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Rent vs Buy: The Benefits of Renting - Essential Living

Rent vs Buy: The Benefits of Renting

Blog Guide to Renting

For too long renting in the UK has been living under a smog of negativity. In the great ‘rent vs buy’ debate it’s seen as the fallback option; the only option you have left if you can’t afford to buy a home.

And critically, it’s also never seen as the long-term option. Buying is always the long-term goal, whereas renting is seen as a burden to be borne until you can save up that eye-watering deposit to purchase a property.

Whilst ownership might be a very good place to end up for some, it shouldn’t be forced upon all of us as the only worthy destination.

And renting shouldn’t be seen as ‘dead money’, as there are numerous benefits to renting a flat vs buying one.

The Benefits of Renting


Rent vs Buy: The Benefits of Renting | Essential Living

First and foremost, renting offers flexibility that buying simply can’t match. Most rental contracts are 12-months long, which means that – if they wanted – renters could property surf every year.

This gives you the freedom to try new areas of the city, new apartment sizes and layouts (or even a house), new décor and different price points to find a home and a way of living that’s perfect for you.

And if you want to move jobs, instead of making do with a difficult new commute, you can just move to a new pad.

If you decided to go travelling for 6 months, you’re not hamstrung by the requirement to keep paying a mortgage. You can hand in your notice and get on the plane.

We embrace and celebrate this flexibility and make sure we do all we can to support our residents with their changing needs. We give them the flexibility to upscale, downscale or even move between our developments without charging a penny in fees.

With buying, you simply wouldn’t get these opportunities. Buying or selling can sometimes take months (or years…) so things move a lot slower. And you’ll also be expected to shell out thousands to expensive solicitors and estate agents for their expertise.



Rent vs Buy: The Benefits of Renting | Essential Living

Secondly, renting can give you access to a better-quality home than you could afford to buy.

As an example, if a renter and a buyer went head-to-head in Islington armed with an annual household income of £70,000 (double the average London salary), then generally you’d find that buyers would struggle to find anything liveable, whereas renters could afford a large apartment finished to a high specification.

And build-to-rent takes this quality to another level.

Take Vantage Point for example. Whilst each resident gets their own apartment finished and furnished to a high standard, they also all get access to the top penthouse floors. If we sold this penthouse, it would fetch somewhere in the region of £7m; well out of the price range of most London house hunters! Yet our renters can hang out here for free. And show it off to their friends.



Rent vs Buy: The Benefits of Renting | Essential Living

Renting also allows you to live in more sought-after locations than buying does.

For example, if you’ve ever looked to buy a home in Bethnal Green, you’ll have seen some pretty jaw-dropping prices that average at about £536,000. This is simply beyond the reach of most people looking to buy in London (unless you have £110k sat in your bank for a deposit of course), which means buyers have to look further out.

Renters don’t have the same barriers. With average rents in Bethnal Green at about £1,900/month (or just £1,490/month for a 1-bed), this opens the area up to a wider pool of residents. These renters can then benefit from being within walking distance of East London’s iconic Brick Lane, vibrant Shoreditch and bustling Colombia Road Flower Market. They can jump on the Central Line and be on Oxford Street in minutes. Or they can keep it local and enjoy the range of trendy cafes, bars and restaurants that Bethnal Green has to offer.

Better budgeting

Rent vs Buy: The Benefits of Renting | Essential Living

Renting also offers better financial security through consistent spending. You know what your rent will be each month. If your landlord manages your utilities for you as we do, you know what your electric, water and other household bills will be. If you live with a build-to-rent landlord, then the high-speed broadband is free to use.

What’s more, most good landlords offer long-term tenancies. We offer up to 3-year tenancies. This means that renters can also benefit from long-term consistency, with rent costs pre-planned and guaranteed for the duration of the tenancy.

This means that renters know exactly what’s coming out of their bank account each month, and they can budget their disposable income to suit the rest of their lifestyle.

For homeowners, however, it’s not quite as simple. Whilst your mortgage stays consistent (and service charge if you live in a block of flats) there are other unexpected costs that are just part and parcel of owning your own place.

Take the dreaded boiler breakdown for example. If that happened at Union Wharf, our in-house maintenance team would be swapping it with the spare from the basement straight away – and at our cost. For a homeowner, the bill lands at their feet. A bill that (on a good day) can be about £2,500.

And the maintenance costs don’t stop there. Other regular bank balance offenders in a household include:

  • Broken washing machines or other white goods
  • Water leaks and/or mould damage
  • Clogged guttering
  • Cracked windows
  • Blocked toilets
  • Leaky taps and pipes
  • Blown light bulbs

And the list goes on! Suffice to say that if you live with a good landlord that tackles the maintenance of the property in a timely manner and at their cost, you’ll be saving money.


Rent vs Buy

Rent vs Buy: The Benefits of Renting | Essential Living

So there are 4 big reasons for us as to why we thinking renting isn’t a fallback option, but a genuinely acceptable lifestyle choice.

It gives you the flexibility to live the way you want to live, in the place that suits you best, at the quality you require and with the peace of mind that comes from a consistent monthly cost.

So don’t write it off. Embrace it and take advantage of the benefits of renting!

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