What I Rent: Didem and Alex, £1,800 a month for a two-bedroom flat in Battersea

What does £1,800 a month get you in London?

This week’s What I Rent reveals just that, taking you inside the two-bedroom flat rented by Didem, 33, and her husband Alex, 34.

In the latest edition of our weekly series, which last time saw us inside an apartment in Cleveland, Ohio, we’re exploring what Didem, currently studying for a master’s degree, and Alex, an IT engineer, get for what they pay.

Didem is originally from Istanbul, Turkey, and met Alex, from France, in 2016. The pair moved to London together in 2018, settling in a flat in Nine Elms before moving to this place, also in the Battersea area.

We chatted with Didem about their rented home.

Hey, Didem! How much do you and Alex pay to live here?

Rent is £1,800 per month, excluding the bills, which account for an extra of £220. Council tax is £85.

We feel like utility bills are quite expensive. One of the reasons is that there is no water meter.

And what do you get for what you pay?

A flat in Battersea, two bedrooms, one bathroom.

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Do you feel like you have a good deal?

We think that we have a good deal because we started searching for a new flat last summer, during Covid-19 pandemic, and we’ve been told that the rents decreased around that time.

This must have been the case for this flat as well since the flats with features that we were looking for (above ground flour, quiet, unfurnished, with balcony without/few carpets) were usually £2,000 a month or more in the area.

This flat was also fully refurbished – everything was new, including the appliances. We are the first ones who started using them, and they are good quality brands as well.

The only downside is that this flat doesn’t have a balcony, but it’s very close to the park, which compensates the lack of it.

What do you think of the area?

It’s very close to Battersea Park, just three minutes’ walk away.

We love the park, and that’s why we decided to stay in the same area than our previous flat.

There is a nice development now at the Battersea Power Station, we like going to the restaurants and cinema there, however we are conflicted about how they transformed the historic power station into luxurious habitations that are very different in style.

How did you find the property?

On one of the online renting platforms.

How have you made the place feel like home?

All furniture belongs to us. Even though it’s a bit of a struggle to move them from one place to another, as a married couple it is important for us to live with our own furniture.

It might also be something cultural. When you pick your own furniture, then it is much easier to make your place feel like home.

All the prints and pictures that are displayed in the flat were taken by us during our travels. For example, Alex took the sunset picture above the fireplace and the elephant pictures in the second room in Thailand.

All the decorative items in the living room are also from different countries, such as handmade wooden box on the coffee table, which is from Colombia.

The small painting with a heart next to the books is from my 11-year-old niece. She made it for us as a present.

Have you found it difficult to decorate while renting? Is your landlord okay with you making changes?

In our previous flat, we could hang all our pictures on the walls, and we were happy about that. For this one however, our renting agreement doesn’t allow us to do the same.

So, I found alternative ways to display our pictures and photos: I bought a radiator cover for the entrance, put photos from our honeymoon on top of that; and leaned frames against the walls wherever possible in every room.

The walls are empty, but they are clean and have a nice light blue colour, so
leaving them as they are doesn’t bother us.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

Yes, as a couple without kids and pets, it is enough for now.

We opted for a bed with ottoman storage, which helped us a lot.

We sort out our stuff on a regular basis, never stack things that we don’t use. We also decided to buy decorative items only from our travels and only if we really love them.

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

When it rains heavily, sometimes small pebbles and dirt comes down the chimney.

The building is old. The windows are single glazed, and they are quite large, therefore it is very difficult to heat the flat during cold months.

Do you want to move again any time soon?

We don’t have such plans for the foreseeable future.

And what about owning a place?

We would like to own a house one day, though we don’t know in which country.

Fair. 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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