A lot of millennials have some sort of experience renting from university housing but if like me you stayed at home during university (or maybe didn’t opt to go) moving out and renting isn’t quite as easy. While most of us yearn for the freedom of flocking our parental nest for a lot of people – especially those near to London – this can be almost impossible with the high prices of rental never mind prices of properties to buy.
I have been very lucky and I bought into a shared ownership property just before my 23rd birthday meaning I moved into a brand new flat which was actually mine (although only partially). It was very much a right place right time kind of thing and I am very grateful for the opportunity that I had as I know when it comes time to sell I’ll have the funds behind me to get a proper house (although that dream is a long way in the future I sense).
Before buying was even an idea in my mind I moved into a small two bed flat rental with my friend and although it wasn’t the nicest place and we only stayed for a year before I bought my flat I am so happy that I did do that. For a lot of people renting is their only option so how do you know what to look for in a landlord? Having the perfect landlord can make your experience enjoyable and comfortable while having a bad one can leave you miserable and generally unhappy when things break down etc.
Leading landlord and tenant insurance providers Homelet recently released some landlord advice books (viewable via homelet.co.uk/landlord-insurance )and they actually found from research that 86% of people were either very happy, quite happy or somewhat happy with their landlord or letting agent. Sadly it means that there are some people out there who aren’t happy with the service they’re provided for. When you’re a tenant you want your landlord to respond to queries quickly, arrange any repairs needed quickly and efficiently and generally be courteous and relaxed. Obviously they’re running a business and won’t be happy if you miss a month’s rent so it’s definitely a two sided relationship.
I was very lucky with my landlord at my first flat as they were very good and although we didn’t need any work doing when ever we communicated it was always a pleasant experience. We also didn’t have any of our deposit kept, although I think this was down to the fact that we did an epic clean of the flat and that they were planning a huge refurbishment after we left anyway. Here’s three reasons why I am so happy I experienced renting before moving into my own property:
You learn how to fund for yourself
In all honesty I was a bit spoilt at home and never really made to do any chores and it was only just before I moved out anyway that I started to pay my parents a small rent so when I moved into my flat it was a bit of a culture shock. You mean I have to wash and dry my own clothing? How does an iron work? What do all the nobs on the washing machine do? How often do you have to clean the toilet? These were all questions I genuinely had when I moved out (among others) and renting was a great way to get into good habits and work out how much you need to do when have your own place.
You learn how to manage money
Although I’ve always been pretty good at saving and prioritizing money moving out forces you to manage your money better as it’s not just a phone contract and a Netflix subscription you have to worry about. I learnt quickly on to create a separate bank account where on payday the money for the all the separate bills and rent I had to pay within a month was moved to this account and paid from there, it meant I knew exactly how much disposable money I had left over to live on. I know too many people who are so poor the week leading up to payday and I never want to get like that so renting allows you learn to manage your money and be less frivolous.
You learn more about bills/ expenses
Before I moved out I knew the basics of bills but I didn’t know the full extent including things like council tax and TV licenses, and how electricity bills and water bills come in every few month’s so it’s better to pay a small direct debit every month so you’re not met with huge bills a few month’s down the line. It can be hard to work out exactly how much you have to pay every month but by renting before I bought somewhere I learnt all the monthly expenditure I would need to make to ensure I could afford everything and also manage them properly.
Have you had any particular good or bad experiences renting?
*This post was written in collaboration with Homelet but all words and opinions are my own