Comment: Renting vs owning your own home, the pros and cons

PUBLISHED: 09:37 16 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:34 07 October 2020

Plumbing problems are a pain for tenants - but at least someone else is footing the bill. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Plumbing problems are a pain for tenants - but at least someone else is footing the bill. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Michael Caristo

The best thing about renting is that, when something goes wrong, it’s not you that’s paying to fix it.

The worst thing is that you’re relying on someone else to sort the issue out for you – and, as the issue doesn’t affect them directly, they won’t necessarily feel motivated to seek out a speedy resolution.

In the last week we’ve had a dripping tap and, more frustratingly, a broken shower.

Our landlord has British Gas cover, and someone came out to fix the tap after a few days. It was a bigger issue than expected – the tap had been put on wrongly, or something – so he’s having to come back to sort it out.

A bit irritating – drip, drip, drip – but no biggie. Less so the shower problem that’s since usurped it.

We have an electric shower that tends to offer two main temperature options: scalding and freezing. But at least, until this weekend, it worked. Now it still works, but won’t stop working – it no longer turns off.

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Proof that, where plumbing issues are concerned, it never rains but it pours.

On the bright side, we’re moving to our own house in a few weeks, so we’ll soon be sorting all the tap and shower-related issues ourselves. Not to mention the whole other world of surprisingly expensive things we hadn’t realised would cost so much.

Removal of two styles of Artex from four ceilings? £950.

Ripping up carpets and laminate flooring and disposing of the lot? £850.

New (but by no means flashy) carpets for three bedrooms, a landing and a flight of stairs? £3,600.

Maybe my year of renting has caused me to lose all perspective on how much house stuff costs, but that all seems like an awful lot.

Luckily, a few recommendations resulted in some far better price points – especially big shout out to Dave the carpet man and his vanful of swatches – and we ended up nearly £2,000 better off.

More cash to put towards the inevitable dodgy taps and showers that will soon be only our problem.


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