Is renting truly a bad thing?

The facts are that house prices are high, there is not a lot of affordable housing and we are in an era of generation rent. But why is there such a stigma to renting a property?  Across Europe, there tends to be a more positive attitude towards renting. In many areas it is the norm as it gives flexibility.  But more than that, there is a different attitude from landlords who allow the tenants to turn the property into their home, with fewer constraints on decoration and pets etc.

In an article in the Metro in March, writer Abigail Chandler said there was ‘something freeing about renting’, and we have to agree.  The days of a ‘job for life’ have gone, people often have to travel quite a distance to find the career they want, often spending hours commuting rather than living.  So what if instead of creating a firm base that limited your employment opportunities, you allowed yourself to move freely where ever your career takes you.

There are a number of tech companies that provide their employees with remote working opportunities. The idea of a fixed space as an ‘office’ is also seen as restrictive, preferring their employees to find an environment where they feel inspired and motivated, whether that is at home, in a local coffee shop or even as they travel. 

Apart from this flexibility, there are other positive aspects too. The cost of repairs and maintenance can be a huge expense in your own property.  It doesn’t matter if it is a period property or a new build, all it needs is a bad storm or simple wear and tear to see your insurance premiums rise or your savings diminish.  When renting, the costs of such repairs are the responsibility of your landlord. Therefore, you won’t need to dip into your pocket to make it happen.

As homeowners, the mortgage deal you chose is important as is keeping your eye on the current interest rates; either of these can affect your repayments. Over the years, homeowners have had the joy and the pain as these have risen and fallen. When paying rent you do have more stability, you know your rental payments are fixed for the duration of your tenancy.

One of the major costs of renting is the deposit, this is a large upfront fee but when compared with the costs involved in buying a home it is minimal. Not only do you have to find a large deposit, stamp duty and also the monies for the additional fees and surveys, you also have the cost of hiring a solicitor.  Although the deposit needed for renting may seem hard to find, as long as you look after the property, it is returned to you at the end of your tenancy.  Many of the costs of buying a home are just part of the sales process and costs you must absorb.

One of the negatives about renting is often a tenants desire to decorate the property to their taste. There are so many options on the market today, which will allow you to add your flair and personality onto your rental without breaking your tenancy agreement.  From removable wallpaper to temporary finishes, there is no reason why you can’t turn your rental into your home.

Many people in the areas we cover have been victims of negative equity, this is when you buy a property and then the market falls, thus your property is worth far less than what you paid for it. This is an extremely emotional position to be in and often see’s homeowners having to stay in properties that no longer suit their needs, or moving and taking a huge hit financially.  By renting you are not a victim to the state of the property market, as the homes value is of no significance.

You may be part of ‘generation rent’ but when you start to see the benefits to you and your lifestyle, you will see that actually renting isn’t such a bad thing after all!