Due to an unbalanced economy, ineffectual saving schemes and unrealistic deposits required in order to secure a manageable mortgage; young adults are forcibly being pushed down the renting route when looking to move into their own property. In an earlier article, we discussed how the number of young adults opting to live with their parents has skyrocketed over the last couple of decades – an increase of 618,000 in under 20 years (ONS). It would also appear that those who do not have this option, owing to shrinking house sizes and the need for additional space for families with young children, a great swathe of the nation’s potential house buyers are having to fight tooth and nail in order to secure a suitable rented property.
And as the cynics chorus, ‘but there are plenty of one bedroom flats, townhouses and new developments available; what are they whining on about?’
It is important to consider that not all houses suit the requirements of different families.
The green, green grass
The majority consensus would rule that younger children are happiest when playing outdoors, in a safe environment and under the supervision of an adult. Gone are the days of the idyllic Persil utopia, who coined the, ‘for whatever life throws’ slogan. Gardens are becoming a thing of the past within rented properties, with many landlords choosing to deck entire gardens in the name of ‘ease of maintenance’. Some gardens feature paving slabs, concrete or even tarmac.
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Although decking may appear a relatively child-friendly alternative to a grass lawn for children to play on; the reality is that at the first sign of rain or frost, the surface becomes dangerously slippery. This has consequently resulted in some nasty injuries. Decking can also be prone to moss and a form of green algae-like coating in damp weather, which again, can make the surface unsuitable for children who love to run around, or indeed the elderly, who are also more prone to falls.
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The type of rented property can itself present more problems. For the likes of the elderly, those with medical conditions, and for families with young children; town houses and flats, may incur a lot of stairs. A large number of stairs is likely to be tiring for those who live with a medical condition, or for the elderly. A large number of stairs is also unsuitable for those with younger children for obvious reasons.
Although perhaps not a deal-breaker; many families own pets who are very much a part of the family. Many rented properties do not allow any form of animal within the premises, which means those seeking to rent have to either consider rehoming the pet, or locating a property that is pet-friendly.
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If the price is right…
Finding the right property is often easier than finding the right property for the right price. Fantasising about renting the semi-detached, spacious three bedroom, with a generous garden is all good and well, but the reality is, if your budget only stretches to £500pcm, and your dream property is £850pcm, no amount of wishing will bring the reality of securing that property any closer.
Location, location, location.
Many new-builds that are being leased are on the outskirts of towns. When looking for that lower price tag, many compromises are often made on location. This may see those renting having to travel further to work, shops or when dropping their kids off at school.
Make a plan!
It is becoming increasingly common for families with young children to find themselves renting properties, at least initially, and sometimes long term. It’s therefore important that you come up with a plan that you can stick to. Decide upon your budget, the areas that you are willing to compromise on, and the areas you would not want to compromise on. Doing this will help you to locate a property that you can potentially still profit in, making you that one step closer to owning your dream home.
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