Meet Towela and Jack (Picture: Joel Goodman/

It’s time for What I Rent, our weekly series exploring the reality of renting.

Last week we were in Liverpool with Sarah and Anthony, who pay £625 a month for their two-bedroom flat.

Today we’re with another couple, in another two-bedroom flat, but this time in Sale, Manchester.

Towela and Jack, both 24, grew up in the south of England, then lived in Salford before moving to Sale, also in Manchester, six or so months ago.

Towela works in IT as a business analyst for a cereal company, while Jack is an account manager for a company that specialises in providing training for the health and social care industry.

Here’s what the couple rents.

Hey, Towela. How much do you and Jack pay to live here?

£750 for rent, £200-ish for bills (broadband, electricity, water, council tax) – so just over £950 for everything altogether.

And what do you get for what you pay?

A two-bedroom flat with one bathroom.

The couple rent a two-bedroom flat in Sale, Manchester (Picture: Joel Goodman/

Do you feel like you have a good deal?

Hmmm, yes and no.

No, because we live on a very busy road so there is always constant traffic – it’s a lot of noise pollution and for that fact we actually think we are overpaying for the place.

Yes, because it’s difficult to find a half decent two-bed property within 7miles of Manchester city centre for this price.

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

We live in the south of Manchester, Sale.

It’s a good location, we are a 15-minutes drive from central Manchester, 25 minutes away from entral Manchester by tram and have a lot of restaurants, bars etc around us.

However, we think this area is best suited for people who are settling down in life and looking for a slower pace of life… and that’s not what we want!

Rent is £750 a month (Picture: Joel Goodman/

How did you find this property?

When our last contract ended we spent a lot of time on Rightmove/Zoopla and talking to estate agents and we actually made offers for five other properties – this was the only property we got our offer accepted for.

There seems to be a huge shortage of rental properties in Manchester as an estate agent told us that people were putting offers of over £100-200 of rental monthly asking price for properties or were offering to pay landlords six months of rent upfront!

How have you made this place feel like home?

Warm soft furnishing and lots of little artefacts that remind me of where I was born like – the Zambian flag and having zambian artifacts/pieces around the home.

Do the couple feel they have a good deal? Yes and no (Picture: Joel Goodman/

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

Our landlord has been great and allowed us to hang things up but not too sure about whether we can paint walls – perhaps we should ask!

But to be honest, we don’t think it’s worth investing so much time and effort into a flat we most likely wont live in for very long.

So it’s a hard balance between making the place feel homely and over-spending for a place we’ll likely move out of.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

No – we wish we had a second bathroom as we had that luxury in our last place.

Now that’s a bar cart setup (Picture: Joel Goodman/

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

It’s on a very busy main road – noise pollution is awful.

Do you have plans to move again any time soon?

Yes, I don’t think we have plans of staying in the flat for a long time – we’ll probably move closer to the city soon.

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

We’re grateful for the flexibility renting offers us – we’re new to the city (we’ve only been in manchester for a year) so we want to try different areas before ultimately deciding which part of the city we want to buy a property in.

Good shout. Shall we take a look around?

Welcome in (Picture: Joel Goodman/
Hi, ukulele (Picture: Joel Goodman/
The main space is an open plan living, dining, and kitchen area (Picture: Joel Goodman/
Gotta have a good coffee machine (Picture: Joel Goodman/
Look at the size of that plant! (Picture: Joel Goodman/
A well-stocked fruit basket (Picture: Joel Goodman/
Some good cookbooks (Picture: Joel Goodman/
The second bedroom doubles as a workspace (Picture: Joel Goodman/
And a storage space (Picture: Joel Goodman/
Here’s the main bedroom (Picture: Joel Goodman/
Shantaram – good book but long… plus there’s some controversy about the author (Picture: Joel Goodman/
One side of the bed… (Picture: Joel Goodman/
…and the other (Picture: Joel Goodman/
Here’s the bathroom (Picture: Joel Goodman/
We quite like the marble effect walls (Picture: Joel Goodman/
FOUR toothbrushes, Jeremy? (Picture: Joel Goodman/

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’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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