Lifestyle

What I Rent: Dominic, £625 a month for a one-bedroom annexe in Bagshot


Dominic pays £625 a month to live in the one-bedroom annexe (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)

We reckon over a year of doing What I Rent has shown that the renting situation in the UK isn’t great – especially in London.

Loads of us are paying absurd amounts of money to live in tiny rooms or miserable house-shares, while the generations before us frolick around in the homes they were actually able to buy.

But while we’ve seen some overpriced and cramped studio flats in our time, few compare to this place.

Dominic is a 27-year-old recruitment consultant working in Slough and living in Bagshot.

Originally from York, Dominic previously lived in Reading and Wokingham since moving down from Birmingham in 2017, then in August 2019 moved into this one-room annexe.

He has rented the space for around five months.

‘It does seem that I’m paying an exorbitant amount of money for the smallest living space seemingly possible’ (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)

Hi, Dominic! How much do you pay to live here?

I pay £625 a month direct to my landlady, including bills (Sky TV, broadband, water, and electricity all included).

And what do you get for what you pay? 

An annexe with one and a half rooms. The bedroom come living come kitchen area is all one (very small) room, and the toilet is separated by a sliding partition door that doesn’t fully close.

…We think we know the answer, but do you think you have a good deal?

Not really, there is such limited space in the annexe and it can feel a bit claustrophobic at times. I find it incredibly tedious trying to cook as the combo oven is very inefficient and again there is so little space for food prep it can be really difficult.

The bed is also very small (I’m about 6 foot 2 and find that I hang off the end of the single bed), it’s also quite uncomfortable as it’s a sprung mattress, and not a very good one.

I regularly knock into my TV, bed and wardrobe as I walk through from the living area to the kitchenette as the floor space is so small.

In addition, the internet is horrendously slow, often running at less than 1MBs. I only very recently (as in, this weekend) gained control of the thermostat. Previously, when it became cold, I would have to text my landlady next door to ask her to turn it up.

It’s very small and very expensive for what it is. As a comparison, when I lived in Wokingham, I rented a two-bedroom house with my then-partner, and it cost each of us £475 (not including bills). We had a garden, a large living room, a lovely kitchen, two bedrooms and a nice bathroom. It was in a lovely area as well. That was good value for money and we had loads of space.

It does seem that I’m paying an exorbitant amount of money for the smallest living space seemingly possible.

Dominic only recently got control of the thermostat (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)

And – again, we think the answer’s obvious but we have to ask – do you feel like you have enough space? 

In a word… no.

Fair. How did you end up living here? 

My partner and I had recently broken up, and I was temporarily living at my parent’s house in York while I found somewhere else to live.

Given that my job is in Slough, I needed to find somewhere to rent quickly. I spent a lot of time scouring agency websites for somewhere suitable, and at the time I didn’t want a house share.

This limited my options somewhat, from an affordability perspective, and needing to make a quick decision, I snapped this place up, thinking it would be a short term measure.

The kitchen is cramped and the microwave doesn’t work (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)

How have you made the space feel like home?

Given that this was meant to be a short term measure, I haven’t really done anything to make it homely.

Do you like the area?

I live in Bagshot. The area itself is nice. It’s a quiet cul-de-sac and feels like quite a rural community.

Are you happy where you live?

Not particularly, as I have mentioned.

Dominic has bought a home and will move in January (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)

What are the main issues with the place?

The size, no control of the thermostat, the oven/hob is very frustrating to cook with, and the super slow internet speed.

It has a single bed, as there is not enough width to get anything larger in.

The toilet is too small to have a proper door on it so it has a sliding partition door that is just terrible.

In the kitchen, I don’t have a proper hob/oven, it’s one of those awful combo ovens and the microwave doesn’t work.

The floor space is so small that I have to contort my body to walk through to the ‘kitchen’ otherwise I bump into my TV.

What are your housing plans for the future?

I have recently bought a house and will be moving in January.

Oh, good. Shall we have a look around before you go?

Another tenant lives in a second annex upstairs (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
There’s only space for a single bed… which is too small for Dominic as he’s 6ft 2 (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
He has to be careful when walking around so he doesn’t bump into the furniture (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
At least there’s a TV? (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
(Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
Dominic relaxes by gaming (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
The (very narrow) kitchen (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
The microwave (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
(Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
Ah, luxurious (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
And nextdoor, the bathroom (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
Roomy! (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
No, there’s no bathtub (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
But there is a towel holder, so… (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)
And a shelf! What more could you need? (Picture: David Sandison/Metro.co.uk)

What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another 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 whatirent@metro.co.uk.

You’ll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!

You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’re paying for rent, as that’s pretty important.

MORE: What I Rent: Megan, £550 a month for a two-bedroom house in Hessle, Hull

MORE: What I Rent: Cameron, £395 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Hamilton

MORE: What I Rent: Carys and Jamie, £487.50 each a month for a one-bedroom flat in Hove





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