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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.

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Mon 03-Dec-12 19:39:09

Yes, a home is the place you live with your family.

Some people own them, some are paying for it, others rent - none of these diminishes the fact that it is a home

expatinscotland Mon 03-Dec-12 19:45:23

Many landlords are of the opinion that it is not a home to the tenant, it's space let out which should be able to be reclaimed following the first 4 months of the tenancy, available for them to visit when they please, kept in the minimum state of good repair, not available to persons with children or pets or who are in receipt of even partial Local Housing Allowance.

The government has fostered buying to let or hanging onto second or other multiple properties to let in many ways, propping up a housing bubble which leaves more and more people stuck in the insecure, expensive cycle that is private letting in the UK.

We rent, and tbh, due to the tenancy laws here, do not consider a privately let dwelling a home due to the insecurity of tenure.

Yes, but the set up for lettings in this country is shit compared to e.g. Germany.

I am a tenant who looks longingly at paint colours in magazines, knowing that it's plain white for me for a few more years.

BananaPie Mon 03-Dec-12 19:50:09

Of course it is. What a silly and slightly provocative question.

stargirl1701 Mon 03-Dec-12 19:50:56

I am both a landlord and a tenant. I feel like my rented house is my home. I don't feel too insecure at all. I know this isn't my forever house, just a stepping stone on the way while we wait out some kind of market recovery. I do see my flat as the tenant's home. I leave them alone unless they call me and only inspect once a year to check for maintenance needs.

Banana I'm guessing you've not been a tenant?

trueblood1fan Mon 03-Dec-12 19:55:54

its a home but will never be on a level par with owning as you cant decorate, change windows/doors or kitchens/bathroomd but so difficult to buy.

MikeLitorisHasChristmasLights Mon 03-Dec-12 20:00:13

Not for me it doesn't.

I used to have a HA property and that felt like my home.

This rented house simply doesn't.

I cant decorate and do anything here.the landlord does all his own repairs and its all bodged jobs. Doors don't fit the frames properly etc.

I would love to buy but the deposits for first time buyers are just ridiculous.

It is so frustrating to be paying a fortune in rent when the mortgage for the same place is about £300 a month cheaper.

Having an ex that left me with a horrific credit score doesn't help.

CMOTDibbler Mon 03-Dec-12 20:04:19

To me, yes - I've lived in lots of places, and I'm pretty much happy to call anywhere I've unpacked more than one bag home

BananaPie Mon 03-Dec-12 20:10:00

I'm both a tenant and a landlord at the moment. My house is the one I own, and it'll be my home again when my family and I move back to it. My home is where I live, with my family and all our things.

I think the question is provocative because it suggests that people who aren't able to afford to buy their own house don't have a "home" which is clearly nonsense.

TitHead Mon 03-Dec-12 20:13:19

I'm also a tenant with a private landlord. I would love to buy but unfortunatley I have no where near the deposit required and my cedit history is not exactly sparkling although much improved.

It's frustrating that we can't decorate or renovate the way we would like however, this house is where our son said his first words, took his first steps. It has so many memories and it has the three of us in it so yes it is home, albeit a tempory one.

ohfunnyface Mon 03-Dec-12 20:16:05

Yes, home with a mortgage you can't afford is much less a home than somewhere you can walk away from.

Llareggub Mon 03-Dec-12 20:19:32

Interesting and timely topic for me as following my divorce I have sold the family home and about to move into a rented house. I have owned several properties and been a landlord, and will buy again in a few years.

My new rental feels like a new start, a safe space with all the potential that a new start will bring. It feels like freedom and happiness. I can picture my boys and our friends in it, and I am imagining the memories we will make after this year, which has been the worst of my life.

Homes are made (and broken) by our emotions and the house I currently live in, whilst mine (mortgaged!) does not feel like a home. It feels like a trap.

TiredofZombies Mon 03-Dec-12 20:23:04

Where I live is my home, be it rented or owned. I spent 15+ years living in rented properties, and even if I only lived there a year, it was still my home. Where I go at the end of the working day, to warmth, my dinner and my bed, is my home.

