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NOW CLOSED: Is it still a home if you don't own it? Make your voice heard and discuss this topic with Barclays - £150 John Lewis voucher up for grabs

(298 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Nov-12 16:54:16

Hello - you may have seen that this week Barclays have a big campaign to get people talking about home buying and money topics.

Yesterday we discussed "When are you too old to ask your parents for financial help?".

As stated before - the team at Barclays say "We want to know what Mumsnetters think about home buying and money dilemmas.

So our second question is "Is it still a home if you don't own it?""

Please share your thoughts on this thread - there are no right or wrong answers and the question will mean different things to different MNers.

Add your thoughts below and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £150 John Lewis voucher.

Look out for one final thread on Thursday where we'll be asking one more question.

Thanks MNHQ

PS Please note your comments along with your MN name may be used on the Barclays pages on Mumsnet and elsewhere.

preety18 Tue 04-Dec-12 10:47:27

And also it doesn't matter whether you own or rent as long as you are happy and you've got a roof over your head.

SuperChristmasScrimper Tue 04-Dec-12 10:52:04

No. We live in army housing and it is not a home, it's the house we live in. We cannot do anything at all to it and we move every 2 years so it never becomes a home when it still has white walls and green carpet throughout and the mail for 17 different people coming each day!

Because most army houses are so similar, so no personal stamps on them, and because you know if you leave the army you have to leave the house I would be very very shocked if anyone in a army house considered it really their home.

expatinscotland Tue 04-Dec-12 10:53:30

'And I ignore things like that in agreements. They are silly. And I've never gotten in trouble for it.

Live a little. Break the rules!'

You still sign an agreement. So if there is a break clause in the agreement (and you're in NI, best of luck getting an agreement with no break clause in most cities on the mainland!), and you sign it, the landlord can serve you notice.

Many, many landlords will not allow you to decorate, even if you reset it. Not to mention the ol': no pets, no children, no DSS (if you're on it).

Yes it's still a home if you rent it but I've never felt as settled in a rented house as I do in the one I now own there's always the thought at the back of your head that your contract only has x left, will the rent go up massively, will you have to move etc. then of course you often can't decorate or put your stamp on it properly.
So yes still a home but always with the feeling that its temporary.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 04-Dec-12 11:26:54

I didn't say I would accept a break clause, Expat, just that I don't think it's necessary.

And honestly, if the laws are so bad in England about renting, do what you can to get them changed. Talk to your MP. Start a campaign. Whinging about it on MN isn't going to do anything but maybe make you feel better. Unless that's your goal.

I have always rented but my current house is the first one I would consider my home. That is down to the fact that my landlord told me she wants me to treat it as my home, so I can decorate as I see fit, make minor alterations, change the garden etc.
When I have rented through an agency before it always felt like it was just where I lived because of inspections, re-signing the lease every 6 months (at my expense, on top of the rent), not allowed to change anything, massive delays in any repairs (when DS was less than a year old we went without heating and hot water for 3 weeks with a foot of snow on the ground. When the snow melted the ceiling in DS's room started leaking...still wasn't sorted 3 months later when we moved out)

I would love to own a house, but that is highly unlikely due to a less than sparkling credit score and the massive deposit needed

Wallison Tue 04-Dec-12 11:30:38

Well, the law in England certainly favours the tenant over the landlord, so there's no 'if' about it. Tenants are screwed here compared to other countries. As you have no idea what I or anyone else do outside of Mumsnet in regard to this or any other issues of inequality, I would suggest that you allow us to discuss matters on what is after all a discussion forum.

Wallison Tue 04-Dec-12 11:31:56

Oops, that should be 'favours the landlord over the tenant'!

MoomieAndFreddie Tue 04-Dec-12 11:34:18

I don't own my home

but I DO consider it a home - because I am fortunate enough to have a housing association house, therefore (barring any disaster) its mine for as long as i want it, i am allowed to decorate how i want etc

Interesting question, and also slightly provocative and offensive to those who rent, tbh.

