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We rent, and I’m content with this. We have the flexibility to move within a certain amount of time which is handy too as and when we decide to emigrate. This is not directed at you, but some of it does apply.

You know what I hate, Landlord? I hate when a rent is increased because that’s what everyone else does. Because you’re charging it to keep well in with what everyone else charges. I know, I know, it’s a business. You have no intention of selling.

Well, you say that.. but our last two landlords who had ‘no intention of selling’ did that. It can really mess up your living arrangements when it’s forced on you, especially if you weren’t aware when you moved in. There’s nothing more irritating than finding out you’re only going to live there until the landlord sells (and I have plenty of horror stories – shortest stay due to this – 2 months, longest stay – 4 months and visits from abusive estate agents who would turn up unannounced letting themselves into my home without notice as they had a key)

Then I read a news article today about shops near Bolton which are empty, vacated by the people who owned them but they’re still in  contract so the big chains keep paying their rent even though it’s empty. Local businesses who are forced to move can’t do it because they can’t match the prices you’ve been charging companies who can.

How about our local high street here? Or up the road? Landlords bumping up rents for businesses which forces them to close or move elsewhere – they don’t look at it and see a local community which people use – they just see it as somewhere their pockets are lined, probably over the odds if they’re a big chain. Our local butchers and grocers have both been forced out due to rent increases in the last six months – in their place are a new grocers and on the horizon a Costa Coffee – on our high street which already has three popular coffee shops.

It makes you happy though doesn’t it landlord? A property which probably costs you next to nothing with a rent which is way over the odds.

Which brings me back to the place I live. We both work – we both work as we have to – to send H to nursery I need to work four days a week. Soon those four days will go up to five though my days will be shorter as she starts school. We don’t have enough money to buy, but then again we don’t want to buy – or at least I don’t. I’d happily live somewhere and make it my home – we’ve got all our own furniture bar the dishwasher and washing machine so what difference does it really make? It’s all just walls and carpets. We’re lucky, we can make that choice.

These aren’t problems for us, we’re lucky – a lot of people aren’t. Shelter are campaigning at the moment to help out tenants who have crappy landlords, ones who don’t declare where their deposits are placed (which is illegal), some who don’t get their deposits back. There’s help out there. There’s also a lot of crappy places to rent out there. They’re pushing into local councils to get support against rogue landlords (and I can see that Sutton Council aren’t listed) – there’s so much to read and it’s worthy of your support. Please head there.

This isn’t a sponsored post, I needed to mouth off about landlords. I’ve probably barely started.