Helping Londoners get on the property ladder
Mahbub Alom and Jolanta Suslo moved into a London Living Rent home in the Royal Docks earlier this year. Here, they talk about their experience:
Mahbub: “We’d been living in our home for more than four years. The landlady was nice, and we were very happy to live there.
“She needed to carry out building work on her flat, so we had to move out. We started looking for a new home that would fit within our budget. It was tough, and unfortunately we had some bad experiences.
“One rental agency took our money and our paperwork. We managed to find a place and the agency said everything was fine. But at the last minute, they said we couldn’t move in because we had a baby -- even though they’d known we had a child from the start.
“We had to start our search for a home all over again. It was stressful, because the deadline for moving out was getting very close, and it’s not easy when you have a young child.
“We found another place and put down a holding deposit. The agency said everything was fine, and we could pick up the key. But the day before we were due to move in, they said, ‘I’m sorry, the person living there can’t move out, so you can’t move in.’”
Jolanta: “We were so upset and stressed. I couldn’t sleep or eat properly for a whole month. We still had to go to work every day, we had a baby to look after, and we did not know where we would be living.
“One day, my colleague brought me the newspaper and there was an advert for homes at low rents for households earning less than £60,000 a year. She said: ‘they are looking for people like you.’
“I visited the website mentioned in the advert and entered our details. Two days later, L&Q called me and took more details, and within a month we had moved in to our flat in the Royal Docks. The entire process was very fast and reasonable.
“We are so happy with this place. When I first saw it I thought, wow! The standard is very high, and there’s space for everything. Because it’s a new build, everything’s in the right place. We especially love the balcony, and now our son has space for his toys.
“It’s much more affordable than the place we were living in before. We are getting a very nice home for much less money, so we are able to save more. I still can’t believe it. Our contract is for three years and we can renew after that, if we want.
“One day we hope to own our own home - the London Living Rent scheme is designed to help people save towards buying their own place. We’d love to buy a place in London. That would definitely be our first choice.”