Today in a financial meeting I had to explain why I’d had three different addresses in the space of a year – I’m not on the run I promise! I’m 29 and have been renting property for 8 years now, during this time I have always been employed and never missed a rent payment. I have no financial warning signs – huge credit card debts or loans. But due to my lack of lump sum deposit (as the majority of my wage has paid my rent) I’m in no position to get a mortgage and buy a house.
When I started renting in Maidstone with my now fiancée we paid £525 for a 1 bedroom flat in the centre of town. We live in the county town of Kent, good connections to London and lots to do etc. It served us well being young, totally hip twenty somethings. If only we’d stayed there and saved all of our money!!! Oh hindsight!
After four years we decided to upgrade mainly due to lack of space, we’d accumulated a lot of crap and moved to a town house on the outskirts of town for £795 a month, of course council tax and other bills went up too. We had mentally planned out staying in this house for the foreseeable future especially as the landlord had said you can stay as long as you want. We got engaged in this house and bought our first baby back home to this house we had an emotional connection. After three happy years we received a call out of the blue from our landlord advising us her situation had changed and could we move out within a few months – just before Christmas.
So after a very quick and stressful search we found a new house to move to. What we found really difficult was how much rent prices had rocketed in those three years. We couldn’t get anything for the same rent, not even smaller places so we had to find a way to stretch our money further and had to pay a gut wrenching £1000 solely on rent per month. Of course in this time estate agent fees had gone up and so does the amount you have to pay on a deposit as it relates to the amount you pay on rent. It was a low key Christmas last year!
Fast forward 6 months, May 2016 I come home to a letter from a solicitors advising the house we were living in was being repossessed and court proceedings had begun. Turns out our new landlord wasn’t paying her mortgage – brilliant! After many lies from the landlord, much stress, a court hearing and then having to fight for four months to get our deposit money back off the thieving bitch we had to move again and quickly before the locks were changed.
So once again the house prices had gone up, we decided to downsize and save money where we could, put off our wedding plans and try and save to get on the property ladder just to have some sort of security for our family. To think that we’ve had three different addresses in one year is laughable, but to think we’ve had to spend over £6000 on moving (deposits & estate agent fees) to move to houses that we didn’t want to, through no fault of our own, makes me sick. We could have used that money to put towards a house deposit.
I guess I wanted to write this post to highlight the issues with renting, something needs to be done about the renting market, with rent costs & estate agent fees going up and up when wages don’t, people will soon get priced out of being able to afford to rent and it’s wrong.
There needs to be more security for renters and new options for first time buyers to get on the property ladder. All of the people I know who have a mortgage have only afforded it through inheritance or have lived with their parents for all of their twenties to save money and that hasn’t been an option for us.
It’s recently come to light that the Government ‘help to buy’ scheme which we were going to use to save our deposit doesn’t actually help you get on the property ladder as you don’t get the money they ‘pay in’ until the mortgage has been approved. But for people who work and pay their taxes there ought to be some sort of help or scheme to get a mortgage.
So until I make my millions and can live in the house above I’ll be doing everything I can to try and get on the property ladder so we can finally move to a house we can call our own.