Renting sometimes comes under a lot of scrutiny. Rising rents, spiralling house prices and smaller incomes have all contributed to the development of the term ‘generation rent’. Although for some, a property rental is a short-term measure and something they’d rather leave behind in favour of a mortgage. For many, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
No maintenance costs or repairs to fork out for
One of the main pros of renting a property is the lack of repair bills should something go wrong. Broken boilers, severe leaks and damp problems are all issues that can arise and are extremely costly to sort out. New boilers for example can cost up to £1500, while leaks and damp usually need specialist input meaning costs quickly spiral. Owning a home means you are solely responsible for fixing these issues with your own money. However, when you rent a property, your landlord is accountable for all maintenance and repair costs. If an appliance stops working or you spring a leak, you do not hold any financial responsibility to have them fixed.
No big deposit needed
As mortgages have become harder to get, buyers – particularly first-time buyers – are required to have at least a 95% mortgage, however more often than not, a 10% deposit is required. This can result in those buying needing anywhere between £5,000 and £40,000 towards a deposit. Bundle this on top of solicitors’ fees, mortgage arrangement fees and surveys, and it’s easy to see that buying a house can be incredibly costly. In contrast, renting will usually require a deposit equal to one or two months’ rent, making for a much more pocket-friendly alternative to buying.
Renters aren’t vulnerable to fluctuating prices
The housing market is can be notoriously unsteady. Negative equity is currently a worry for many, especially those wanting to sell soon. Renters on the other hand need not worry about fluctuating house prices. Rents are generally agreed on a six or twelve-month basis meaning no unexpected fluctuations.
It gives freedom and flexibility
Renting is ideal for those who may be working on a temporary basis or moving to a new area. It offers the flexibility to move on after a short period without any ties or worries, while giving those new to the area a convenient and cost-effective introduction to the local property market.
Living with friends
Another benefit of renting is that it provides more opportunities to live with friends. What’s more, the boom in flat sharing presents people with a range of opportunities to make new friends for life.
Living with a group of friends is no longer just for students – hordes of young professionals now share rental properties in the UK’s largest cities with the aim of minimising costs and maximising social opportunities.
While owning a home may be beneficial over a long period, for many renting is a better option, especially in the short-term. The choice of whether to rent or buy a property is very personal and dependent on various factors. But before making the leap into property, whether renting or buying, it’s always advisable to review your finances and make sure you can afford to live in your new home.