13 great things to know when renting a home
*This renting a home post is a collaboration
Renting gets a very bad rep in the UK, and yet with housing prices skyrocketing, we’re left with very few options these days for settling down. Gone are the days when we could buy a home in our twenties, now many of us will be lucky if we can ever afford to own our four walls, let alone our dream home. Despite this, it seems that all the more people are focused and worried about saving an extortionate amount of money in order to own a property of their own. I get it, we all have this longing to own a piece of the earth, a place to call our own. But at what cost? How much are we willing to sacrifice to achieve that goal?
I know that no-one wants to deal with a grumpy landlord, and sometimes you just want to be able to put nails in the wall and hang up your picture frames. You may even want to get a dog but have had to hold back because you were renting a home. But while everyone is quick to jump on the bandwagon and slate renting, while desperately trying to scrabble together a deposit. Perhaps we all need to take a breath and realise that there are also huge benefits to renting that are often forgotten. While it may not entirely change your mind about wanting to buy one day, it may help you realise that renting a home can actually be pretty great.
Here’s 13 great things to help you change your mind about renting:
Freedom to move without the complications
Moving house can be one of the most stressful experiences, even more so if you are buying a property. You have to take into account your budget, moving your entire life and all of it rests on how efficient others can be. You could spent months or even longer than a year waiting to complete or as part of a chain, just waiting with your life on hold. But if you’re renting, moving can be quick and easy – it gives you the chance to find joy in your freedom to relocate stress-free and reclaim the experience.
More choice in desirable locations
Always wanted to live in a certain part of town but couldn’t afford to even dream of buying there? That’s true for a lot of people in major cities like London. But renting opens up a world of opportunity to live your dream life and rent a space in the neighbourhood you love. For many cities around the world, renting is the primary choice for residents and while it might not feel as secure as owning, it does give you access to a life you might not otherwise be able to live.
Back-up when things go wrong
Life rarely goes to plan and sometimes things go wrong – whether that’s a leaking water tank, a broken boiler or dodgy electrics. Often we haven’t budgeted for these times and it can be a nasty shock to have to pay out hundreds to fix problems at home. But one huge benefit of renting is that your landlord is responsible for fixing these issues. That means no unexpected bills and gives you the security of having back-up when things go wrong.
If you’re thinking of buying a property to rent out, it’s worth taking these points into consideration and making sure you are offering your tenants a fair deal. It’s a good idea to invest in insurance to make sure you are covered for every eventuality, you can compare landlord insurance here.
Fixed rates for bills
A lot of rental properties will offer fixed weekly or monthly rents (depending on where you are in the world) and this includes your bills. This can be a great way to enjoy consistent payments that allow you to budget and save because you know exactly what your cost of living is. This can also be a lifesaver if you’re prone to long showers and love to have the heating on full whack. While it can sometimes work out cheaper to organise yourself if you’re good at living frugally, you also have to take into account the amount of time it takes to organise.
No property taxes
Buying a property comes with it’s fair share of unavoidable taxes and extra costs – these can quickly eat away at your bank account. But by renting, you avoid spending the extra and can put it towards the fun things in life.
The choice between furnished and unfurnished
If you’re someone who moves around a lot and you don’t have much furniture, you can save further money by renting a place that is furnished or taking on a long-term let of an Airbnb or rental property. If you plan to live abroad, this is a great way to save yourself the cost of furnishing the apartment only to have to sell or ship everything if you leave the country after your let. Likewise, if you already have a lot of furniture, you may be able to save money by choosing an unfurnished place.
Access to a higher quality of property
When buying a property, you are limited by your budget which may box you into a certain level of quality or space. It may restrict you to certain areas or a particular standard of living. However, renting can give you access to types of properties that would otherwise be totally out of your budget. Much like I mentioned earlier about giving you access to live in nice locations and neighbourhoods. Renting could give you access to live in apartment buildings with access to amenities that you might not have otherwise.
Don’t forget your renter’s rights
Always remember, as a renter you are legally protected by certain regulations and laws. These give you rights to a certain standard of living and if your landlord is not abiding by these, you have the right to take things further. Obviously no-one wants to be in this situation, but it’s good to have that extra level of protection. As a buyer, you are responsible for your own property which can cost you a lot more.
A much lower deposit to save for
One huge thing that stands in the way of many people buying a house is managing to save up a deposit. It’s a huge sum of money that can take years to amass. One big bonus of renting is that the deposit will be much more accessible and quick to save up, usually 1-2 months rent. It is usually refundable at the end of your tenancy as long as the property remains in good condition.
Access to amenities
As I mentioned, renting a home – particularly within a complex or apartment building – can be a great way to get access to amenities that you might not otherwise afford. These could include a fitness centre, gym or pool, rooftop terrace, washing facilities, storage and car parking. Access to these facilities are not only a luxury, but they could save you a lot of money each month compared to paying for them individually.
No worries over decreasing property value
One big concern for homeowners is property value and whether the property retains it’s value, or whether it increases, over the years. For those who plan to sell later on and upsize to another property, this can massively affect your budget for the next place you move into. By renting, you avoid the worry over this!
Flexibility to upsize or downsize
Over the years, your living situation will change with your time or life and relationships. Your budget may change and you may decide to upsize or downsize. Renting a home gives you much more flexibility to do this over a shorter time period with less paperwork and stress. If you own a property, this can be a much more difficult and slow process if you have to sell the place.
Lower insurance and utilities
If you are paying for home or contents insurance, or you pay for utilities independently, you could end up paying a lot less as a renter. If you are simply insuring your belongings and not the actual property, this could save you a lot of money overall.
Planning to rent a property? Check out these resources:
One of the key things that needs to change is this negativity that surrounds the idea of renting. Particularly in the current economic climate, it is increasingly difficult to buy and has become a financially nonviable option for many. We need to remove the stigma surrounding renting, because so many of our generation will be forced to remain renters. It’s time to change the idea that renting a home is dead money. Yes you might not be investing into ownership, but look at all the benefits you gain from simply renting instead of buying.
We seem to have the understanding that renting is only ever a temporary fix, with the long-term goal always being to buy. But we have this idea in our minds based on our parents and generations that came before us – and as we are well aware, the world has change significantly in the last few years. What was once the way of life is not a realistic goal for many of us now. But there’s nothing wrong with choosing a different path, there’s certainly nothing wrong with renting a home – it doesn’t mean you are settling.