What I Rent: Nancy, £920 a month for a three-bedroom flat in Jesmond, Newcastle

It’s time once again for our weekly instalment of What I Rent.

For those not in the know, this is our series that explores the ins and outs of renting – the good, the mould-ridden, and the overpriced.

Each week we take a nose around a different person’s rented property, and chat about how they’ve made their space feel like home.

Last week we were in Homerton, London, with communications manager Hannah.

This time around we’re hanging out with Nancy, a photographer and stylist.

Having grown up in Jesmond, Newcastle, Nancy returned to the area after a decade living in London.

She now lives in a three-bedroom flat just a two-minute walk from the house she grew up in, renting with her husband and daughter.

Here’s how she rents.

Hey, Nancy! How much do you pay to live here?

We pay £920 a month, which doesn’t include any bills.

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And what do you get for what you pay?

It’s a three-bedroom flat with one small bathroom. We use one of the bedrooms as a home office.

Do you feel like you have a good deal?

It’s quite expensive for a property that has no private garden but the bedrooms and living rooms are absolutely huge, so we love it!

It’s also got a lot of original Victorian features like a big marble fireplace, wooden floors and doors, and lovely tall skirting boards.

Whereabouts is your home-based? What do you think of the area?

I live in Jesmond, which is a very green and leafy part of town. It’s full of parks, allotments and really feels like you’re in the countryside sometimes.

I love Jesmond and grew up here but in the past ten years it’s become very student-y in some areas and the other parts are incredibly posh and expensive – so as a young creative family, we don’t really fit in!

We’re looking to move to the coast soon, which is beautiful.

How did you find this property?


How have you made this place feel like home?

I’m a keen interior stylist and decorator so we’ve done quite a lot to it.

We covered the kitchen counter tops in a marble vinyl, I painted pale pink alcoves in the living room, which I love.

I also had my daughter’s room wallpapered in a really stunning oversized floral wallpaper and now I want to wallpaper every other room too!

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

Not at all, we’ve always been very respectful of the places we have rented and luckily our landlords have never had a problem with us painting. As long as you are able to return the property back to its original state we have no problem painting etc.

Even though we rent we think it’s absolutely worthwhile trying to decorate it in the way you like.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

I wish our kitchen and bathroom were larger as they definitely aren’t family-sized.

The flat has suited us well until now but now my daughter is a little bit older I think it’s time for us to find somewhere with a proper garden for her to enjoy.

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

As the building is so old we had quite a lot of issues when we first moved in a few years ago.

Peggy’s room had quite bad damp and our landlord had to pay for a new chimney and for the whole house to be repointed, which I know cost her a lot of money.

Luckily we didn’t really have to deal with any of that ourselves.

Do you have plans to move again?

We are actually looking right now but I know I’m really going to miss the space that the living room and our bedroom provides. We would just really love to live on the ground floor and have a garden.

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

We are keeping our options open. As I am a freelancer it’s very difficult to get on the property ladder so it’s completely my husband’s responsibility to find us a mortgage, which is tricky.

It would also be a huge downgrade with space if we were to buy somewhere. So I’m looking at renting and buying at the same time and we will just see what comes up!

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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