Elusive deposit that secures an affordable mortgage
IUSED to think that renting was easier and cheaper than buying. Ten years ago, when husband and I could have walked out of a bank with a 120 per cent mortgage, bought a veritable palace and gone on a round-the-world trip, we instead decided to let an agent/landlord deal with the hassle and expense of keeping a property.
Aside from the fact we might by now have been repossessed (or at least be in huge amounts of negative equity), we've often regretted our decision. Our "home" does not feel like our own. And we've never had a landlord or letting agent treat us with respect, or given us anything like the kind of service our rent should command.
Over the years, not a penny of those savings has been tapped into to fix, among other things, a broken kitchen sink, broken showers, leaking toilets or faulty boilers. All of those bills were picked up by the landlords, via letting agents. But we've bought paint, decorated, and had carpets fitted, knowing no one else will do it for us and we'd only lose our entire deposit if we don't. We've never (and I mean never) had "reasonable wear and tear" taken into account when moving out, no matter how many years we've lived somewhere.
We've been at our current address for nearly six years, all the while saving for the elusive deposit that will secure an affordable mortgage. We live in hope.
Bridal hand tied bouquet (Roses)
2 Bridesmaids (Roses)
Groom & Best Man button holes (Roses)
Discounted rates apply to larger Bridal party requests.
Not to be used with any other offer.
Contact: 0117 2448228
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
About four years ago, in early autumn, we reported a leaking sink waste pipe to the agent. We chased them up with numerous phone calls until finally, at the end of November, a plumber visited said: "You need a new sink unit". As we waited for the landlord to approve the expense, we kept a bucket under the sink and constantly mopped the floor.
A week before Christmas, I lost my rag, went into the letting agent office and demanded something be done. We had family coming for Christmas dinner. It simply wasn't good enough.
We heard nothing for days and came home on Christmas Eve to find the sink removed and on the floor and a new one propped up on the side.
I rang the agent's emergency number, was told the new sink unit didn't fit, the old one couldn't be put back and it wouldn't now be sorted until the New Year. Christmas was cancelled and there was nothing we could do about it. And yet we stayed, as the low rent/nice area outweighed the hassle.
But this year it took six months to get a broken shower replaced (yes, six months) and when they did it caught fire, nearly electrocuting the husband. A week later a different plumber came, showed me the burnt-out connector, melted beyond recognition thanks to a badly connected mains cable "sparking" inside the shower unit.
I emailed the letting agent the next morning, convinced they'd be horrified, offer an apology and urgently seek an explanation from their contractor. Almost a week later I received, by reply: "Thank you for letting us know."
Renting is not the easy or cheap option. It's hideous and I can't wait for it to end.