Kaya's renting story - GFY x Coppermaker Square

We've spoken extensively on GFY about the experience of renting, how buying isn't always the best option and why we need to re-frame home ownership.

This interview is part of a three-part interview series where we've interviewed renters from the GFY community and Coppermaker Square, a build-to-rent development in Stratford, East London.

What is build-to-rent?

Build-to-rent properties are purpose-built developments designed with renters in mind. Crucially, the apartments aren't for sale, they're for renters only.

Coppermaker Square goes beyond the usual build-to-rent offering. It not only offers a whole host of amenities (think pool, gym, spa, roof terrace and co-working space) but it's a community too.

The lounge at Coppermaker Square

Having spent time there myself, here are the best bits, imho:

  • Flexibility and security – when renting through a professional build-to-rent landlord, tenants have peace of mind knowing they can control how long they want to rent for. Residents can choose long-term fixed tenancy options, without fear of being evicted or unexpected rent increases, as well as low upfront
  • A tailored and personalised experience – tenants can choose furnished or unfurnished apartments to suit their needs, all of which are contemporary, and design led. You are welcome to decorate you home however you like (see some of the pics below).
  • Community and support - The dedicated Coppermaker Square residents’ team can help tenants arrange everything from a handyman to a dog walker and drycleaning. It's also right by Westfields shopping centre.
  • Pet friendly – a stress free experience knowing you can move in with your pets to a welcoming and pet-friendly community.
Inside a Coppermaker Square apartment

To learn more about becoming a resident at Coppermaker Square, click here.

If you want a first-hand take on what it's like to live there, here's my interview with Kaya, a resident at Coppermaker Square.

Kaya in her Coppermaker Square Apartment

Could you tell me a bit about you and your life?

I'm originally from Bradford, West Yorkshire. I was born and raised in a Pakistani household, and I am a Muslim. Family is really important to me; I have a twin sister (who I live with) and a younger sister who I am very close to. I've always had an interest in the world, people and the media and I now work as a producer for some of the biggest broadcasting names. I've worked in Manchester, Leeds and London. I love to learn and speak to people so I'm very chatty but that must also be the northern in me! 

What are your priorities in life/what matters to you?

Family is so important to me, and my friends who play such a key role in my life. I would be lost without them. I love a sense of community, I feel like living away from home, my parents and loved ones, community is so important especially as navigating adult life can be lonely at times. 

What's been your experience of living and renting since leaving home?

I've been fortunate to be blessed with really lovely and understanding landlords. I've always seen my renting experience as a journey of growth and maturity. When I first moved to London at the age of 23, I stayed with a mutual friend while I really struggled to find a place. I eventually found a small room in a shared accommodation set up. It was very small but it was nice and ok for the time being. I had a bed, a small en-suite, it felt like uni accommodation. It wasn't bad but if you wanted a change of scenery I'd have to leave the room and explore London. There wasn't much room to move. My twin sister moved down to London shortly after and we both progressed onto a slightly bigger place which was really cosy. I think in these two places I liked living in them but I didn't feel like I had any freedom to make these spaces feel like my own or home. We weren't allowed to put anything on the walls but we tried to add small accessories every now and then. However, it never felt like the spaces fully reflected me. Whereas now being in a built-to-rent flat at Coppermaker Square we have that freedom and it is really rewarding to see how far I come. 

A Coppermaker Square apartment

How has renting and living at Coppermaker Square been a better option for you?

I have absolutely loved my renting and living experience at Coppermaker Square. I always tell people it's probably one of the best and most happiest things in my life right now and I feel so grateful for it! I have had complete freedom to make the space feel like a home, we've had the freedom to paint, put things on the wall and I have the freedom and space to change my scenery within the confinements of my living quarters. I can sit at the dining table to work and eat, I can relax and watch TV in my living area, I can walk in the garden outside, I can go to the gym as and when I please and it's all under my roof. I'm not worrying about traveling late or my safety. Everything feels really secure. I'm also really proud to call this space my own and that's what it feels like, something that is mine and I love to host people and have girly nights in with friends. 

How do you feel about the pressure to own and the notion that buying is a sign of progress/adulthood?

I do feel pressure about this because I think there is a mindset around it which showcases a sense of stability and that someone has got their life together or doing better in life if they are owning a property. I think I also feel it more coming from an immigrant background as it signifies the idea of the end of struggle and that you've made it. I somewhat think that this is a mis-sold dream because I don't think owning a property is any easier than renting, especially in the current climate

What is the best thing about living at Coppermaker Square?

I love the idea of community that Coppermaker Square has, I love speaking to the staff and other residents at CMS events. It's really heart-warming and instantly welcoming. I also love how accessible everything is, whether that be a gym, games room, Westfield, the tube station and lots of delicious restaurants at your doorstep. You're never without! 

Any advice for someone feeling the pressure to buy their own place?

I would say that sometimes it's about living in the moment. If that is meant for you then it will happen, but if it doesn't than there are other good options available. There's a solution to everything, it might not be how you envision things but it might be better. I have personally enjoyed renting, especially at Coppermaker Square as I have the flexibility to move with wherever life takes me. It can be daunting but I also think it's really exciting. I also think if I didn't rent or worried a lot about money, I wouldn't have gone through the life experiences and lessons I have. I feel it better enriches your life and outlook. However, I do understand that I'm in a fortunate position to do so and know that this isn't the case for so many. That's why I feel even more grateful to have been granted an opportunity to do this. 

To learn more about living at Coppermaker Square, click here.