* This is a paid collaborative post
It was only after that brief conversation with our new neighbour over the garden fence, on what is already a long-forgotten Spring weekend that I thought about what it’s like to rent a property. It’s not something I’ve experienced first-hand, ever, which thinking back is also quite odd. I think that’s mostly because I grew up in London, started work in central London soon after leaving school rather than going away to study and well, haven’t moved very far. I’m still in London, I’ve had a brief foray over to Essex but came back to South London, which is home for me.
But considering what it’s like to rent a property from a renter’s point of view is an interesting one. I’m sure that the overriding priority, is like the rest of us, having somewhere to live that works for work, is affordable, doesn’t need too much work and additionally is managed well and has a landlord that’s professional and fair. It’s actually not too much to ask is it, but I’m sure it’s not that straightforward.
Then once you’re in your new place, there’s the requirements in the lease to uphold to ensure your tenancy is not only not interrupted but if you want it, extended at the appropriate points.
And that’s where our over the garden fence conversation comes in. I’m sure that it came from a place where they were keen to ensure their new garden was kept manageable and under control. And that’s admirable. I also know, through experience, that once you start trimming and pruning and cutting back, it’s quite addictive and that’s where I was keen to save (actually that’s rather stronger than I mean, protect is better), protect the new growth on our highly scented and many years-trained Jasmine.
While renters rightly have legal protection, finding a new home you like then jeopardising that by not completing your undertaking, however unintentionally, must be galling.
Equally when you move in to your new home you have an expectation that it is fit for purpose, and that the previous end of tenancy cleaning has been done, and to a high standard. As a landlord the quality and thoroughness reflects on you too, and you’ll want to present your property in its best light.
In some ways this is a better, and I’m sure more consistent way of approaching cleaning a house following a house sale. In all the houses we’ve moved into - which is just five, but seems a lot to me - we’ve had some positive and negative experiences, I guess we all do. But wouldn’t it be great all round if we didn’t?
I’m sure there’s many horror stories out there, but let’s focus on the positive. Let me know your best experience of when you’ve moved into a new home, either rental or mortgaged in the comments below.
Mine was moving into this house, we discovered a bottle of wine (which is always welcome) and then rather randomly some duck breasts in the freezer. It turns out we quite like duck, and it’s relatively easy to cook too…
* While this is a collaborative post, all views and opinions remain my own.