On Being A Tenant

For Rent

I was just reading the latest post from The Ramblings of a Formerly Rock ‘N’ Roll Mum and it rang so true.  Miss Cisco is looking for a new home which, when you are a renter not an owner, is about as stressful as it gets.  I have the misfortune to rent, I have for some years and will be for some to come, certainly while I am on a single income and raising a family.  There are a few (very few) advantages to being a tenant.  When something goes wrong like the boiler breaking or a fence blowing down then a call to the agent or landlord will sort it at their expense.  I have had to suffer many well meaning friends trilling ‘oh I do so envy you not having to worry about the maintenance of a property’; (at this point it is quite hard not to throw my cup of coffee at the walls that they had free choice to paint).  It also gives you the freedom to move around quite easily which is handy if life takes you that way or you just get itchy feet.  Beyond that I’m struggling to find anything else for the pros list…  The cons list is lengthy and I won’t embark on every entry as I will probably end up dribbling and twitching like the policeman in the Inspector Clouseau films, you know the one?  At the moment I am grumbling about one particularly hideous aspect of renting – the INSPECTION.  This is a recent atrocity as I have only encountered it since moving to Dorset, maybe South West landlord and agents have an extra special tenant humiliation pact going on?  Those of you fortunate enough to be surrounded by your own (mortgaged) bricks and mortar may wonder what I’m talking about.  Basically, every three months I have to welcome a letting agent – possibly someone I’ve met possibly not – into what is, for the duration of the tenancy our home, and let them poke around with a check list.  I have to stand like a boarder at a convent school while a stranger conducts the residential equivalent of the regulation school knicker check.  Is it not bad enough the the letting industry in the UK is designed to make all tenants feel like second class citizens without having to suffer this indignity as well?  I am 45 years old, I am happily raising two children alone, a successful career behind me, I run a business, why should I have to stand by as a spotty youth looks to see if my kitchen floor is clean?  The attitude to renting a property in the UK is quite unlike anywhere else in Europe.  My brother and his family live in Milan where they enjoy an undisturbed life in their rented apartment in what is a reasonable and grown up business arrangement between them and the landlord.  They are not inferior beings for not being on the property ladder and nor are they made to jump through various hoops of humiliation for the pleasure of paying into someone else’s pension fund.  Isn’t it about time that the UK population changed it’s attitude? There are over 8.5 million people renting a home in England, surely we can’t all be potential evictees?

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2 thoughts on “On Being A Tenant

  1. sonyacisco says:

    Hello! Nice to meet a new fellow dorset blogger- are you on twitter yet? If so find me @sonyacisco so we can keep up with each other! Thank you for linking to my post – we have inspections every three months here too – drives me mental, we have been here for over 5 years, you’d think they could trust us by now! Thanks for your comment on my post too – I am in Dorchester and renting here is impossibly hard – we know we have to move soon as our landlords are moving and we rent part of their property, but there is bugger all here – every house has loads of people going for it and more often than not they choose the people without kids. Still, fingers crossed the one we are waiting for works out!

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