Renters get a bit of a bad rep in the press.
According to them we’re irresponsible; spending all our cash on avocado toast and mocha-locha-frappu-locco-cinos, instead of channeling the thirty quid we direct monthly to Starbucks towards our savings accounts that would otherwise be bursting with mortgage-ready dough.
But, if you’ve ever rented with the aspiration to buy, you’ll know this isn’t the case. Particularly if you live in the pricey South East, it can feel like an upward battle to survive and save. Considering the amount you’d have to look at to purchase in the capital – the average house price in London now exceeds £500,000 with the average annual wage at £38k- the numbers just don’t work. Simply saving a 20% deposit just isn’t feasible for most people without a dramatic change in living situation, like moving back in with parents or choosing to move to a cheaper area of the country.
Is renting all that bad, though? Yes, you’re at the behest of your landlord selling up, and we’ve all heard the horror stories of damp and disrepair. But there are plus sides to this more nomadic style of living, and I’m here to tell you what they are.
Zero Maintenance Expenses
Boiler broken? Simple! Leave it to someone else to shell out the cost of replacement. There are stringent laws in place for landlords to keep their rental properties in habitable conditions, and that’s all taken off your plate. Landlords are required to have in place correct policies (they can compare landlord insurance here), so all you need to do is take care of your own contents insurance and utilities. Easy peasy!
Renting also offers the security of regular spending; you know what your outgoings will be monthly with none of those repair costs to factor in, no nasty maintenance surprises that you’ll have to reach into your rainy day fund for (which you don’t have anymore, because of the aforementioned deposit). Ironically, you’ll be more financially regular by not buying.
Hone Your Decorating Skills
Many a time I’ve been told it’s unfortunate that I’m unable to decorate the homes I’ve rented. Are you kidding me? I can furnish an impersonal white box like nobody’s business; I know all the tips and tricks to make a house a home, and that’s come from years in living in places where it’s been forbidden to hammer a nail, let alone paint a statement wall (sidenote: Polyfilla is your friend). The #howIrent hashtag on Instagram is a constant form of inspiration, and take a look at rental transformations on TikTok, too.
If you don’t like it? Move!
Imagine the situation: as a homeowner you get offered an amazing new job but it’s on the other side of town. What do you do? Commute the 3 hours a day because you own property in the wrong postcode, or up sticks and try a change of scenery?
I’ve moved for a job previously and it was as easy as giving my month’s notice, finding a new place, and setting up utilities. I didn’t have to worry about the housing market, losing money on my investment, legal fees, stamp duty… the worst thing about my experience was my Letting Agent’s shirt ;)
What do you love about renting?