We apologise in advance to all Londoners about to read this week’s What I Rent.
Yes, we’ve headed up North. Yes, this means the rent will be so low in comparison to prices in London that it will fill you with rage.
Just know that you’re not alone in this. Every Londoner currently spaffing hundreds on a box room in a houseshare will feel the same horror.
But there’s a reason for us inflicting this pain.
Our weekly series, What I Rent, aims to get more honest conversations going around renting, exploring what people get for how much they pay.
This week we’re in Leeds with Laura, a 24-year-old PR Specialist originally from Essex. She originally moved to Leeds with her then-boyfriend back in 2017, but has stuck in the city to live alone for the first time.
Hey, Laura! How much rent do you pay for this place?
£595 a month for rent.
For bills, £25 for water, £55 for gas and electricity (but I’m with Bulb so it can change every month if I use less), £13 for a TV licence, £25 for NOWTV wifi and entertainment pass, £90 for council tax, I think.
And what do you get for what you pay?
Two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen. I use the second bedroom as my dressing room/guest room.
Do you think you have a good deal?
Yes it’s a good deal, especially coming from down south I know how good this price is in comparison.
Also Alwoodley is one of the nicest areas in Leeds so I’m very grateful that I can afford to live here as I feel super safe.
What made you move to Leeds?
I’m originally from Essex and moved to Leeds in September 2017 with my boyfriend of the time – just for a change and because of how cheap it was.
I broke up with him about two months ago, so I’m now living by myself for the first time. I never thought I would like it as I always thought I’d be too scared, but I absolutely love it.
It’s the best thing I’ve done and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
Do you like where you live?
I’m really happy, I love the area. It’s a really nice, safe location which was important to me when living by myself.
My area is quite countryside which I love because there’s so many nice places to go for walks, like fields, parks, there’s a reservoir right near my place as well.
But also, it’s still so close to the city centre, 20 minutes which on a night out is only about a £10 Uber – fab! My work is just a 10 minute drive away as well which is great.
How did you find the flat?
On Rightmove. I had to move super quick due to living with my ex-boyfriend which wasn’t a great situation to be in.
I viewed loads of places but as soon as I walked into this one I knew it was the one and I said it instantly.
My parents thought I was being very dramatic when I said I might cry because I loved it so much, but I’ve always just had a feeling it’s the right one whenever I’ve viewed places.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Yes the flat is so spacious and as it’s two bedrooms I have loads of space.
I have a dressing room which is a dream and as all my family and friends are back home I have the spare room so it makes it easier for people to visit.
How have you made the flat feel like home?
It was unfurnished so everything here is my own.
I’ve loved that I can style it however I want because I live by myself, so there’s lots of cute pictures and decorations.
I’ve made the place very cute and sassy. I have lots of cushions and blankets as well which make it cosy.
I just got my dad to put up all my mirrors and pictures up so I’m happy with how everything is now. There’s a couple of other things I want to buy for the flat but I love how it is right now.
Are there any problems with the flat?
There aren’t any issues anymore, no, because I moved in so quickly.
From the person before there were things that needing doing but I text my landlord and he got everything sorted within about a week – and he even knocked money off my rent for inconvenience. I’m really happy with the place and I know that any issue I want fixed he will sort.
There was only one lock working on the front door and I asked the landlord to fix it and he did the following day.
Do you have any plans to move again?
I have no intention of moving anytime soon, I have a six month contract as I’d never lived by myself and also with all my family being so far away I didn’t know how I’d like it but I’m loving it so I intend to stay here after my contract!
Have you considered buying a place?
Yes, I have. It was something that was discussed when looking for this place but I didn’t know if I wanted to stay up here by myself.
I will definitely start to look into it more next year. Buying a house in Leeds is a lot easier than down south because the house prices are so much cheaper.
Oh, we know. 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.
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