Why are so many private renters really still committed to living in London?
Because now would be the perfect time to move somewhere cheaper.
and carry on with a slower pace of life. We’ve had a lot of time to realise that life might not be all about spending £10 on a negroni at a hot new pop up or making sure we’re close to the Central Line to get to the office.It’s easy to work out why people want to leave. The question is: why have so many of us decided to stay?
London renting: it's outrageous and precarious, yet so many of us are still willing to put up with it.As a private renter who often moans about being skint because of the cost of living in London, moving back home to Leeds is something that I’ve toyed with nearly everyday over the last year. I only need my laptop and a phone to do my work, I could probably rent a much bigger and nicer place on my own in Leeds, and I’d be nearer to my family. I’m convinced I’d also save a lot of money.
But there’s one big factor that holds me back each time I type “Leeds one bed flat” into SpareRoom.Stylist’s women’s editor Moya Crockett nailed the exact same reason in a recent tweet.“Sometimes I think I wouldn’t mind moving out of London so much, as long as I could convince all my best friends and a sizeable handful of my favourite acquaintances to come with me,” she shared. headtopics.com
When I told Moya I 100% relate to this, she explained: “I guess for me it’s the fact that almost all of my friends are in London. I feel really lucky that a lot of my closest friends have also ended up living near me in south-east London, which means I have a real sense of community and on-tap support.
“In pre-Covid times, whenever anyone was going through a rough patch, it was virtually effortless to simply turn up at their front door or arrange an emergency summit at the pub – or to text my best friend and be lounging in the park with her in under half an hour.
“My friends are absolutely the most important people in my life right now – I’m single, I don’t have kids – and to be honest, I’d pay even more than I’m currently paying to maintain proximity to them. Also, London is the best place in the world for takeaways.”
“I feel really lucky that a lot of my closest friends have also ended up living near me in south-east London, which means I have a real sense of community and on-tap support…”My close friend, who always questions whether or not she should move home to the midlands, also agrees that saving money isn’t a big enough reason to quit the capital just yet. headtopics.com
“When we first went into lockdown last March, my instant thought was to just pack up, go home to Derby and save a shit ton of money because it seemed pointless spending it to live here. I have great friends in London and have always loved going out and doing things with them, but it just wasn’t happening. I decided I’d come back, find somewhere new and resume my old life when the pandemic ended,” she tells me over voice note.
You may also likeBuying a house: what Boris Johnson’s “generation buy” plans could really mean for private renters in the UK“But then I realised that ‘the end’ could actually be a long way off and being at home for an extended period of time might just have been too much,” she continues. “It would also mean not being able to see my boyfriend in London much. And I didn’t want to leave my flatmate, who I was getting on really well with during lockdown, in the lurch. I’d have actually felt selfish just leaving her on her own with two rooms to fill. But then our landlord gave us notice to move out anyway.
“At this point my boyfriend’s housemate had also moved out of his place, so he suggested that I moved in with him. It’s much sooner than I’d planned on taking that step but it just made sense under these circumstances. It hasn’t been total plain sailing but I’m so glad I did it, and am really happy to still be in London and at least meet friends for walks. I did also get a car! And that massively helped with being able to drive around London to sit in friends’ gardens and take day trips over summer.”
You may also likeTips on how to decorate a rental to make it feel like homeIt just goes to show that the communities of friendships and relationships we build when we move to London are often the very things that keep us here. A pandemic only strengthens this. headtopics.com
Having the choice to stay put or move home right now is of course a luxury that so many people don’t have. But it’s good to know that “because my mates are here” is a valid reason to stay committed to London.Yes, we might be a bunch of skint idiots. But at least we’re still in it together.Read more: Stylist Magazine »
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