Meet Dominique, 23, a fashion creative who ‘does a bit of everything’.
That means fashion styling, content creation, and running a Depop shop.
Today, we’re taking a nose around Dominique’s home as part of our regular series, What I Rent.
Each week we go inside a different person’s rented space and chat with them about their renting experiences.
Last time we were in the Lake District with Sharon, who pays £895 a month for her four-bedroom Victorian rectory.
This week we’re in Worcester Park in Sutton, where Dominique rents a three-bedroom house, after moving out of central London amid the pandemic.
Here’s what Dominique rents.
Hey, Dominique! Who lives here?
I used to live with my partner who unfortunately had to relocate for work earlier this year, so at the moment it’s just me. However we’re still splitting all the bills and treating it as our home together.
And how much do you pay for rent?
The rent is £1,650 per month and additionally all bills (water, electricity, gas, council tax, broadband) come up to £200 per month, with the council tax being the biggest chunk of that.
What do you get for what you pay?
It’s two bathrooms, living room, dining room, a small conservatory for laundry/freezer, three bedrooms and a fourth room, which is our walk-in wardrobe, as it was too small to fit anything else. Plus, a garden.
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Do you feel like you have a good deal?
Definitely! The house was initially way too big for us but the price was equal to much smaller three-bed or two-bed properties that we have seen in the area. And from what we’ve learned from renting in London, you can never have too much space – so we just went for it.
The price definitely reflected the condition of the property, which was left quite poor after the previous tenants, but as we love decorating we were actually quite excited about having a blank canvas in a sense to do it our own way.
What do you think of the area?
I’m originally from Poland, but during my time in London I have mainly lived in the central London area.
However, last June due to the pandemic we moved out of Shoreditch into the suburbs, for that extra space, cheaper rent and of course a garden! So the area is still quite new to me.
I’m in Worcester Park, which is quite the change from Shoreditch. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the area. Personally I don’t think we have the nicest high street, and it doesn’t have much to offer apart from the usual groceries. The distances are also quite big between places, so not having a car can be challenging at times.
However it is very peaceful and quiet, during the lockdown it feels quite secluded and you could almost forget that we’re mid-pandemic.
Additionally it has a great connection to London (30 minutes on train to Waterloo) which is not a big difference from living anywhere central.
How did you find the house?
How have you made this place feel like home?
We repainted everything from the standard magnolia to our favourite peaches and oranges.
That was a big step as we were never allowed to paint walls in our previous rentals and it really made this house feel like our home.
And of course all of my plants and mid-century furniture.
Have you found it difficult to decorate when renting? Is your landlord happy with you doing bits?
As the property was in quite poor condition we were allowed to decorate more or less however we wanted, with of course the promise of repainting to neutral colours once we leave.
Apart from painting we added some blinds, built in shelving and just put in a lot of work into clearing things up, so the landlord didn’t really mind that too much.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Definitely! As I work from home I really needed a separate studio area for taking photos, which I wouldn’t have to set up and then take down daily, to just set up the dinner table.
During lockdown my Depop business also grew so the extra rooms were perfect for storing all my vintage stock without having them in plain sight.
Our previous flat was basically a warehouse full of boxes (and my clothes) so it was nice to finally have separate areas for work, storage and relaxing, especially while trying to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Are there any problems with the home you have to deal with?
Constantly! Our landlord doesn’t want to invest anymore money into the property and a lot of things were initially done very DIY without the intent to rent so things are very much falling apart bit by bit. We had various leaks just this year in the kitchen, bathroom and conservatory.
Do you have plans to move again any time soon?
Yes! The house and location were perfect for both of us together but just for myself it’s way too big. Also I’m quite far from my friends, which is quite inconvenient if I’m alone.
And do you want to own a place some day?
I would love to own a place some day! As a creative person I tend to feel very restricted in rental properties, so having a place of my own to decorate would be a dream.
But realistically I don’t see how this would ever even be a possibility.
We relate. Shall we take 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!).
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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