ComradeJing Tue 04-Dec-12 11:41:05

I've been a tenant and a land lord for the past 9 odd years. I do not consider any of the properties I've leased out to be my home but certainly hope the tenants feel they are their home.

Otoh the places we have rented have never truly felt like home - a place to properly put down roots- and have always felt temporary. I got itchy feet to move on in each location.

We've just bought our own home to live in for the first time. In fact, tonight is my first night in the new house. I love it smile

misscph1973 Tue 04-Dec-12 11:43:50

For me, "owning" a house felt like a trap. I have owned a flat with a high monthly mortgage payment so I wasn't able to afford decorating or changing much. I have owned a house with a low monthly mortgage but with so many repairs and ongoing maintenance that I didn't have much money for anything but the house and had sleepless nights worrying over what would break down next.

At the end of the day, the bank owned the flat and the house, not me. I rent now and I have a great landlord. The rent is high, but my monthly outgoings are fixed and if anything breaks, I just phone the landlord - and he does not fix anything himself, he calls the professionals. I can decorate if I want to, but to be honest I am not that interested in the colour of my walls ;) I am happy renting and can't see myself buying again. When I look back, I haven't lived in any flat/house, rented or owned, for more than 3 years in my adult life, so renting suits me.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 04-Dec-12 11:46:41

I'd be a lot happier if Waitrose (part of the John Lewis Partnership)
had not signed a deal with Shell - one of the world's leading polluters

Elfontheshelfiswatchingyou Tue 04-Dec-12 11:50:28

A rented house/flat should be a home and for many it is. Council and HA accomodation can be decorated and renovated over years, children can grow up in them, they can be family homes for years.

Some people are really lucky with their private landlords and these rented properties can also become homes.

Sub-standard accomodation can never really feel like home and nor can short term private rents, where you are not allowed to decorate (however hideous or boringly neutral it is) and never really know if you will be there 6 months or longer. Your landlord may decide to sell on a whim, or to not renew your contract. I lived that way for years and found it soul destryong, those properties never felt like homes to me, but I made sure they did to my children.

I'm lucky enough to now own (mortgaged) my own home and every day I just feel so lucky and happy. I love my house and the area where I live. It's not big, posh or particularly fancy but it's home. I can see my children bringing their children here in years to come.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 04-Dec-12 11:59:17

I've rented for the last 16 years (10 different apartments), except for a 3 year period when I owned a flat, and weirdly, that's the place that felt least like home. All the other places have despite sometimes having interesting colour schemes. I do prefer renting unfurnished though, which is the norm overseas and it perhaps helps that I am less bothered about interiors in general.

weenwee Tue 04-Dec-12 12:05:33

Of course it's a home even if you don't own it! There are little old ladies who've lived in the same place for 50 years in London and NYC who rented every single month of their lives, you think that's not their home?

Rhian82 Tue 04-Dec-12 12:05:54

Agreed that it's a provocative and slightly insulting question.

We rent, and have done for 10 years (moving around in that time), and have no prospect of buying any decade soon. Of course the house where we live is our home.

JesusInACabbageVan Tue 04-Dec-12 12:09:59

It's a tricky one. I rent at the moment and have real issues with some of the decisions the landlord makes about maintenance. Other posters have talked about bodged jobs and that is definitely true - not necessarily not functional, but always the cheapest/quickest solution that isn't the always the best one. But it's not my house, so I have no real influence (although I do stamp my feet quite a lot.....).

I can't afford to buy this house at the moment as I have just started my own business and noone will lend us the amount we need. But wouldn't it be great if my rent could go towards buying the place, instead of just disappearing down the drain?

I'd like to see some ways that tenants could:
- do some maintenance of the property or pay to have jobs done properly and see that reflected in their rent or some sort of reward
- buy their house over time from their landlord without falling foul of lending laws.

