Today, an increasing number of families rent their homes from private landlords or agencies, by choice, or because they are unable to save up the deposit for a mortgage. I rented for my whole adult life until a year ago and it worked for me for all those years. But whatever your reason for considering renting is, you will need to be aware of some of the most important disadvantages before you sign the dotted line of that rental agreement…
YOU NEED TO KEEP QUIET
When you rent your home, you will need to try to get on with the neighbours, no matter how hard it is. You cannot complain about their noise, but – if they are homeowners – they will feel obliged to let your landlord know if you do something wrong. Getting into an argument with one of your neighbours can lead to the termination of your tenancy, even if it is not your fault. Most landlords don’t like conflict in their homes and will automatically blame you. So try to keep it down!
LIMITED DECORATING OPTIONS
Apart from furnishing and curtains, you will not be able to do anything without the landlord’s permission. Some private landlords are more flexible than others, but you need to make sure that an inventory is created before the tenancy agreement is signed. And you must always ask for written permission before hanging artworks or doing any decorating – even if the house needs it! There are some decor items that you can get for your home, however, such as Montgomery ready made curtains, but you’ll need to take them with you when you move out and there is no guarantee that your next home will have the same size windows.
Your agent or landlord will check the condition of the home regularly, which means they can pay a visit every few months. If you decide to decorate your rental property, your landlord will want to inspect the results. Look through your tenancy agreement, to see how regularly they are planning to do the checkups, and how much notice they are going to give you. After all, you are paying rent to have the privacy of your own home and need to arrange a time that suits you both (and gives you a chance to whizz around with the vaccuum!)
NOT BEING ABLE TO SAVE FOR A DEPOSIT
When you rent, you are not only responsible for the monthly payments for the agency or landlord, but also the council tax, water, electricity, telecommunications, and gas bills. Those all add up! Unless you are on two very good salaries, you will have little money left to save for getting on the property ladder. Just try to put aside as much as you possibly can each month, and save it in an account you can’t get to easily, such as an ISA with a different bank to your regular current account. I used the Help To Buy ISA when I was saving and the extra money I got from the account more than covered all my legal fees when buying my home.
REPAIRS ARE DOWN TO THE LANDLORD
You might find that you can only do so much when it comes to necessary repairs, as most maintenance tasks would need to be completed by your landlord. Sure, it’s great not to have the expense when a boiler breaks down, but this also means that you’ll have to wait for the landlord or agency to get it sorted. This might take longer than you like – I mean, you can’t physically force them to send a professional to look at your boiler! The roof tiles slipped in a home that I was renting so we effectively had a hole in the roof. This still wasn’t fixed by the time we moved out, and had let a lot of damp in – which was one of the main reasons we left – and it had been like that for a good couple of years!
Let me know your tips and advice for dealing with landlords and agencies by leaving me a comment brlow. Renting a home is the only affordable way of having a decent family life for many people. Before you enter a tenancy agreement, however, you should check that you are happy with the terms, and you have a reasonable agent or landlord.
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