What I Rent: Michelle, £1,600 a month for a three-bedroom house in Epsom Downs

It’s time for another edition of What I Rent, our weekly series that explores the ins, outs, ups and downs of renting.

We tend to think of renting as something for young people in big cities, whether that’s living in houseshares or renting with a partner because we don’t have the money to buy a home.

But What I Rent has shown over and over that all types of people rent, for all types of reasons.

Michelle is one of these people. A 46-year-old mum-of-two, she might not be the typical individual you have in mind when you think about a renter.

But the hairdresser, who owns as a salon called Mint in Oxshott, Surrey, has been in her rented home for the past nine years, along with her partner, her two children, and their dog, Snoopy.

Michelle was born in Epsom and has always lived locally, settling into this rented home following a a divorce.

Here’s what she gets for her money.

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

The rent is £1,600 a month.

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And what do you get for what you pay?

A three-bedroom semi-detached house with two toilets, one bathroom.

Do you feel like you have a good deal?

I do think we have a good deal as it is reasonable for our area – but I’m sure a mortgage on this size property would be slightly less a month.

What do you think of the area?

Our home is based in the beautiful Epsom Downs and we absolutely love it. We are surrounded by the most beautiful land and views, fabulous for walking. Plus lots of pubs for lunch.

How did you find the house?

I found it through an estate agency. We’ve now been here for nine years.

How have you made the house feel like home?

It feels like home because it is our home. I treat it exactly the same as I would if I ‘owned’ it.

I used to own my house and had to rent after my divorce. Once I remarried we didn’t have a deposit, which is why we rent but I don’t treat this house any differently.

Have you found it difficult to decorate while renting?

The landlords are quite easy going about decor, etc – I think it is because we look after the house as if it was ours.

I do always ask before I change anything – but it doesn’t bother me.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

We definitely have lots of space. I love the downstairs as it’s so airy.

Are there any problems with the house?

No. The landlords are always quick to rectify any issues.

Do you have plans to move again?

No plans to move any time soon. We love this house.

And what about buying a place?

I would like to buy one day, maybe something small for a nest egg in the future, but I don’t really have an issue with continuing to rent.

It is quite nice not to have the worry if something goes wrong.

True. 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!).

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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