It’s time for What I Rent, our weekly nose into someone’s rented home.
Last week we were (virtually) hanging out with Iona and Jack in their £1,400-a-month four-bedroom house in Oldham, Manchester.
This week we’re in Bristol, with Caitlin Lockett, 27.
Caitlin is a creative services manager at a design agency in central Bristol.
Originally from South Wales, she’s lived in the area for over five years, and says she’s ‘absolutely in love’ with the city.
‘I think it’s got to be one of the most versatile and vibrant cities in the UK,’ Caitlin tells us.
Caitlin lives alone – along with her kitten, Nellie – in a two-bed flat. Here’s how she rents.
Hey, Caitlin! How much do you pay to live here?
I pay £1,050 in rent per month, which is an amazing deal for this area and this sort of flat, so I really do feel like the cat that got the cream.
My bills add up to about £200 – £225 per month on average – I get the single occupancy discount on council tax, which is super helpful.
And what do you get for what you pay?
I’ve got five rooms in total – two bedrooms, one bath, kitchen and living room.
The kitchen and second bedroom are pretty small but that doesn’t bother me whatsoever, since it’s just me!
Do you feel like you have a good deal?
For the area and how beautiful the flat is, yes, I really do!
If you were to look at it in terms of the whole UK, probably not, but I’m ok with that.
What do you think of the area?
My flat is in Clifton Village, which is definitely one of the nicest areas in Bristol, but it’s also probably the most expensive.
But as Kirsty and Phil have proved – location is key. I love the fact that there are loads of independent coffee shops, boutiques and cocktail bars right on my doorstep, but my street is also super quiet, so I get the best of both worlds which is amazing.
How did you find the property?
By scouring Rightmove for approximately three months all day, every day. I wish I was kidding.
It was a lot of effort but so, very worth it.
Are you enjoying living alone?
This is the first time I’ve lived alone, and I LOVE it.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Definitely! The flat is really spacious, and has a ridiculous amount of height, so it feels even more roomy than it actually is.
How have you made this place feel like home?
It can be extremely tricky to make a rental property feel like home sometimes.
But for me, it’s about filling it with the colours I love (mainly pink) and individual items that bring me a huge amount of joy – candles, cosy throws, pictures of family, and anything else that makes me smile.
Have you found it difficult to decorate when renting? Is your landlord happy
with you doing bits?
My landlord has luckily been pretty chilled with me doing certain bits and pieces to the flat.
The main bedroom walls were sky-blue when I moved in – not an offensive colour, just not my vibe – and there was no resistance when I asked to paint them white instead, so that instantly made me feel more relaxed.
Some landlords really aren’t happy with their tenants changing anything, but in my opinion, when you’re paying such a large amount of money to be living somewhere, you should have some sort of say over how the cosmetic things look.
As long as they have the ability to be changed back, I don’t think there should ever be a problem with this sort of thing.
Are there any problems with the home you have to deal with?
Not really! Nothing that causes me to want to move out, anyway.
My kitchen could do with an update, and one of my neighbours isn’t particularly friendly, but it’s nothing that would make me fall out of love with the flat.
Do you have plans to move again any time soon?
Not for a long time, I hope.
I absolutely hate the stress of moving. I’m sure most people feel the same way, but it really does fill me with dread thinking back to all my worldly possessions in boxes and bags and not even knowing where to start.
I’ve only been in this flat for four months so far, so am still very much in the honeymoon period with it.
Do you want to own a place some day or are you happy to rent?
Eventually, yes probably.
If legislation to protect renters was more effective, then I’d probably be happy renting for the rest of my life.
But as it currently stands, I personally don’t feel secure enough as a renter for this to be a hugely long-term option.
Plus, I really like the idea of renovating a property one day, so owning is hopefully on the cards for me (once I finally have enough for a deposit).
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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