In our weekly series, What I Rent, we’re taking a look at the ins and outs of renting in the UK and beyond.
Each week we take a nose around someone’s rented property and chat with them about their experiences in the world of renting.
Last week we were (virtually) up in Leeds with Beverley.
This time around we’re chatting with Rosie, 23.
Rosie is a fashion graduate who’s currently working at a local authority for the Waste and Recycling department.
She grew up in Portsmouth and spent some time in Germany before moving to Southsea, Portsmouth, last year, where her partner has ‘almost always’ lived.
The couple now share a one-bedroom flat in Southsea.
Hey, Rosie! How much do you pay to live here?
I live with my partner and we share the costs of our flat. This is our first time living with each other. We have been together since we were 15 so it is really nice to now live with each other and have our own space.
Rent is £700 per month, excluding bills. Our gas and electric is around £30 per month, our TV and broadband is £49. Council tax is £96.
And what do you get for what you pay?
There is the kitchen/living room, a middle hallway/no man’s land and a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.
Do you feel like you have a good deal?
I think we have a relatively good deal considering the location, I am so happy being so close to the seafront.
However, for the size of the flat, I do sometimes think that it is quite expensive but I am happy here so it doesn’t bother me too much.
Do you like the area?
We are based in Southsea, 5 minutes away from the seafront and 2 minutes away from Palmerston Road and Albert road, where almost all of the shops, bars and restaurants are in Southsea.
I love living here. There is so much to see and do, I think it is a real luxury to live so close to the sea and during lockdown it was a Godsend, as we don’t have a garden or an outdoor space… I kept saying that Southsea Common and the beach was our garden!
How did you find the flat?
We found the flat on RightMove and I fell in love with it straight away, it was the first flat we viewed and was put in a holding deposit down the same day.
How have you made the flat feel like home?
I’ve made it feel like home by adding some colour, the flat is mostly white, with a very light grey worktop in the kitchen so I’ve added some pink in the living area and some green in the bedroom – green bedding.
We have a lovely pink bean bag in the living area as we only have a two-seater sofa. My friends love sitting on the beanbag when they come over!
I love houseplants and have now got quite a collection. I think they make the flat look really pretty and different, they bring so much character to a room. I love watching the plants grow and get excited over a new leaf popping through.
Candles can make anywhere feel homely. I love it when it gets to the evening and I can light the candles, it makes it feel very cosy in here!
I also have a few lamps in the bedroom, hallway and living area as this can make the rooms feel warm and homely.
I do have a large stash of prints that I haven’t got round to framing, I think as artwork and posters are so personal, this can make a home really interesting and homely. Need to get those put up!
Have you found it difficult to decorate when renting? Is your landlord happy with you doing bits?
To be honest, we haven’t decorated at all. We haven’t really needed to, it is very modern in here and everything was good as it was.
Of course I would decorate things differently if it was ours, but I don’t feel it’s necessary to spend a lot of money on decorating or painting when we will need to put it back to how it was if and when we left.
I like buying little accessories and decorative items to make it our own rather than physically painting walls and changing things.
We have put a few prints on the walls in the past with command strips, but they don’t last that long, which is annoying, I am hoping to put more up but we are trying to avoid putting nails in the walls.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
I think it is a good amount of space for a couple and it is fine for us. The kitchen is very small and only one of us can really be in the kitchen, which can be annoying but we just deal with it and take it in turns to cook anyway.
Our bedroom is a good size as is the bathroom, it doesn’t really need to be any bigger as it’s just the two of us.
Are there any problems with the home you have to deal with?
Not really. It’s quite a problem-free flat. Our boiler has broken a couple of times but our landlord kindly replaced that for us the second or third time it broke.
We sometimes do find ourselves getting annoyed at the noise from outside, as we are so close to the main road, pubs and bars. It seems as though since lockdown people are noisier and stay out later. The 10pm curfew may solve this short-term though..
Do you have plans to move again any time soon?
Definitely, I don’t think we will be here much longer. Not because I don’t like it but more because we would like to explore other places, possibly even out of the UK.
Although I cannot imagine ever living somewhere that I’m not a five minute walk away from the beach, I have really got used to that now.
Do you want to own a place some day or are you happy to rent?
At the moment I am happy to rent but we both would definitely like to own a place one day.
I would love to renovate a house and make it completely my own – knock some walls down and start from scratch but I’m not in any rush to do that.
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 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!).
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