What I Rent: Sarah and Paul, £750 a month for a two-bedroom house in Norwich

It’s time for the final What I Rent of 2021.

For the past year, we’ve been taking you inside people’s rented properties, to see how they’ve turned these spaces into homes.

Last week we were in Camberwell, London, with Kavita, who pays £1,850 a month for her flat.

This time around we’re in Norwich with Sarah, 26, who runs her own watercolour artwork business.

Sarah rents a two-bedroom house with her partner, Paul (who works as an archeologist), along with their dog, Odin.

Hey, Sarah! How much do you and Paul pay to live here?

We pay £750 a month for our home and roughly £300 for the bills, including council tax.

And what do you get for what you pay?

We have five rooms and two bathrooms. It’s a very typical terraced house, with a living room, dining room, kitchen and small toilet downstairs.

Then the steep small stairs lead to our office, bedroom and main bathroom.

We also have a good size garden, which is perfect for Odin.

Do you feel like you have a good deal?

Yeah, the price is ok for the area.

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

So we are based in the NR3 area of Norwich, which is walking distance to the main city shopping area, but also close to Mousehold which is brilliant for walking Odin.

Norwich is a great place to live as you have a mix of city and country living, and the community is lovely and friendly.

How did you find this property?

We found it online, it actually took a while to find a property that would allow huskies.

How have you made this place feel like home?

By filling it with things that have meaning and tell people who we are.

We have items all around our home that have a special meaning to us or remind us of somewhere we’ve been.

I think also adding the cosy touches, like nice curtains, rugs, lamps, can help make it feel more like a home.

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

We have both lived in rented houses for quite while, so I think we’re more confident now about just putting up pictures and mirrors and not worrying.

It’s important to feel at home, and it’s so easy to just paint or fill in holes at the end of a tenancy. Especially in older homes where the walls are all lumpy bumpy anyways.

And we have learnt having fabulous furniture and beautiful artwork can make any magnolia room feel homely.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

I think for two people and a husky we have enough room, but if we wanted to start a family I think we would want a bigger place – especially with how important having our own office space has been during Covid times.

Are there any problems with the home?

A major drawback to living in an older rental property is the prevalence of damp and other issues that come with older buildings.

When we first moved in there were a few bits we fixed ourselves, including painting walls and improving the garden fence for Odin.

Do you have plans to move again any time soon?

Probably? Maybe? We don’t know.

That’s one of the upsides of renting, how easy it is to move around (once you find a dog-friendly place).

We do like living in different places and having new adventures, so you never know.

And what about buying a place?

We like renting because we can move around freely and find new places to live. But I think at some point I would like somewhere to call our own (so we can have lots of huskies).

I think I’d enjoy renovating somewhere or building our own place together.

Paul says he’d be happier renting if prices were cheaper and renters’ rights were improved. He feels like he’s is forced to consider buying because of these factors.

True that. 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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