If you’ve ever been torn between renting a property or saving to buy one, then you’ll know how difficult it can be to decide which option to go for. We’ve all heard the dreaded stories of crazy landlords, hidden charges and dodgy properties that come along with a tenancy agreement. And now that one in four young adults aged 20-34 still live at home with their parents in an effort to save money, it should come as no surprise that renting in the UK has quite a stigma attached to it.
But is renting really all that bad for you and your wallet? The growing pressure to step onto the property ladder often leaves people unsure of the facts when it comes to renting and the options available – especially as house prices continue to rise year upon year. So before you dismiss renting as an option, hold fire. Here we’ve broken down the true differences between renting and buying so that you can learn a few facts and make the right property choice for you!
1. Renting only exists for those who can’t afford to buy
One of the most common assumptions within the rental market is that those who choose to rent only do so because they can’t yet afford to buy their own property. And whilst it’s true that most renters are young people, more and more families are now choosing to raise their children in rented accommodation. The reasons for doing so are numerous: increasingly flexible job opportunities being the main one. Now that larger corporations are investing in cities other than London and opportunities for progression and movement within a company are increasingly available, renting a property is becoming a more sensible option for thousands of young professionals across the UK. Combine this with the fact that the average age for settling down to buy a place is getting older every year, and it’s easy to see why people aren’t so keen on attaching themselves to a property of their own!
When compared to owning a home, renting offers far greater freedom and flexibility for those who don’t want to settle down. Not only do you avoid having to stay in a particular area of the country for work or family commitments, you won’t have a heavy mortgage deposit hanging over your head!
2. All landlords are bad landlords
The chances are that if you’ve ever been a student and had to deal with a dodgy landlord or three, you’ll know exactly how bad they can be. And admittedly, there are always landlords that are out to get your money. This is a common problem in student areas where landlords can get away with not keeping up with home improvements, but most landlords in the UK are genuine and reliable. Back in 2016 a study undertaken by BDRC Continental of over 1,000 tenants actually found that 79% of the people they surveyed were satisfied with their current landlord, and 85% felt like the home they rented was theirs. So if your primary reason for not signing a tenancy agreement is your fear of a risky landlord, then don’t let this put you off. Not only can you go through an estate agents who will have vetted the landlord appropriately, a reliable landlord will be fine with you taking proper checks before you sign any documentation. This way you can be sure that you’ll get a landlord that won’t be money-grabbing and gives you the freedom to make the property feel like your own.
3. Renting is never cost-effective
Unless you’re settled down in a job and lifestyle that you don’t imagine will change for a considerable number of years, then renting is likely to work out far cheaper than buying your own place. For those who have a busy working lifestyle which may involve relocation or change, then rushing into things and buying the wrong property in the wrong location is sure to cause far more problems in the long run, making renting the money-smart choice.
It’s also far easier to choose to rent during times of transition – a new job, for example, or marrying your partner. Renting can be a much savvier option until things settle down and you can decide on where you’d like to live for the long-term. Managing a new position and salary or having to budget for two instead of one can cause stresses enough without the hassle of putting a deposit down as well, so there’s nothing wrong with renting a place whilst you get your finances in order.
4. Rent money is dead money
If you’ve ever heard the phrase that ‘rent money is dead money’ from your not-quite-so-helpful older relatives, you should let them know that this simply isn’t the case. Particularly for those choosing to live in busy and expensive areas like city centres (London, anyone?), renting gives you many more options and you’re more likely to end up in a nicer property that suits your needs. Trying to buy a place is likely to push you to the outskirts of a city or town, which only increases your commuting costs and cuts into your free time.
5. Renting is a lot more hassle than owning your own house
The final myth that deserves to be busted – that renting is more hassle than owning your own place. Quite frankly, this is one of the biggest myths out there. When you think of all the responsibilities of a homeowner – fixing general maintenance issues, insuring the property, as well as maintain the electrical, heating, hot water and sanitary installations – it’s a lot of upkeep if you’re someone who doesn’t want the stresses of sorting them all! And whilst you’re unlikely to find a property to buy that comes furnished, rented houses and apartments can often also come with certain furniture items, meaning that you don’t need to go investing in expensive items like sofas and beds.
Of course, what suits one type of person will not suit another when it comes to renting vs buying. But if renting is the natural option for the stage you’re at in life, then there should be nothing stopping you. Get on that property search, talk to our MoveNow team and go find your new dream home!