Unfortunately many landlords don't see it that way. They think of it as "their house" and won't allow the tenant to treat it as their home, as a prior posted said, decorating, having pets etc. It's like they're saying "well you can stay here, but don't get settled."

I think you have to make your own home, wherever you can.

kellestar Mon 03-Dec-12 20:26:53

I do feel that my house is my home... like someone else said it's not my forever home. We have a mortgage, albeit smaller now then when we first bought our house. Oddly we both didn't feel it became our home until we had children. But I still don't feel like we own our home until the mortgage is paid off.

I have never rented nor am I a landlord and my friends that do rent feel they are in hiatus until they are on the property ladder as then you can do what you like to your house and make it a home. They lived in Germany for a couple of years and the rental system is so much easier/cheaper and less regimented [you can decorate] yet the opportunity to actually buy your own property is slim.

I own a house and also rent an appartment during the week for work. I definately do feel a difference between the two. I am not sure if it is all in my mind because I know I do have my own home, but I often sit in my rented place and wonder what is missing.

For me, the missing thing is the security and warmth of knowing its my own. I am constantly aware that the landlord could ask me to move out anytime. While it wouldn't be a huge problem for me as I am just in a city centre appartment and could find another, I imagine that if I was here and settled with my family it could be very unsettling to know that my landlord could force me to make a drastic change to my life at anytime (i.e. having to uproot family and move). I am also aware that I cannot do what I want in the appartment because it belongs to somebody else. I can't decorate it and hang things on the wall like I would with my own flat. Also all the soft furnishings - curtains, carpets etc are not my own and not my choice. I know that they could be replaced with a landlords agreement, but again knowing that you could be asked to move out at anytime would make this a gamble - you wouldn't want to invest too much money just to leave it all for somebody else.

Overall I feel much more secure in my own house. I do like the flexibility of renting because people's financial situations can change anytime and I am guessing it would be a lot more cost effective to move to a cheaper rented place if needed. You dont really get that option quite so easily if you own - you have to pay the mortgage amount every month and if you were to downsize it would actually cost you a lot of money to sell your house and buy a smaller one with legal fees, stamp duty, etc etc.

littlemonkeychops Mon 03-Dec-12 21:19:49

I think a rented house is still a home, when we used to rent our flat felt like our home, but we were only in our early 20s and it was our first place together, so even though it was damp witn a kitchen the size of a cupboard we still loved it.

As we got older we did start to want somewhere that was more "ours", and nothing beats the feeling when you first walk in a house on moving day and feel "this is ours", albeit with a mortgage. A bank doesn't interfere with your use/enjoyment of a house in the same way a landlord does.

lisad123 Mon 03-Dec-12 21:22:17

A home is what you make it. It is only bricks after all.
We own our house but will be selling and going into rental. I'm nervous and worried its not ever going to feel like home, but I'm sure it will ok

FreddieMercuryforQueen Mon 03-Dec-12 21:26:02

I'm also a landlord and a tenant, the hous I rent out I have a fondness for as it was my home before it was my tenants. The house I rent I consider home as I have made so many happy memories here, I hate the insecurity of renting though and would love to buy this house, it's just not a possibility right now and although the landlord is generally an ok bloke, he has already kicked us out once (in a failed attempt to sell the house) and the house we lived in prior to moving back here never felt like home. So I don't know what makes a house a home, it's not owning it as I feel at home here, equally I don't feel at home just anywhere as the other rented property was just a house we lived in for a bit.

AmberLeaf Mon 03-Dec-12 21:27:38

Ive never owned my own home, but of my varied addresses over the years, most have been 'home'

I think it's a silly question too.

Of course its still a home.

Piffpaffpoff Mon 03-Dec-12 21:29:32

Yes a rented property can still be a home. Home to me is where my family are, where we sleep, eat, play. Doesn't matter who it belongs to.

Llareggub Mon 03-Dec-12 21:32:26

Why do LLs ask people to move out? My LL rents out his former family home, which belonged to his mother. He uses the rent to supplement his pension. He looks for long term lets that won't impinge on his life. I think so long as I pay up and respect his house I'll be there for as long as I want. If he wants to sell I will happily buy it. (crosses fingers!)

