What I Rent: Emilia, £650 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Manchester

What I Rent: Emilia, £650 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Manchester


In our weekly series, What I Rent, we go inside different people’s rented accommodation and check out what they get for what they pay – as well as how they’ve managed to turn a rented space into a home.

We’re keen to create an open conversation about the reality of renting.

This week, we’re hanging out with Emilia, a 31-year-old marketing and events manager based in Manchester.

Emilia was born in Norway, grew up in Spain, did her Masters degree in Manchester and went on to live in Abu Dhabi before returning to Manchester in 2016.

She rents a flat in the heart of Manchester, having recently had her boyfriend, Francis, move in.

Hey, Emilia. How much do you pay to live here?

Rent is £650 a month in total, which includes parking, and bills are around £200 a month.

And what do you get for what you pay?

We have an open living space, so kitchen and living room together, there is one bedroom and one bathroom in the flat.

We are lucky enough to have a balcony with views of Manchester city centre.

All walls are painted in every British landlord’s favourite colour – magnolia….

Where did you rent before this flat?

Prior to living in the current flat, I lived in a house share – four double bedrooms and only one bathroom, it was horrible.

I promised myself to never share a house with strangers ever again, and even though living alone was a huge financial sacrifice (until a few months ago), I prefer to have less money at the end of the month than being unhappy with my living conditions.

Are you happy with the flat?

I have my days, sometimes I am happy with the flat, other days I want to move far, far away.

Some of the flats in the complex are used as Airbnb where the visitors don’t show much respect towards us that live here permanently.

My neighbour has also just had a baby so it can get a bit noisy.

The area itself is quiet, minus the days when the football is on – as we are close to the United football ground, the area tends to go into gridlock on match days.

What made you choose this place?

I had been on the lookout for a central flat for months, one with good transportation links, a balcony and a dishwasher.

I went to see this flat and placed my deposit straight away. I found it using Rightmove, using their alert system with my preferences for price/location.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

Definitely not, there wasn’t enough space for me when I was living here by myself, so imagine now.

The storage room is tiny and the hot water tank takes up most of the space. The kitchen is badly designed with very little cupboard space.

They could have taken better advantage of the bedroom space and put in a different wardrobe, but we manage (not sure how, but we do).

What’s it like living with your boyfriend?

We had been doing the long distance thing for a while (he used to live just outside of London) and me loving what Manchester has to offer, I asked if he would like to move here and he said yes.

He was initially going to get his own place, but we decided to live together in order to share the rent and costs of living.

We both love nature and the gym and try to hang out and do different sports/activities as much as possible.

Are there any problems with the flat?

There are a few pending repairs in the flat that the agency is aware of, but in no rush to fix.

We have cracks above each door and window, the flat moves whenever a truck or bus passes by and the walls are paper thin so we always know what the neighbours are up to.

The flat is furnished, but on a budget – for example, the sofa has most likely lived through a few decades to the point where there are several sinkholes, stains and marks. I have asked the agency if I could replace the sofa, but I’m still waiting for an answer.

The bed that came with the flat was also broken, but not broken enough for the agency to replace it, so I have stored it away and bought myself a new bed.

There is a cream coloured carpet in the bedroom with some odd discolouring in each corner, the carpet itself makes the bedroom very dusty and again the agency has declined to cover the costs of deep cleaning it.

We have not had a functional washing machine for a few weeks, and have to rely on friends to get the laundry done (thank you, friends).

Do you have plans to move again?

I am currently keeping an eye on other rental flats, but so far I have not found one that is any better (both on price and location) than the one we are currently in.

We are quite central, with lots of parks around, walking distance to shops, bars, restaurants and to the city centre and the other flats I have viewed have either been too far away or too small.

The Ideal flat would be a modern two-bedroom, two-bathroom flat, central with parking and access to public transport nearby.

We are also considering moving back to Spain, which is where we both grew up.

And what about buying a place?

I have kept an eye on the property market for some time, but with all this Brexit drama I postponed any purchase until things calmed down.

Seems reasonable. Shall we take a look around?

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 whatirent@metro.co.uk. 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 from your housemates!

You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’re paying for rent, as that’s pretty important.

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.

Got a story to share? Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

Share your views in the comments below.

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