Renting into your 30’s has become the new normal. In 2018, 1.8 million families in the UK were renting privately, up from 600,000 in 2003.
And yes, this is predominantly because more and more people are finding it difficult to get themselves onto the property ladder, with house prices rising and wages not quite catching up. But have we ever considered how renting a property could actually prove quite fruitful? I’m working together with CIA Landlord Insurance to shed light on the positives of renting for families…
Possibly the biggest drawback of renting for families is the lack of security. Putting your whereabouts in the hands of a landlord can be daunting. They could decide to sell-up and therefore ask you to leave, which could mean pulling your children out of school and uprooting them away from their friends.
This will always be a risk with renting but unless you’re very unlucky, a landlord deciding to sell their buy-to-let investment and asking you to leave will probably be pretty rare. Families are probably the ideal tenants for a landlord, because they’re seeking secure tenants as much as you’re seeking a secure home. Landlords don’t want to be swapping tenants every 12 months – they want long-term, successful tenancies.
Buying a home might seem like the best thing to do financially but home ownership equity doesn’t always equate to profits. Home values in your area could decrease and drag down the value of your home and with the instability of Brexit, who knows what’s going to happen to the housing market.
And then there’s all of the upfront costs that come with buying a house; stamp duty tax, solicitor fees… Raising a family is expensive enough in itself, right? Then there’s the recurring costs of owning a house, such as buildings insurance, repairing things such as leaky roofs and old boilers, and the cost of selling up and moving. For many families, all these high costs might not balance out the benefits of owning your own home. When renting, these are all your landlords problem.
Making a rental your own
Another renting bugbear for many is that you’re limited on what you can do with the interior of a rental, lending to the fact that it may never truly feel like home. Rented houses often come furnished which saves so much time, money and energy kitting a property out with white goods, appliances and sofas.
If they’re not quite to your taste, then it’s always worth asking your landlord if you can make changes. The worst they can say is no. However, there’s plenty you can do to add your own touch to a rental. Hate the sofa? Adorn and disguise it with snuggly throws and cushions in your favourite colours and textures. Swap out kitchen cabinet handles for a modern brushed brass or copper, and keep the originals safely tucked away to fix back on when you move out.
There’s so many unsung benefits of renting for families. It might not be for everyone but for many, it could tick a lot of boxes. Do away with the worries of fluctuating house values, the turbulent housing market and the huge responsibility of owning a property, and leave time and money for the things that matter.