I stare initially and then look away from the smug home owner who spits out the rhetorical question as though I am a feckless cretin, ‘I don’t understand why you are renting when you could own your own house and save thousands, it’s a long term investment you know.’ By this point, I have a voice screaming inside my head. It’s as though all the home owners I have ever met just don’t comprehend the severe housing crisis engulfing the UK…or that families – such as mine – are caught up in it. So here are a few pointers – AN IDIOTS GUIDE – for home owners on the rental sector.
- The typical person who rents is not a cretin. We get that home ownership is the way not to flush money down the drain each month, but low and behold, most renters – ME included – simply can’t afford to buy.
- Smug home owner, listen up please! Us renters understand that you probably snatched the hand off the mortgage broker who sourced you a 125% mortgage back in the day…but guess what? Those don’t exist any more and nor do 100% ,mortgages. So whilst you effectively enjoyed one big fucking push onto and up the property ladder, others, like ME are forced to save £30,000 plus to purchase a poxy damp ridden shoe box in Barrow-in-Furness.
- ‘Can’t you ask ma’ and pa’ for an advance on your inheritance?’ Well as pa’ died a pauper and ma’s got nowt except arthritis and dementia, that doesn’t look likely.
- ‘Can’t you just save a little each month?’ Oddly, the average home owner in my experience just doesn’t understand the correlation between forking out over half of one’s salary on rent and the inability to save each month. Nor do they understand the “hidden” extras renters are stung with, which drains our resources. For instance, we are faced with letting agency fees – we have lost thousands of pounds over the years. Then we have removal costs; we are forced to dig into our pockets every 6-12 months to move house.
- ‘You’re really lucky you rent, you don’t have to worry about funding repairs.’ This statement is usually thrown my way when I dare to say I am tired of being stuck in renta-land. Smug home owner, let me tell you, one final time, that I should love to rip out the kitchen and bathroom of my own home and knock down walls. I – we – should love to ring round builders for quotes to have the structural damage repaired. We would love to do those things, not because we are hammer and chisel happy. On the contrary, we have lived with all manner of other people’s shit over the years – shit, which consecutive landlords have failed to repair despite being legally obliged to do so. It would be kinda nice to repair, modernize, and to add value to, an abode that we actually own and know we can raise our family in until we decide to sell.
- Smug home owner, don’t look down upon my family and I – or any other renter – just because you are on the property ladder. Throw water on your face and wake up please! We are in the throes of a housing crisis and you are no better than us just because you have purchased a property. The average person(s) renting will be paying more to lease their home than you pay in mortgage repayments each month – so perhaps have some sympathy.