Merone at L&Q at Queen's Quarter

Name: Merone

Job: Sales Executive

Type of home: one-bedroom apartment

Deposit: £1,380.12

Monthly rent: £1,196.11

Merone in her London Living Rent apartment front room working

Merone moved to London two years ago to be closer to her partner and family. She spent two years privately renting on her own in New Cross, but soon began to look ahead to laying down more permanent roots in London.

Merone explains, “I liked living in South London, but I began to tire of upkeep issues associated with living in an older building. My hope had always been to eventually buy a home, so I started to look more seriously at what options might be available to me.”

Speaking to friends in similar positions, Merone was interested to learn about London Living Rent (LLR), a scheme designed to help those who are hoping to buy to save money each month towards a deposit. The rent for LLR homes is set at one-third of the average local household income in the borough where the property is located – considerably more affordable than renting a similar property on the open market – which ensures monthly costs stay manageable and don’t cost more than a tenant can afford.

“LLR fit exactly into my plans!” Merone says, “I wasn’t in a position to buy, but I wanted to ensure that my money was being invested into my future. I also didn’t want to give up living alone, which is what the scheme seemed to offer me. It was exciting to know that LLR was available for newbuild properties, which was also high on my priorities list.”

Using online platforms to browse for London Living Rent homes, Merone applied to a number of different schemes across the capital. She recalls, “I tried several South London neighbourhoods including Wandsworth and Vauxhall as well as Croydon. The team at L&Q at Queen’s Quarter got back to me quickly and I was able to arrange a viewing to see the apartments in person.”

Situated in Croydon, London’s Borough for Culture 2023, L&Q at Queen’s Quarter is a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments being delivered by L&Q through London Living Rent. The homes form part of the wider Queen’s Quarter masterplan, which has delivered 513 homes and 13,000 sq ft of retail and commercial space in Croydon.

Merone reading her book in the front room
Merone at L&Q at Queen's Quarter

Speaking about her first viewing, Merone comments, “I was initially drawn to the development because of the location; it is close to an Overground Station and has a vibrant local high street a short walk away. The apartments were also a lot more spacious than others I had seen and had balconies which was important to me.

“The L&Q Lettings Associate was really friendly and patient – he answered all my questions and, once I had decided to reserve, enabled me to take my time choosing my favourite unit. Since I knew that LLR would offer me an assured shorthold tenancy of at least three years, I wanted to get it right.”

In just a month, Merone was officially approved for her one-bedroom London Living Rent apartment in L&Q at Queen’s Quarter following an application review, referencing and financial assessments. In order to qualify for London Living Rent, applicants must meet a set of criteria set out by the GLA, which includes meeting the minimum income and affordability standards in London, having the right to rent and the ability to provide one month’s rent in advance and five weeks’ rent as a tenancy deposit.*

Having moved into her apartment at the end of August 2023, Merone says, “The process was straightforward, and I also had a bit of time to sell my old furniture and sort myself out before the move. Everything was so clean and perfect in my new apartment, so I wanted to get new furniture to match! My balcony is my favourite part and I’ve got a lovely view of a big tree in the Queen’s Gardens next to the development.”

“I’ve really enjoyed discovering Croydon,” Merone remarks about her new neighbourhood. “The location of the development is just fantastic. Within a five-minute walk, there are supermarkets, shopping centres, a nice park with a botanical garden and BOXPARK which has lots of places to eat and drink. Plus, it’s amazing having access 6 days a week to a local market with fresh vegetables and fruit straight from the farm; I like to eat clean and organic food, and in the past, I’ve never had such good access to a market. Everything you could need for daily life is right on the doorstep – you really don’t need to leave!

“When I do travel into London Bridge for work, or to Southeast London to see family and friends, East Croydon has really quick and easy transport links. I can get to my office in 20 minutes which makes commuting so easy.”

Merone sitting on a sofa
Merone in her living room

Merone is looking forward to life in L&Q at Queen’s Quarter. She comments, “Through the LLR scheme, I’m making a monthly saving compared to privately renting – I hope that in 3 years I will have enough to be able to buy at least a 50% share in my home. I’d love to stay in this apartment and purchase it through Shared Ownership.

“It feels like an exciting time for the area also – there is lots of development happening in Croydon at the moment, so I think over the next four or five years is the perfect time to be investing in a home here.”