“I’m a tenant get me out of here”

9 08 2012

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to buy my own house. It is something of an obsession but given the difficulty of getting onto the property ladder, due in part to the lack of affordable property and the huge deposits required by lenders; it is a soul destroying process.

Owning my own home is not just an abstract idea but something I have actively pursued. I have taken many steps over the years to put myself in a position to buy but I never feel any closer to achieving this important goal.

It can make me feel quite depressed and I am often asked “Why does it mean so much to you?”

I have given this a great deal of thought, why does it matter so much to me that I own my home rather than renting? My husband claims that it is society telling me it’s what I should want but I think it goes deeper for me. I have been renting the same place with my husband for over eight and a half years now. Could we settle for this permanently?


For the following reasons:

DEPOSIT– When we first moved in we had to pay a deposit of one and a half months rent plus our first month up front. I have no doubt that we will never see this money again. I am yet to meet anyone who has received their deposit back when they move out of rented accommodation. I am not suggesting that a landlord should be held responsible for paying for any actual damage to the property by the tenants; just that the money grabbing gits ignore the reality of natural wear and tear and find pitiful excuses to keep hold of this money.

CONTRACT RENEWALS – Each year we receive a bill for renewing our contract. The only change is the dates and this apparently incurs a £50 charge. They cannot seriously expect me to believe that the administration required to do this is worth that much, it is simply another unnecessary and money grabbing ploy.

REFERENCES & NOTICE PERIODS – Last year we did apply for a home but were required to provide a reference from our landlord. We were charged a fee for them to do this and informed that should our application be successful we would be expected to give 3 months notice before we could move out.

MAINTAINCE – It is the responsibility of our landlord to pay for any improvements to the property itself. The problem is he doesn’t care. We do not deal directly with the landlord but through a letting agency and we are totally at their mercy when things go wrong. We have had a serious leak in our living room roof for the last 7 years, this has been “fixed” on multiple occasions but every time we have heavy rain the incessant dripping starts again. We have never had adequate hot water pressure so filling a basin or bath takes a ridiculous amount of time. We are unable to use the shower because the water cabinet is higher than the shower head and the system is gravity driven. The landlord is aware of these issues but evidently feels no urgent desire to address them. I wonder if he would put up with these things in his own home.

PERSONAL TOUCHES – I am currently stuck with magnolia walls and rust coloured carpets in every room of my home. These are not my choices but my accessories, furniture etc must tone in with these. As it is an unfurnished place it means I must consider these dull colour choices for every major purchase. We held off on buying a new sofa for years despite the fact that our old one was knackered. I recently we gave in but was restricted in my choice due to the colours in the flat that I cannot change.  As part of my contract I am also unable to hang pictures on my walls. It is these personal touches that turn a house into a home.

GARDEN – I want a garden. Our flat is on a second floor and the heat rises.  There is no real ventilation so over the summer months it is extremely hot and stuffy. Being cooped up inside is very uncomfortable and makes my husband and I dread the warm weather that most of the nation craves. I could of course rent somewhere with a garden but at this point I would need another deposit, the monthly rent would be higher and it would take even longer to buy a house. I do realise that should I buy my own place I may have to work my way up starting with a flat again and building towards a house with a garden when we are firmly established on the property ladder but a garden is definitely on the long term wish list.

FAMILY – As my husband and I are both in our early 30’s we have talked about having a family one day and our flat is entirely unsuitable. There are two families with children in our building and watching the drama of getting prams and baby accessories up and down the narrow stairs is enough to put anyone off. The families in question make do as best they can but cannot afford to move so are trapped with the situation.

MONEY – The reality is we should be able to afford to pay off a mortgage.  We both have good stable jobs and we have been paying extortionate rent since our early 20’s. Putting the deposit aside for one moment the only question banks should be asking prospective house buyers is how much they have been forking out over the time they have been renting. That is probably a better indication of their ability to meet payments than any credit score. Depending on the property you rent/own the monthly cost can be very similar. The property I would like to buy would cost us more each month but it is a new build. I would happily pay more to escape the leaking roof.

RETIREMENT – One day I hope to retire. I have a good pension and would like to spend it going on cruises and spending time with my extended family which will hopefully involve children and grandchildren by then. Ideally I would have paid off my mortgage by then so I can use my pension for other things. If I rent forever then the monthly bills won’t stop just because I stop work. The reality is that no matter how much money you throw t rented accommodation it will never be paid off.

The average age for people buying their first home has risen to 38. I would like to beat those odds and get my own home sooner so I can at least think about having children.

I have decided that my efforts towards achieving this goal will be a regular feature on my blog with updates on my progress and hopefully images of my first set of door keys when we finally buy our own place.




2 responses

13 08 2012

Hi I understand exactly how you feel, trapped in a vicious cycle, but i know there is a way out, I send you Good fortune, and good vibes in your goals to owning a home. its possible if you have faith and believe. It can happen for you.

13 08 2012

Thank you for your lovely comments. It is great to think that there are people wishing me good fortune out there. Hopefully if I manage to buy a house it may inspire other people in a similar situation.
I have a plan in place that will help me in achieving my goal and I hope to write about my journey towards home ownership on or near the first of every month if you are interested in seeing my progress.
I had a look at your blog and really enjoyed reading it. I would like to wish you luck and good fortune in achieving your goals.

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