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| March 25, 2019

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Renting in Brighton: our readers’ experiences

Renting in Brighton: our readers’ experiences
Lorraine Bigi
  • On February 26, 2019
  • http://www.brightonjournal.co.uk

Featured image ©Henry Hemming

It is no news that rent in Brighton and Hove is not cheap: the city is notorious for being one of the most expensive places in the country for renting.

Moreover, as we found out yesterday, the extortionate prices that some of us pay do not even guarantee us basic standards.

Following yesterday’s article on the subject, we asked you, the readers, to share your renting experiences in Brighton. From your responses, it is clear that Beth’s was not an isolated case: renting in Brighton is a widespread problem.

‘Brighton is in a complete corrupted mess’

Honour Mission is one of several Facebook users who contacted us to share her story. She says:

[Rent is] too expensive. The wages don’t match the rent. In Brighton, there are still people earning £7.80ph and then the average rent for a one bed flat is £1,000pm. Even housing benefit has been capped for years and doesn’t reach anywhere near this growing rental price.

I have recently stayed in Norfolk. The lowest wage there is £9.06ph and the price of renting a one/two bed flat or cottage on average is £450-500pm.

This is the real difference. This is why people can’t afford to live in their homes in Brighton. This is why the working homeless are on the increase. This is why Brighton is in a complete corrupted mess.

London prices without the matching wage

A recurring complaint from our readers is realising that they pay the same rent they charge in areas of London, with the difference that London has increased the minimum wage to match the above-average rent prices.

Colette Chitty wrote: “Overpriced rents for London wages and local people being priced out. As a single parent it’s a nightmare and there is no way out!”

©Henry Hemming

Be prepared to see a lot of mould

When charged £1,000+ per month for a one-bed property, it is not unreasonable to expect basic facilities such as good insulation, heating and working appliances.

However, in Brighton this is not always the case: expensive rent does not always guarantee a good home.

Steph Wooler was born and bred in Brighton. She first rented a flat aged 20 with her partner, paying £750pm, and when she fell pregnant she was forced to move home when her request to move onto rolling monthly contract was rejected.

More problems were to follow:

After our daughter was born, we were placed in emergency accommodation. The first place we were offered was on the sixth floor and I’d had a cesarean five days prior. … We were then moved to another emergency property which was so cold there was ice on the inside of the windows … We then got offered a permanent property which is very reasonable rent but in incredibly poor state of repair and in a dreadful area with people injecting heroin outside of the kitchen window.

I once had a centipede in the shower

Fran George Levin also had a very negative experience with the (lack of) cleanliness of her flat: “I used to live in a one bedroom flat in Queens Park with my then partner and we paid £900pm before bills/tax.

“The built-in wardrobes were mouldy, mushrooms kept growing between the bathroom tiles and all manner of insects constantly made their way in. I once had a centipede in the shower.”

‘Getting maintenance issues fixes has been like getting blood from a stone’

One of our readers, who does not wish to be named, has lived in Brighton since their first year of university in 2013 and is currently still renting as a full-time professional.

They told us that in university homes, stud walls were put in place to maximise profits creating more bedrooms, even if that means students could barely fit their bed in them. Rooms were dirty on move-in day, houses often had maintenance issues, and maintenance workers would often show up without the standard 24-hour notice.

My overall feeling about renting in Brighton is that it doesn’t matter if you are a student, in full time employment, young or old. You will be treated with the same dismissive attitude by letting agents and landlords.

Rents continue to rise, conditions continue to become poorer. Agencies charge extortionate, nonnegotiable fees for every part of the process – even down to swap overs and tenancy renewal fees.

I have yet to meet someone, student or not, that has had an all-round good experience of renting in Brighton.

If you do have a positive experience with renting in Brighton, get in touch in the comment section or through our Facebook page – we would love to hear your story!

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