This week’s What I Rent is a real Christmas cracker.
We’re chatting with sustainable fashion content creator Kavita Donkersley, who you might know as shewearsfashion.
Kavita, 28, has just bought a home, but before she moved out, we managed to rope her in to take part in our weekly series all about the ins and outs of renting.
That means we get to take a peek at the London flat she and her boyfriend have rented for the past four years, complete with neon signs and an impressively huge cactus.
Here’s what the couple rent(ed).
Hi, Kavita! How much do you pay to live here?
It’s £1,850pcm – up from £1,700 we paid when we first lived here for the first two years.
Bills aren’t included, they’re just over £200 a month, so would be around £2,050 all together.
And what do you get for what you pay?
It’s two bedrooms, two en suites and a downstairs bathroom – and we have free parking.
Do you feel like you have a good deal?
It’s incredible for everything we get and how beautiful the space is!
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What do you think of the area?
The flat is in Camberwell, south east London. We love the area! It’s not as gentrified as others so feels like real london, without loads of hipster coffee shops etc.
They are making it more gentrified, however – the past few years it has massively changed. They knocked down Elephant and Castle Mall, which was devastating for everyone in the area. It really makes me sad they’re pushing people out of the area to make room for new builds and pricing local outs of their homes.
They are making the area more lively over at Elephant Park, with tonnes of cool and trendy spots, and there is Mercato Metropolitano next to Elephant and Castle, which is a cool spot.
The charity shops here are incredible – which is important for me as I very much focus on second hand fashion in my content. Also we’re very close to Peckham, which is the spot I hang out in most of the time!
How did you find the flat?
We found one of the other flats in the building on Gumtree and were told it had already gone… but then were told about this one, which was their other listing.
We were very lucky, we had a FaceTime viewing as we weren’t London-based and we put in an offer straight away.
How have you made the place feel like home?
All of the furniture is our own as the property came unfurnished.
I spend a lot of time thrifting furniture from Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, car boot sales – and I got the majority of the furniture in Sheffield before we moved down, as it’s cheaper than london.
It was nice because then when we moved in it felt instantly homely. Also all of the plants help!
My boyfriend has let me decorate how I choose and buy as many plants as I like – including a 9ft tall cactus. Don’t ask how I got it in the flat. It was a… process.
Have you found it difficult to decorate when renting? Is your landlord happy with you doing bits?
Our landlord is surprisingly chill. Very easygoing, happy to let us do what we want – we’re so lucky.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Honestly no, but that’s more on how many items I personally own rather than it not being spacious in general.
We have a storage cupboard under the stairs, which is massive for london, and it houses everything we don’t want out.
It’s spacious for the average Londoner but after four years here I’m running out of space for sure! Also the kitchen is tiny but hey… this is London!
Are there any problems with your flat?
Yes! Heating is an issue – it just doesn’t work. With the high ceilings its pretty terrible in winter but i don’t mind because i love it so much.
Also the space for us is just too small currently.
But any time anything broke our landlord fixed it straight away. Also we are a 20-minute walk to the nearest tube (Kennington OR Elephant and Castle), which can be a nightmare for some. We were okay because the bus links are fantastic (and cheaper!) and my partner used to work a 20-minute bus ride away.
Tell us about the big move – how was the process of buying your first home?
It was a nightmare for us. With stamp duty meaning everyone was buying, things went for £50k over asking pricing as a standard and with the home we finally bought we had to wait a whole year until we had the keys in our hands – our lawyers sucked.
Why did you want to own rather than rent?
We were sort of sick of how much we were spending every month. When you add that up over four years it’s… a lot.
I don’t mind in the short term. For the space, for the life we lived there, for the memories etc, it was worth it.
But we’re getting to the age where we want more disposable income and not to pay someone elses mortgage forever.
We were very fortunate enough that we were in a position to buy because it is a huge privilege. I also needed the space… Our new place has four bedrooms! And a garden! I can’t wait to have a garden!
Shall we take a look around the rented space before Kavita and her boyfriend leave it forever?
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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