What I Rent: Lou, £600 a month for a house in Southport, Merseyside


Lou moved back to her hometown of Southport six years ago, and has been renting here ever since (Picture: Andy Kelvin/Kelvin Media)

Welcome back to What I Rent, our weekly series that takes you inside people’s rented homes.

Last week, we were in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, with Louisa and Ebs, who pay £450 a month for a two-bedroom house.

This time around we’re hanging out with Lou, 35, a travel agent and single mum to a five-year-old daughter called Amber.

Lou was born in Southport, then moved to Lincoln for nine years, returning to her hometown six years ago.

Now, she rents a two-bedroom house along with her daughter, where they’ve lived for nearly four years.

Warning: There are some sweary prints and posters ahead.

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

I pay £600 a month on rent. Gas, electric and water works out approximately £100 per month.

She and her daughter have lived in this rented home for the past four years (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)

And what do you get for what you pay?

The house is a two-bedroom, semi-detached home with a bathroom, long galley kitchen and an open living room/dining room. I have a great-sized garden and im not overlooked so it’s really peaceful.

Do you feel like you have a good deal?

I have a fantastic deal, especially with house prices rising.

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

I live in a small village called Crossens, on the outskirts of Southport. I love the area. It’s really peaceful, I have great neighbours and I’m not far from the beautiful Botanic Park and the Old thatched village of Churchtown.

Rent is £600 a month (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)

How did you find the property?

The day I started looking for a new place for the two of us, my friend told me her cousin was moving out of her rented house. I managed to see it that day.

The landlord was giving it a quick spruce up so hadn’t even advertised. I was so lucky! We absolutely love it here.

I fell in love with the house the second I walked through the door. The wooden floors and patio doors sold it to me.

How have you made the house feel like home?

During lockdown I got a little bit more adventurous with the decor. I won some prints on Instagram, which started my obsession with prints and gallery walls.

I’ve managed to keep most of my houseplants alive too, which makes it look really cosy.

A warm welcome (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)

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

My landlord is great. He’s always given me free rein as long as I revert it back to the magnolia walls if I leave.

He wasn’t too annoyed with the pink front door, either.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

As my daughter is getting bigger, and with her having such a small room I sometimes struggle with storage. I’ve had to be quite savvy with furniture and storage solutions but for the two of us, it’s great.

Someone’s a Bridget Jones fan (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)

Are there any problems with the house?

Nothing at all! Any issues I’ve had in the past, my landlord has rectified immediately.

Do you have plans to move again?

Not anytime soon. My daughter’s school is walking distance. I’m close to work, as well as family and friends.

And what about buying a place?

I’d like to buy eventually, someday, but I’m not in the position to buy on my own.

The landlord has let Lou go wild on decorating – even allowing the front door to be painted pink (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
She’ll just need to return the walls to magnolia if she ever moves out (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Even with that rule, Lou hasn’t been shy about making her mark on the walls (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
You’ll spy a lot of prints and posters (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
The living room also has a dining space (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Complete with a play kitchen for Amber (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
These photos were taken right before Halloween, for reference (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Let’s head through to the kitchen (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Nice tiles (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Why not cover the fridge with inspirational messages? (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Yes, there’s a garden (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Upstairs we go (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Even the staircase has some jazzy walls (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Here’s Lou’s bedroom (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
We’re fans of the darker grey walls (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
And all the plants, of course (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
V cute (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
And this is Amber’s room (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
We get the sense she likes pink (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Hi, little cat (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Finally, the bathroom (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Thanks for the reminder, plate (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)
Most people will be looking at the perfume selection, but diehard What I Rent fans are all about the toothbrush analysis (Picture: Andy Kelvin / Kelvin Media)

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 whatirent@metro.co.uk. 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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