven Sisters/Manor House area, so not the nicest of areas but it could definitely be worse.
Before I moved, I did get warned about getting mugged in this area, but it could happen anywhere in London.
And what about the flat – are you happy with it?
I’ve lived here since November last year, so around 5 months now.
I’m fairly happy here! It’s easy for me to get into work and I like my room, and the fact we have a living space so we can have friends over or hang out together outside of our rooms.
I like that you can walk to a tube station from the house, and also that there’s a bus that goes from the station just round the corner.
I like having a garden – it will be fab to be able to have friends round in the summer when the weather is nicer – and also the size of my room is great.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Bedroom wise, yes. The kitchen and bathroom are quite small, but it works for the three of us. Although if all three of us are in the kitchen at once it gets a bit difficult.
How did you find the place?
I found it through a group on Facebook for performers and creatives in London looking for flatmates or a place the live. It was a bit of a gamble to move in somewhere I found on Facebook but it’s worked out quite well.
I didn’t know either of my housemates before I moved in with them! I was worried that we wouldn’t get on, but I get on with both girls really well.
Some of my friends thought it was a bit risky to move in with people I didn’t know but thankfully we’re all fairly chill and enjoy each other’s company.
How have you made the place feel like home?
Crystals, plants, fairy lights, and lots of photos have made my room feel homely!
I’m really bad at getting rid of things with sentimental value so there’s stuff everywhere. Especially elephants.
Are there any major issues with the house you have to put up with?
Not really. We did get broken into but that’s not really an issue with the house, more with the area. The only problem was when the downstairs tenants had a leak in the ceiling and our water had to be turned off – not having a working toilet or shower was a tad frustrating.
Any plans to move again?
I’d like to move to a nicer area of London but I can’t really afford it! At the moment I’m happy where I am.
And have you considered buying a place?
Um, I wish!! I doubt I’ll ever buy a place in London, not in this lifetime.
Same. Shall we have a look around?
What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property in London.
How to get involved in What I Rent
What I Rent is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that takes you inside the places in London 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@example.com.
You’ll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!
You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’re paying for rent, as that’s pretty important.