Belmo Tue 04-Dec-12 12:10:17

I think it can be, but I'm not sure I really think of our house as home. We rent, and our house isn't great, there's loads of wee things I'd like to do but I don't see the point in spending the money as its not our house and I don't expect to be here long term.

Unless you have the deeds to the property you don't own it. So even those with a mortgage are effectivelt renting it from the bank / BS until it'a all paid off. You can call anywhere home, I think it depends on how 'safe' and 'stable' you feel in a place. THose with a mortgage or 'good' landlords probably just feel more secure, allowed to do things to their property etc.

agendabender Tue 04-Dec-12 12:13:52

We have had to move a lot with changes in wok, landlords selling houses etc. This year we moved to a great house near DH's wonderful job. They pushed a long fixed term, and we decided that we wanted to commit to it. We spent a lot of time and effort making an unattractive and unloved house and garden a good family home. We put up our first Christmas tree, since we have never felt like we were in a home before. Our son moved into his own room for the first time.

Last week the landlord decided that they would like to move a family member into the house, and will not renew our contract when it runs out in the spring. We are gutted. Because rents are so high we really have no opportunity to save for a deposit, even though we are well educated and DH has great job security as a teacher. We feel that tenants are made to feel like second-class citizens with no entitlement to a home.

JugglingWithPossibilities Tue 04-Dec-12 12:14:34

"agreed that it's a provocative and slightly insulting question"

Thing is I think you have to remember that it is a "sponsored discussion"
The sponsors will have some commercial agenda.

So what might that be for a bank like Barclays ....

to encourage a sense that it is better to own than to rent your home with a view to providing more mortgages ?

Not saying that it's not an interesting discussion, but just questioning whether it's a completely free and open discussion.

choccyp1g Tue 04-Dec-12 12:15:42

Of course it should feel like home, but tenancies need to be much more secure. I grew up in a rented house, and there was always a fear that we could be thrown out at any time.

Mickymae Tue 04-Dec-12 12:19:18

I've been a renter since moving to the UK. I consider each place I've rented to be my current home. I do agree with some of the above comments such as I would LOVE to paint it and make the house more my style but alas renting regulations don't allow for that. I also agree that if it was MY home I would make sure it was kept up in better condition but even as 2 average paid working professionals it is impossible for us to raise enough funds for a deposit on a house. The only people I know who have bought a house have inherited enough money to secure the deposit. So like many before have said until I can do better for my family a rental home is all I have and when I do I'm going to make certain it's an amazing home for them when we buy.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 04-Dec-12 12:20:20

Yes of course it can be, I find this a bizzare question, though I suppose it depends who does own it.

We rent - we live abroad in a country where it is more common to rent very long term. The house (as is normal here) didn't have a fitted kitchen in it when we moved in, so we had to put in a kitchen. We are allowed to decorate without asking the landlord (again standard here) as long as we put it back to plain white when we finally move. We've been here over 5 years, we barely see the landlord, he certainly doesn't come and inspect the property inside to make sure we've keeping it tidy or whatever (that would be a slap in the face reminder it wasn't ours, and I know is something UK landlords often do). We can have pets, cut down trees in the garden and plant other things, basically we can treat it as our own within reason (obviously we can't sell it or make major structural changes grin).

Actually it feels more "ours" than the tiny semi we owned in the UK before we moved, which we could barely afford and yet at the same time knew wasn't really big enough for our growing family and wasn't somewhere we planned to stay many more years, even before the offer to move here came up.

People who think of the "property ladder" with a "forever home" are only passing through the houses they live in for 3-5 years each on the way "up" so are arguably no more settled than those who rent. Nigella 's point is one people often push right to the back of their minds too - if you have a 90% mortgage do you only own the downstairs loo? :O

We rent, but we're very lucky in that we rent from the LA and have a secure tenancy. It's definitely our home. If we were constantly moving and had no long term security, then perhaps it would be different.

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