3 Common Misconceptions About Renting

Story Highlights
  • #1 - "You are throwing your money away"
  • #2 - "You have no negotiating power"
  • #3 - "It’s difficult to get out of a lease"

Let’s face it: as soon as you tell someone you are renting, you see their eyes roll and the wheels in their head turn as they silently judge you. It is no secret that renting has a bad reputation.

Many people believe that you are throwing money away if you rent because you are paying off someone else’s bond and you aren’t building any equity for yourself.

Add onto that the possibility of having a landlord from the depths of hell and it is not really the ideal situation.

There are, however, many benefits to renting that people often overlook. The number of renters is on the rise as more people take their time to find the right home and take the plunge.

The traditional mindset regarding renting is changing slowly but surely and renters are making it work for them instead of fighting against it. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding renting and people who seem to think that buying is always the only option.

They could not be further from the truth.

Here are 3 common misconceptions about renting instead of buying:

#1 – “You are throwing your money away”

Many people believe that by paying your landlord a sum every month you’re wasting money because that money either goes directly into his pocket or into his bond account.

Well, not quite!

You might not be investing in property yourself but you are paying for a roof over your head that you might not have been able to afford otherwise.

And let’s not overlook the perks of renting: repairs and utilities are often included in the rental amount per month. This is something that you would have to do yourself if you were a homeowner – and those extra costs here and there can add up to quite a bit over time.

Buying a home might not be a wise financial decision for you at the moment. You might live in a very expensive housing market or you are unsure about your current location, or current lifestyle. Renting saves the day by offering you a flexible option.

#2 – “You have no negotiating power”

A common belief is that the landlord has all the power in the landlord-tenant relationship.

This is not the truth and it is important that renters know their rights before moving into a rental unit. When the renter signs the lease, they have a lot of negotiating power and they often use it to strike a deal that would best suit them.

The most important thing that a renter can do is read the lease and understand it completely before signing.

No kidding – yet, how many times would you admit having read through the whole thing yourself before signing?!

This way, if you see terms you want to be adjusted, then you have the right to ask.

#3 – “It’s difficult to get out of a lease”

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about renting.

It is true that it is not advisable for you to sign a long-term agreement if you know you are not going to be around long-term.

Sure – sometimes life throws a curveball that you cannot control. You might have to relocate and break your lease unexpectedly. So, if you need to get out of a lease, you can consider subletting your rental unit, but make sure to check with the landlord first to see if this is allowed.

Another way to break the lease is to work with your property management company (aka managing agent) to find out if there are any other available units in a sister property if you are relocating. Explaining the situation to your property manager is the only way to find out what your choices are. And yes, there might be fees associated with breaking your lease, so be prepared for that as well.

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