The reality of living in a rented apartment

While waiting for a bus, I was wandering around Piccadilly Gardens and picked an August issue of Cosmopolitan. Failing to find horoscope (is not there anymore!), I stopped suddenly on page 102 titled : ‘’Are you caught in the rental trap?’’.
As you know, my blog mainly focuses on advice for rented spaces on a budget, so I sat on a bench sipping my matcha latte and I started reading the article. Perhaps, like an old lady nodding my head in agreement with every single word written, while staring in disgust at the pictures of mould and cockroaches! Reality! I must admit, I didn’t expect to find in a Cosmopolitan article about renting issues. I read Cosmo regularly, and I was even super lucky to be a finalist in Cosmopolitan Blog Awards (link)  in Best for Home category!Yay! 
Despite, I have passed my 30’s and I should be already on a property ladder, I am rather stuck in a renting waggon. About three years ago, I moved to Manchester after graduating with a First Class Degree and Dean’s award in contribution to an interior design, with a bag of dreams and hopes. Here, three years later, I am quite in the same position. I am not fortunate enough to have parents to crash at, while saving for a deposit, neither I earn enough to save for it. The reality is, that even after 3 years after graduation, I am still pretty much on a graduate salary. Recently, I have only managed to pay off my student bank overdraft and so far, this is the biggest financial achievement. Sad, I know! With a current Manchester market prices, renting an apartment close enough to town, that you can get there in 40minutes, cost nearly as much as I earn! There is not much left for food and basic needs. To save up some money, I would seriously need to get an extra income and work every single weekend, while already working late hours in a design industry, this is nearly impossible.  
A girl gotta eat, a girl gotta have fun! I am not that super savvy, despite my every effort. I try to decorate my flat in a budget friendly way and so far, I think, I am doing well. I do have however needs that includes prosecco, new clothes or just this soo pretty key ring that I am going to lose in a few day anyway! I am trying to control my spendings and limit it to a minimum, but as per above, life is for living and I am not going to spend it on only eating bread and drink water! Yes, of course, I am dreaming on my own apartment, my own little space that I can do whatever I want there, without having to have to worry if I am not going to accidentally damage my landlord furniture and lose my entire deposit! Neither having to have to worry about potential notice letter, when my yearly contract is coming to an end. I wish I could spend the £65 renewal fee on a new pair of Zara stiletto’s or this trendy copper desk lamp I’ve seen in a vintage store. I have previously written few articles about moving to a rented apartment plus before you rent hints and tips, advising about the deposit, location and explaining all about renting via an agency or private landlord. 

In Manchester, prices are of course lower than London ones, so the salaries, Bien sûr! I had quite a dilemma where to move at first. I’ve seen so many beautiful apartments but there is always been ‘’but’. Mostly my ‘’but’’ was about owning 2 cats. Landlord’s and agency hate pets! Fact! They don't care that my Maru, has the most beautiful blue eye’s that I can’t live without, neither they care that my Mia can fetch! Nasty people! Manchester city centre also is lacking parking spaces! Fair enough! Recently, a residents of an apartment block where I live, shared their rental prices. The conversation was triggered by a girl, who was wondering after a chat with her how she described; ex-boyfriend. I have instantly, hit right move and other rental websites to check the prices as well. Many comments on the forum suggested ‘it was way overpriced, which I totally agree! Right across the river, there is a really nice residential area surrounded by bars, shops and a canal; while we are surrounded by building sites only. We are woken up with drills, we are dealing wth constantly blocked roads by trucks and never ending scaffolding wrapped around the building blocks! 
While working in a design industry, I am pretty excited for the new concepts of a several PRS Scheme’s emerging around Manchester city centre. PRS scheme, stand for the Private Rented Sector, which is a new housing development that all the properties are built for rent, and won’t be for sale. The schemes were created to make renting affordable, so people can actually start saving for a deposit while living in a city! There is special demographic target market aimed at millennials mostly between the age of 25-35. Most of the spaces will benefit of their own bars, restaurants and functional workspaces as much as focused on creating friendly communities for young professionals. I just came across Manchester Evening news article recently and read more about it. Have a little sneak as well! I am pretty excited, and hopefully, I will be able to live with one of those… but only if they Maru & Mia’s friendly of course! 

