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Five UK Rental Myths Debunked

  • 10 months ago

Renting is a popular housing choice in the UK, with around 36% of households being rentals – in both private and social sectors. 

Whilst it offers a huge number of benefits, renting can be a complex world to navigate, with myths and misconceptions abound. 

Despite the large proportion of renters in the UK, however, there are a lot of myths around it which can discourage people from renting a property. We’ll look at five of these misconceptions here.

Renting a property is more expensive than buying one

Most people assume that renting a home is more expensive than buying one, but this is sometimes wrong. There are lots of factors affecting the expense of both choices, including how much deposit you need to raise before you can buy, how big your mortgage is and how much Stamp Duty you’ll have to pay.

Then there’s ongoing homeowner costs such as insurance and maintenance to contend with. 

By renting, you don’t have to think about Stamp Duty or paying to have the roof fixed – that’s down to your landlord.

You can’t decorate your rental property

If you feel like knocking down an internal wall to create an open plan space, your landlord might (fairly) have something to say about it. 

Painting a few walls with some reasonable shades, on the other hand, isn’t too much of a reach and many landlords will accept these changes as long as you agree to restore the walls to their original colour before your leave. 

There are also lots more renter-friendly decorating products on the market nowadays, such as stick-on tile decorations and removable hanging tape for putting up artworks on walls. Just discuss any changes with your landlord before you make them so you’re on the same page.

Your landlord can keep hold of your deposit for no reason

Not anymore! This used to be a bugbear for lots of renters, but the introduction of government-approved Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) schemes has put paid (pun kind of intended) to that. 

TDPs make sure that your deposit is handled in a fair way for both of you and your landlord must place your deposit in one or they could face paying you up to three times its original amount.

Your landlord can only take deductions from your deposit to cover damage beyond normal wear and tear or for unpaid rent. If your landlord does ask for a deduction, ask for a costs breakdown and also photos of any damage, as well as the receipts for repair work.

Your landlord can increase the rent at will

Landlords can increase your rent, but not as and when they feel like it and not by unreasonable amounts. Your tenancy agreement should set out when and by how much your rent might go up and any increases must be in line with the prevailing market rates.

Furthermore, your landlord can’t increase your rent more than once a year unless you agree to it. If you have a fixed-term tenancy, your landlord can only increase your rent once your tenancy ends unless you agree to a mid-term rise.

Renting has no effect on your credit score

This used to be the case, but in 2017 credit agencies started to include rental payments in their scoring systems, so paying your rent on time will help you to build or improve your score. 

You need to sign up with a partner of The Rental Exchange, a body which verifies your regular rental payments and adds them to your credit report. This history helps you to build a good credit history, which can make it easier for you to apply for loans – including mortgages, in the future.

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