What I Rent: Lucy, £1,180 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Bondi Beach

Welcome back to What I Rent, our weekly series that explores the ins and outs of renting.

Last week we were in Canning Town, London, where yoga studio owner Oriana rents a one-bedroom flat.

Today, we’re on the other side of the world with Lucy, 36, who rents a one-bedroom flat in Bondi Beach, Australia.

Lucy is a writer and book blogger at The Literary Edit.

She’s been living in Bondi for almost seven years, with three-months stays in LA and Bali, and multiple trips back to the UK (where she’s originally from) in the midst.

Here’s what Lucy rents.

Hey, Lucy! How much do you pay to live here?

The rent is $2,172.62 (£1,186) a month, and bills average out around $150 (£85) a month, which includes gas, electric and internet.

And what do you get for what you pay?

There are four rooms in total in the apartment – a large, open plan kitchen-sitting room, the double bedroom, a bathroom, and my favourite room of all – the sunroom, which has a gorgeous window seat that’s perfect for reading.

Do you feel like you have a good deal?

I know lots of people think Bondi’s expensive, but when I compare it to what I could get in London for the same price, I think I’ve got a great deal.

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Considering what a beautiful flat it is and how great the location is, I’m pretty happy with it.

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

I’m a ten-minute walk from the beach, and I absolutely love living in Bondi. Getting to watch the sun rise over the water every morning is something I’ll never tire of, and it’s a really safe, beautiful place to live.

I’m within walking distance of most of my friends, endless coffee shops, yoga studios and bars, and my second home, Gertrude & Alice, which is a café-come-bookshop where I host The Bondi Literary Salon and a place I visit most days.

Who lives here? Do you rent alone or share?

I’ve been living here alone for almost two years, until a couple of months ago when my boyfriend, Nico, moved in with me.

How did you find the flat?

A friend of a friend knew the landlady – who also lives opposite me.

I wasn’t really looking for my own place when I arranged a viewing, but as soon as I saw the gorgeous the wooden floorboards and the window seat, I put in an offer.

How have you made this place feel like home?

Books, books, and more books. I’m really lucky that the place came unfurnished, and given the white walls and wooden floorboards it was something of a blank canvas that made putting my own stamp on it pretty easy.

I already had a few bits and pieces of furniture, and one of my best friends Ella put up the bookcases in the living area for me as I had outgrown the ones from my old apartment.

Thankfully when my boyfriend moved in, he didn’t have any big items, as his last place had been furnished, so I’ve managed to retain a bit more say over what it looks like.

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

I haven’t had to do much decorating because I was quite happy with how it looked, and there were already hooks for my various pictures. I’m sure if we wanted to give it a fresh lick of paint it wouldn’t be a problem.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

Yes, I think it’s a nice, spacious flat, though I have to say that because you naturally gravitate to the sunroom for anything from reading to eating, I sometimes feel like we don’t make the most of the space.

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

Absolutely nothing.

Do you have plans to move again?

The lease is up in September and my boyfriend and I are considering looking for a two-bed flat instead, simply because the layout lends itself much better to a single person that a couple. Because you have to go through each room to get to the other, it means there’s no real privacy, or getting away from the other person.

I’m a disgustingly early riser; my alarm goes off at 4.45am every day so I can read for an hour before I go out for a walk, and I’m sure that Nico wishes I wasn’t passing through the bedroom to the kitchen and back to the sunroom with a cup of tea and my iPhone torch on every morning!

Do you want to own a place some day or are you happy to rent?

I own a place in Salisbury with my sister Jojo, which we rent out, so for the moment I’m very happy to rent.

And given I’ve had my fair share of visa dramas since moving to Australia, I’m not exactly sure where in the world I’ll end up living, so renting definitely suits me for now!

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!).

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