Wallison Mon 03-Dec-12 21:35:48

Obviously tenants aren't homeless but they are treated appallingly badly in the UK compared to other countries because they don't have any security. This lack of security makes other 'rights' effectively unenforceable because if you pull the landlord up on the fact that he doesn't do repairs properly or indeed at all, then he could just give you notice. It happens, and so the precarious nature of renting means that tenants are unable to enforce what limited rights they have. I would absolutely love to have a home that I own but the insane housing market makes that impossible.

Country estate / farmer landlords seem to be more willing to encourage tenants to regard a rental property as their own. In our old village there was a woman whose family had 'rented' the same cottage from the estate for nearly 100 years.

Llareggub Mon 03-Dec-12 21:38:23

I have had such terrible service from letting agents. They don't see the tenant as a customer at all. Terrible profession, on a par with recruitment consultants.

Wallison Mon 03-Dec-12 21:41:03

Letting agents are wankers. Round here they all fleece you for a £250 credit check before they let you anywhere near a property. What about a landlord check, you bunch of smarmy spotty spivs?

Milliways Mon 03-Dec-12 21:52:30

I hope so.

My DD is getting married this month and will then be moving into the small house that she chose with her DF (he has moved there already).

It is rented, but the Landlords have been amazing and even offered to make them more matching curtains/cushions to some of the fabric already in place. Neither DD or her DF had any credit history as they have both ust graduated, so the agents insisted on a guarantor, but they are VERY excited about their first home together, and can't wait to fill it with all the wedding pressies etc.

(I am excited to be invited to their "home" for a meal at some point too.) smile

HappySunflower Mon 03-Dec-12 22:49:52

Yes- absolutely it is!
It's possible to decorate and furnish somewhere to your taste and make it suit you.
Sometimes I feel a little insecure about renting, but so much of life is uncertain that it's just one of those things. Not being responsible for repairs and maintenance means I get to enjoy my home without any of the stress I used to have when I owned my own property.

MirandaWest Mon 03-Dec-12 22:55:21

I rent and yes this is my home. It isn't my house but it is my home.

I agree that tenants are considered to be very low down in the scheme of things - every time I have an inspection and am sent the letter before asking me to make sure it is "presented to its highest standards" or something like that I remember how it isn't really my home - it's just somewhere I live and if I don't do what someone else wants me to I could get thrown out. Some people say inspections are so any maintenance issues can be brought up but in my experience, it is a time for the tenant to be scrutinised. Have had letters afterwards suggesting I use a feather duster and put limestone remover down the toilet. Neither of those suggestions made me feel like this is my home.

OptiMumPrime Mon 03-Dec-12 22:56:07

Not for me. We own a home in another area, that I lived in for several years. That felt like home. Due to work, and the housing market, we have had to move quite far away, so we are now renting a property. This place doesn't feel as home to me as the property we own. We are possibly coming from a different viewpoint to many though, as I don't see this place as permanent, and home to move back 'home' in due course. I don't feel like investing any money in this place to make it more 'us' - no new curtains, for example, as they cost a couple of hundred, and I'm not spending money when we can't take them with us. I would make improvements/changes to this place if it were my own, but I'm not bothering improving someone else's property.
I do feel at home, settled, but not quite as at home as my owned home!
Ultimately, home is where my husband and children are.

IceNoSlice Mon 03-Dec-12 23:06:33

Of course a rented house is a home.

However, I do see the underlying point, to do with how secure you feel in accommodation and whether you feel it is 'yours'. There is something great about walking into your first 'owned' house for the first time, decorating it to your taste, a sense of pride... However there is also a weight of responsibility, of knowing that you will need to be able to pay for repairs if something should go wrong and the commitment of a mortgage.

trikken Mon 03-Dec-12 23:13:22

yes, you can make rented places your home, again I am living somewhere we currently own (am currently trying to sell) and this has never felt like home. perhaps as an effect of not having any part in the decision process of moving here.

