By the end of 2021, a quarter of all UK homes will rent privately. Over the years, there has been a surge in renters, either because they're priced out of owning somewhere or simply prefer the flexibility of renting a home.
While the general consensus might be that it's better to own your home, we would politely disagree. Renting can be better than buying, removing much of the hassle that comes with owning bricks and mortar. Plus, you can usually rent homes you wouldn't be able to afford to live in.
We starting thinking about the benefits of renting and decided to put this guide together, detailing the pros of being a professional renter and why it's better than owning your home. So read on and find out why renting is better than buying.
Give me that sweet, sweet freedom
Buying a home is a long, arduous process. Like, really, really long and arduous. It takes around three months just to get the keys, and there are numerous obstacles to clear along the way. Then, once you've bought somewhere, you're there for the long haul. Like, the really long haul.
Renting, however, is much more flexible. You can get the keys in less than a month, and you have the freedom to move without needing to worry about getting tangled up in messy chains where deals can fall through at the last minute.
When renting, you know how long you can stay in the property, with the option to extend the tenancy agreement or start looking for a new place when it comes to an end. Contracts with six-month break clauses also mean you can end your contract early, giving you the flexibility and freedom to move out if you so wish.
Then again… why not stay for the long term?
The great thing about renting is that you have choices. The average tenancy is 4.1 years, so it won't be a problem if a longer stay is part of your plans. This is especially true if you're renting from in a Build-to-Rent community, where you can live in a home designed solely for renters.
That means there's zero chance of the landlord asking for the property back, and it's pretty much yours until you decide otherwise. So you can stay for six months or six years. It really is all about the freedom of choice when it comes to renting.
No mortgage commitment
The average mortgage length is 25 years, which is an awfully long time. It's also a huge debt, often in the hundreds of thousands. For many, the idea of accumulating such a high debt doesn't sit particularly well, especially as you could end up having your house repossessed if you miss any payments.
Of course, you shouldn't miss rental payments either. But there's probably less chance of that happening as your contract is shorter, and you can look for homes that fit your budgets if your circumstances change.
When you buy a property, the mortgage amount is dictated by the interests rates. However, when you rent a home, it's the landlord who sets the price. Should they wish to increase the rent, you have the option to decline and look for somewhere new. And while you can change lenders after a certain period with a mortgage, it's another long, drawn-out process and is usually only available after the initial fixed-rate term ends.
More housing available
More often than not, you can afford to rent somewhere that you wouldn't be able to buy. That often lends itself to living in high-quality homes, especially if it's a property designed just for renting. You're also not restricted to one area and can be flexible with your decisions.
Homebuyers have a set amount to spend, often needing to narrow their property search as a result. On the other hand, renters can search in their preferred locations and move into areas where they probably wouldn't be able to buy.
When you own a home and the boiler breaks, you're the one who needs to arrange the repairs and front the costs. But when you live in a rental home, the landlord is responsible for the repairs damages. That makes renting much cheaper than owning a home.
Maintenance issues can be one of the most costly aspects of living in a home, so it's an added bonus knowing it's the landlord who fixes any issues. And if you live in somewhere like a Build-to-Rent community, the entire process is professionalised, with an app typically used to report, arrange and track repairs.
Go forth and rent
We don't have anything against owning a home, but the argument that people only rent because they're priced out of the housing market doesn't sit right with us. Many people rent as a lifestyle choice and prefer the freedom and financial flexibility they get with it. You can still rent somewhere and find your forever home, which is why renting is better than buying, in our most humble opinion.