Perhaps, when it comes to renting, I am a PRO! I have been renting in past 8 years. I’ve lost deposits, gone through an agony of living with your own landlord (worst ever) to not so blessing renting via an agency. I liked the fact that Cosmopolitan really brought the reality of renting in a tiny (shitty) space in a city, while you dream big! Sometimes the problem is not just the aesthetics of the space but the hazard to your health. I’ve seen people living with damp, broken boilers, in a super dangerous area’s while paying so much money for not even their own pads. I have to admit, I am lucky that my apartment is in a pretty livable condition and the only minus is the decor, dated tiles and furniture but here is where my super wonder woman skills are helpful! Ha! Of course, I wish I could live in a property with a character, brick walls and pretty wooden flooring instead of ripped laminate vinyl but I am quite close to town and most of all, I can keep 2 cats while this is pretty much forbidden these days in any Manchester city centre apartments! 
If you live in London, perhaps you may grab that issue of a Cosmopolitan too! I spill little beans…You will find an amazing opportunity to become a property guardian and even decorate the place! Just look out for a hashtag #cosmohomemade 
Can you create this opportunity in Manchester, pretty please? 


  1. Great post about a subject that must affect so many people. I often wonder how the heck my kids will ever get on the property ladder (20 & 24)especially when I think that their Dad & I bought our first home when we were 23 & 24 but for £36,500!! That said, if there are more of those PRS schemes around the country, a lot of the worries about renting (landlord wanting to sell up etc) would be removed & perhaps renters could feel a lot more secure in their homes. A great idea - let's hope they roll it out more across the country. Good luck! And yes, Manchester roads are a nightmare at the moment aren't they?!!!

  2. This is such a great post, I know so much about renting too I rented my first studio when I was 16 and even studios are expensive! While I am coming from an expensive country, I was quite shocked of the prices in London first time I rented there. I know all about living with the landlord, that is the worst! Unfortunately for my case I had a very agressive one and he pushed me one time. Argh, brings back so many bad memories!

    The recent studio I rented outside London cost me £700 each month and was included bills (But so expensive for a little studio) and it was okay but in the end I had too get help from my parents because I coudn't afford it anymore! I am roothing for claiming up on the property ladder and that I in a few years time have bought myself something! + I have a dog and a cat, I woudn't move to a place without my babies xx

  3. I can't imagine the pain of having to rent. I'm lucky that I can stay with my parents while I save for my deposit but it's not that much fun! I would much rather have my own space but appreciate that eventually I will be able to buy somewhere and have somewhere to call my own! x

  4. I always wonder how single people rent, and especially in cities! My husband and I rent a tiny 2 bedroom terraced out of the city centre (and actually I think calling it two bedroom is a lie, the 2nd bedroom could barely fit a single bed in it) Our three cats are happy enough with it though haha

  5. Your flat is SO beautiful! I love the colour scheme.

    Claudia xx

  6. GREAT post! I am really looking forward too getting a new place to rent. I will be coming to your blog for all your advice!

    xoxo, Candice

  7. Excellent read, this. We've passed our 30s too (40 is looming!) and we are nowhere even close to starting to save for a mortgage. I've lost my dream of owning my own home. Fortunately our rented place is pretty ok and we have the freedom to decorate as we please, and it's in a safe area.

  8. Having moved up from London I was amazed by the prices but in comparison to wages they were high. Having looked at Manchester we swapped the hustle and bustle for somewhere further afield and ended up in Wigan. We both commute in plus we have a huge garden. Love Manchester and that's a great scheme. Also love the pics.

  9. I HATED renting as we had strict limitations about what we could do and rent was expensive :-(

    You have definitely made the most of your space though.

    My friend rents in Manchester and she was just telling me her landlord has lowered her rent as they are such good tenants! WOW!

  10. I have a niece just turned 21 who has graduated with a first class honours in film production starting the journey it sounds like you have been on. I think renting is going to have to become the norm unless house prices drop - which I can't see them doing.

  11. I rented for about 6 years when I first moved to London and it wasn't overly expensive then, like it is now. I am glad I did rent because it gave me the chance to find out what area I wanted to live in, rather than buy something and then regret it x

  12. I want you to come and make over my place - you do such an amazing job :). It can be so hard making a rented home our own :( x

  13. I have to say, I hated renting! Nathan wouldn't let me do any sort of decorating so I had to put up with what was there when we moved in "/

    We were lucky enough to come into a little bit of money so we could buy our own place about 5 years later, but luckily we live near Nottingham so house prices aren't that high. I think we would still be renting now had we lived nearer London!

    Louise x

  14. This is such an interesting post! I'm currently planning on saving up for a deposit. I was originally caught between renting somewhere or just getting straight on the property ladder and I think you've just confirmed my reasons for skipping out renting and going straight for the mortgage! I've had plenty of horrors with rented properties from the sadly expected issue of damp to having to call the police every single night due to death-threats and outbursts from the tenant downstairs. I think it's great to see Cosmo are touching on this issue, rather than sticking to the small, shiny world of fashion!
    As for the competition, that would be amaaaazing in Manchester. Let's hope something offers a similar chance for all us Northerners :).
    Tasmin | Grandiose Days


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