You’ve got £1,000 a month to spend in rent and want a top-end two-bedroom apartment in the centre of the city.

If that sounds perfectly reasonable, congratulations: you DON’T live in London. Because if you do, you’re probably either laughing, or crying, or a combination of the two.

We’ve been comparing the rental markets of the great cities up and down the country by monitoring all flats and apartments which have been advertised in the last fortnight on Rightmove.

In order to compare like with like, we’ve set the following conditions.

  • We intend to spend £1,000 a month on rent - no more and no less.
  • We want a two-bedroom flat or apartment.
  • We want it to be as central as possible.

Here are the results - so which one do you like best?

London

Forget Zone One. Forget Zone Two. And forget large parts of Zone Three as well. There was one two-bed flat that is currently available for £1,000 a month , in New Barn Street near Plaistow tube station in East London. It is on the 21st floor of a former local authority building and the photos make clear one of the bedrooms is very much a ‘single’ rather than a double.

It is part furnished and there is a limit on the number of people allowed to move in. But it is in Zone Three, and the views look pretty spectacular.

Manchester

Our pick of the properties is a fully furnished two-bed conversion in the city’s Castlefield district, just two minutes from Deansgate in the very heart of Manchester. It comes with a balcony and secure underground parking. The bedrooms are both doubles and the flat boasts a fully fitted kitchen as well as a spacious open-plan living area.

Birmingham

In Britain’s second city, £1,000 gets you a two-bed apartment in the Beetham Tower - the tallest building around. The 427-foot skyscraper, which dominated the skyline, is one of the most prestigious addresses going.

For £1,000 a month we found a two-bed flat with internal balcony on the 23rd floor. The apartment is fully furnished and just a stone’s throw from the very centre of the city.

Liverpool

Near Lime Street station, this two-bed apartment on Bridport Street comes with an ensuite as well as a bathroom and is furnished to an impressively high standard. There is a large L-shaped open plan living area and two beautifully-appointed bedrooms. Not only that, but all bills - plus internet access - are included in the £1,000 a month price.

Cardiff

Want character, luxury and convenience at the same time? In the Welsh capital of Cardiff, £1,000 buys you all three. This two-bed apartment in Edward England Wharf is in a grade II listed conversion, and within walking distance of both the city centre and the shopping and restaurants in Cardiff Bay.

The property has a large lounge-kitchen with integrated appliances, a family bathroom, and an ensuite to the master bedroom. It also has secure gated parking.

Newcastle

There’s city centre living - and then there’s Thomas Bewik House in Newcastle . For £1,000 you get the two-bed penthouse in this landmark listed building just opposite the city’s central station.

It comes with stunning panoramic views out over Newcastle and a spiral staircase up to a rooftop study on the second floor. For your cash you also get leather settees included and two huge bedrooms, both with ensuites.

Edinburgh

For charm and character, this two-bed apartment in the Maybury area of the city is hard to beat. While not as central as some of the other offerings, the property comes with a bright sitting room, a master bedroom with an ensuite, and a second double bedroom.