In the UK, there seems to be a real lifestyle shift with young people or millennials if you are aged between 22 and 37, being a part of Generation Rent.
Whether you choose to rent so that you can travel more and live with flexibility, or whether it’s because you just cannot get on the property ladder, no matter how many avocado-on-toasts you turn down – it’s a serious change from the lives of the generations before us.
My parents worked hard and owned their first house together by their mid-twenties, for me it feels like a very distant dream – if it happens at all.
Not to be one for doom and gloom, I’m sharing some of my top tips if you happen to also be a millennial renter.
Find out the finer details before you sign your contract
This might seem like an obvious one, but you don’t want to get halfway through the signing agreement (and have already paid those non-refundable estate agent fees) to find out that they won’t accept you based on xyz.
We have a dog so we made this clear from the very beginning and asked to only see properties that allowed pets. To get to the final stages and then casually mention you have a Great Dane is definitely a no-no!
Make sure you have contents insurance
We had to provide proof of having contents insurance within one month of signing our contract but even if it’s not a set requirement, it’s a really good thing to have.
Your landlord will already have the building insured, but if something horrible happened and you lost all your belongings, you’d be pretty gutted!
Most insurers allow you to get separate contents insurance, but HomeLondon offers a pretty great one which includes tenants liability insurance too. These are definitely a must-have from me.
No wall fixtures allowed? No problem!
I’m not DIY savvy at all, so if I can avoid using a drill then that’s great for me. We use command strips to add photo frames to the walls and they are a renter’s best friend.
They’re super adhesive so you don’t have to worry about a mirror falling off the wall, and they leave zero marks on the wall too!
I also use washi tape to put up my kid’s artwork in the office, or even posters in their bedrooms, and they also leave no marks on the wall when it comes to removing them!
This is great for us because the boys often have one huge love for a certain character (currently Iron Man) which quickly fizzles out within a few months so being able to chop and change their posters with no traces is perfect!
No problem. Fixing flat roofs or normal house roofs is the responsibility of your landlord. Remember it is different if you lease. Your lease will set out who is responsible for carrying out repairs to your home, the building and to any shared facilities. More.
But if it just rent you pay then the landlord will have to fix everything down to the garage roof!
Want to add some personality to your room?
I hear ya – nobody wants to live in a completely magnolia fortress! We did stick with the move-in standard walls when we first moved in, but with two small kids, it always seems in need of freshening up!
We bought some fairly inexpensive giant tubs of emulsion paint from our local B&M and this is great for a little spruce.
Most landlords ask you to return the house in a neutral colour (if not the original) so we went with mostly white, and then a very light grey to make a feature wall. If the landlord decides he’s not happy with the grey, we have plenty of white leftovers!
Blinds and curtains are an important part of making a rented property you own. By adding custom blinds that fit your interior. It is an easy change that is so often overlooked, you can buy blinds online that are customised to your own taste.
When I first moved into a rented property, I didn’t realise you had to pretty much return a blank canvas when you moved out, so I spent a small fortune on some jazzy patterned wallpaper for my bedroom and was gutted when I had to strip it all off myself and then repaint it all for somebody else to enjoy.
Of course, you don’t need to repaint if you already have a nice neutral space – we have pops of colour in our cushions and also use throws on the sofas to make it look more personal to us.