Comment: Reasons why renting isn’t all bad

A leaky roof is a pain - but at least you won't be paying for it. Picture: Getty

A leaky roof is a pain - but at least you won't be paying for it. Picture: Getty - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We read a lot about Generation Rent and the difficulty many young – and not-so-young – people face getting on the property ladder, but is renting really all bad?

After two decades of lining various landlords’ pockets, Abi Jackson has resolved to make the most of what can sometimes feel like a frustrating situation to be in. Because, as she notes, there are definitely plus points.

After all, when the boiler breaks down or the roof starts leaking, it’s not the tenant that’s footing the bill to get it sorted. The annoying flipside is that, if your landlord or letting agent isn’t especially on the ball, you may have to put up with cold showers and buckets full of drips for a while until they get round to sorting it out.

Having rented many places over the years, I’d say the most frustrating thing about it is the lack of control. When and where you move is out of your hands, and if your landlord opts to sell you’ve got no choice but to move on. I had to move after only seven months in one place because of this, then again for the same reason about a year later.

Then there are the levels of grim you sometimes have to live with because your landlord doesn’t want to take responsibility for what’s wrong. Chronically low water pressure in a Clapton house-share made for comically powerless showers. Then there was the Whitechapel flat with the ovenful of mice and the landlord who refused to do anything about it, saying his tenants must be ‘dirty’.

Others have been more responsive, however – like the Sydney letting agent who resolved the possum-in-the-loft issue sharpish, and the relaxed St Albans landlord who was happy for any amount of nails in the wall to make the place feel more homely.

As someone who currently owns her own home, and has just had to shell out hundreds of pounds for a new hot water tank (and a decorator to fix the ripply patch on the kitchen ceiling that was days from falling in after the previous water tank leaked through it) I’d agree that a tenant’s life can be a good one.