Welcome back to What I Rent, our weekly series taking a look inside the rented properties people call home.

Last week we were in Toxteth, Liverpool, with Jess and Al, who pay £525 a month for their one-bedroom flat.

This time around we’re back down south, in Highams Park, Chingford, London.

Jazmine Rocks, 28, is a social media manager and content creator who has lived in the capital city her whole life – always south, until moving east with her partner of six years, Rob.

‘South London will always have a special place in my heart, but it made sense for Rob and I to move East, as it’s closer to his work, and I have the flexibility to work from home,’ says Jazz.

We chatted with her about her and Rob’s experience renting the two-bedroom house they moved into just five months ago.

Hi, Jazz! How much do you and Rob pay to live here?

Our rent is £1,650 a month.

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Bills (council tax, gas, electric, water & broadband) are around £200 – £250 a month.

And what do you get for what you pay?

A house with six rooms in total; three rooms downstairs and three upstairs.

Downstairs we have a sitting room, a middle lounge, and a large open plan kitchen and diner extension that leads to a good sized garden.

Upstairs we have one bathroom (with a seperate bath and shower), a master bedroom, and a smaller guest bedroom.

Do you feel like you have a good deal?

I do! During our search we saw houses of a similar price, but nowhere near the same quality.

This house was recently renovated with a very modern and spacious kitchen diner, plus it came almost fully furnished; all three sofas downstairs, the dining table and chairs, the bed, the majority of storage, and all the garden furniture were included!

Rob and I have saved hundreds of pounds by not having to buy such large items of furniture, which we did not already have, with me coming from a one-bedroom flat, and Rob moving out of his family home.

What do you think of the area, Highams Park?

Due to lockdown, I haven’t explored that much of the area, but what I’ve seen has been lovely so far.

The local parks are beautiful, and I’m so excited to be living within walking distance from the William Morris gallery – as you can see from our home, I’m a huge fan of Morris & Co patterns!

I love how close we are to the train station; as I can’t drive, this is key for me. We’re only a short walk away from the station, so it’s really convenient for friends and family popping over too.

How did you find the house?

Rightmove! I was browsing nearly every day for over a month, looking for the perfect place.

I had a lot of boxes to tick – we wanted a separate bath and shower in the bathroom, a large, modern kitchen, wood or laminate floors, a garden, and for it to be within walking distance from a train station.

I managed to book a viewing straight away, but as we were in lockdown in November, I didn’t actually view the property as I had no means of easily getting there, as I was living in Bromley at the time.

Rob could easily go to the viewing as he lived in Essex and works in East London, so he checked it out, and then we put down an offer.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

Definitely, more than enough! I’ve lived in small homes my whole life, so having this much room is such a novelty for me. Though it is amazing how quickly you adjust to having more space.

We cannot wait to entertain our very large family and have friends over as soon as it’s safe to do so.

How have you made the house feel like home?

I feel like mine and Rob’s personalities shine through in our decor; from all of the personal mementos, photographs and knick knacks we’ve collected over the years, to all of the print, pattern and colour dotted around the house.

Plants and fresh flowers always make it feel so homely too, we’ve created a bit of an indoor garden in the kitchen, plus I’ve recently taken a couple of floral design courses, so there are always floral arrangements in every room!

To be honest, this place felt like home almost instantly. I feel like we’ve been here for a lot longer than five months.

Have you found it difficult to decorate when renting? Is your landlord happy with you doing bits?

It’s not been difficult at all! I’ve lived in rented places my whole life, so I’m very much used to making a rental feel like home, even without a lick of paint.

It’s easy for me to add colour, print and pattern (I’m a huge William Morris fan) with textiles throughout the house, and utilising the nails already in the walls to hang up frames.

The landlord has a similar style to me, so the design and all of the furniture they left in the house is in keeping with my personal interiors style – so much so that our friends and family have said this house was made for me.

Are there any problems with the home you have to deal with?

Not really! Just the usual wear and tear that comes with any home, and the fact it took a little while to get the Broadband up and running…

Do you have plans to move again any time soon?

We’ve signed for a year, we may look to extend as it really does feel like home.

Do you want to own a place some day or are you happy to rent?

We want to buy our own house in the next year or so, for sure.

I feel I’m financially in the right position, but I’m aware that we probably wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a house like this in London, so we’re certainly making the most of this beautiful rental while we have it.

Fair. 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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