Welcome back to another installment of Metro’s tenant diary series, What I Rent.
We’re in West Sussex this week, chatting to Lambertus and Jennilee Blom who rent a two-bed home with their three kids – Aleejah, Zuah and Feyja – as well as their cat and dog.
The couple struggled to find a pet-friendly rental property with a garden on the market, but then came across a Build to Rent development that ticked all their boxes.
Here’s what the couple have to say about their renting experience..
Tell us about yourselves.
We’re Lambertus and Jennilee and we live at Fontwell Meadows, in Chichester, West Sussex, with our cat, dog, two children and newborn baby.
We moved from a rented two-bedroom barn conversion in Yapton, West Sussex to here in February. Our decision to move stemmed from needing more space for our children and pets to roam.
We really wanted to find a rental property that had a private garden, included modern conveniences, long-term security and allowed pets – we had struggled to find a pet friendly property on the market.
We love to go for family walks with the dog and explore the beach.
How much do you pay to live here?
We pay monthly rent payments of £1,275 with a tenancy agreement of 24 months. Although Leaf Living [the provider] offers a no-deposit option through Flatfair, we put down a five-week deposit of £1,595.
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And what do you get for what you pay?
We get a modern and energy efficient new-build property with long-term security and smart home features. Energy-efficiency was high on our checklist to help us save money on our bills. Our home is EPC-rated B which is a lot more sustainable than the national average.
We really wanted long-term stability. Our BTR (build to rent) provider is our landlord – this is great because it eliminates any surprises or short-term notice to move that you could easily get with a private landlord, and it means our home is maintained to a high quality.
Do you feel like you have a good deal?
Absolutely! To find a rented home which is not only pet-friendly but ticks all of our boxes is an incredibly rare find – and we are close to our jobs, I [Lambertus] work at Rolls Royce.
As our home is energy efficient, we save money on our energy bills, which is a bonus. We had really struggled to find a pet-friendly home to let within a 15-mile radius of our previous property, this narrowed our options down considerably, so to find a new-build rental property – we felt like we hit the jackpot.
Where is your home based? What do you think of the area?
Our home is based in Fontwell, Chichester – there is easy access to the A27 which provides connections to the South Coast and destinations including Southampton and Brighton. It’s such a nice little community. It’s great to have a garden and to live so close to green spaces, it’s the perfect place to take the dog for a walk. The scenery is stunning here, it is also a perfect location for schools for our little ones.
How did you find this property?
After a long search on websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, we came across Fontwell Meadows and fell in love straight away. This home really met all of our needs. We went to view the property shortly after and the rest just fell into place.
The move-in process was seamless. It was all digital and very easy to navigate, it was very professional. The team were so helpful. They made our moving-in experience so easy. We have really integrated well here – the neighbours are so friendly; you can really feel the sense of community.
Do you want to feature 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!).
How have you made this place feel like home? Have you found it difficult to decorate when renting? Is your landlord happy with you doing bits?
We have taken up gardening. Our old property didn’t have any outside space so we were excited to add some plants. Seeing our children and pets play in the garden is lovely.
We have also decorated a little – our BTR provider was happy for us to decorate our home which was fantastic news – not something you hear every day when renting privately.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Definitely. Having a garden for the kids and pets to run around has made things so much more spacious with little ones running around. Where we live also has so many green spaces for us to go for walks.
Are there any problems with the home you have to deal with?
Not at all, the team have been brilliant, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
Do you have plans to move again any time soon? What about buying a place?
We don’t have any plans to move any time soon.
We love it here – although we may need a bigger property in two years’ time once our children are a bit older. But for now, our home is perfect, and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Shall we take a look around?
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected].
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