In short yes, it can be if you feel at ease and happy with it in general.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Mon 03-Dec-12 23:39:22

I rent, and am lucky I can paint and put the odd picture up. But it's not home, at the back of your mind your making improvements for others benefit. You can't put new windows in, new bathrooms, knock down a wall or change the house about. You can't have pets without permission.
Your constantly aware at any time you could have to move. For my last house I had a bespoke piece of furniture made 2 months later the landlord put the house up for sale.
It's hard living in limbo

EllenParsons Tue 04-Dec-12 02:58:59

Yes of course it is still a home. I rent and I take pride in my home, like to keep it nice, and would feel quite insulted if someone suggested it was not my own because I didn't own! Of course it is not for life and you don't have the security, but while you live there it is your home. Most private tenants pay more than enough for their homes after all, I know I do in London!

EllenParsons Tue 04-Dec-12 02:59:40

Not my home that should have said

ScaredySquirrel Tue 04-Dec-12 06:20:33

I rent and don't feel like it is home. this may be partly due to the fact I don't have my own furniture in (thats in my house I rent out), and also, like others, I know (hope?) that I will be buying somewhere soon.

I also look longingly at house magazines, and envy others I know nearby who own their their homes. I think I would feel differently though if I knew this was long term and I had my own furniture around me.

And of course, ultimately it doesn't really matter as long as I have my children with me.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 04-Dec-12 06:24:55

Yes. I rent my home.

JakeBullet Tue 04-Dec-12 06:38:01

I have done the lot as far as homes are concerned. I have been an owner, have privately rented and am now in social housing. Without any shadow of a doubt I struggled more with seeing the privately rented places as "home". I worried about everything despite having Tenants Insurance. It was home but it never felt like "mine". This was always underlined during Letting Agent visits when they checked everything. It was a nightmare getting any repairs done too.
I give thanks every day for my good fortune in being allocated my current house by a Housing Association. This feels like "mine" although it isn't . My tenancy is secure and my autistic son has a home for as long as he needs smile

UntamedShrew Tue 04-Dec-12 06:41:24

Offensive question, sorry

madwomanintheattic Tue 04-Dec-12 06:57:22

Home is where the Army sends you. grin

Barclays wouldn't be suggesting that our troops are homeless at Christmas, would they? I think traditionally that happens once they leave the military, given the sheer number of ex-armed forces personnel in the statistics...

Maybe they could team with the JSHAO to offer some helpful advice about finances during resettlement...

DH and I are accidental landlords, we couldn't sell our flat when we moved to another part of the country for work 9 years ago.

The flat is not our home. It is the home of whomever is renting it, they are paying for the space and if we felt the managing agents were not looking after the tenants properly we would (and have) changed.

Our current tenants have just moved in and we have made a few changes they have requested (new lino and repainted) but we have given them a choice of colours as they are the ones who live with it and, as long as it is returned in the same conditino they rent it in, they can do as they please in it. It is afterall their home.

nextphase Tue 04-Dec-12 07:35:13

What do they mean own a home?
We have a motgage on ours. Technically the bank owns more than us - or at least they would have a greater claim on it should everything go belly up.

I think having a home is dependant on fealing secure - and if you feal secure in a rented house, fab. If you don't feal secure in a mortgage or owned house, its probably not home.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 04-Dec-12 07:40:01

UntamedShrew you know what? You're right. Offensive and home owner centric.

I have rented my whole life since leaving my parents house. Every place I have rented as been home.

Asinine Tue 04-Dec-12 07:44:56

Wherever I pay my tax, that's my home.

Tyranasaurus Tue 04-Dec-12 08:23:47

I like the security of having my own home. I've rented before and made the places homey, the best was one we were allowed to decorate.

Of course - as long as it feels like one - it is very subjective. I'm 36 and we bought our first house 3 years ago. Up until then I lived in rented accommodation and those were definitely "homes"

FreelanceMama Tue 04-Dec-12 08:49:16

I've never owned a house or flat, so I can't compare it, but I don't think I would consider a property with a mortgage to be anymore or less a "home" than the flat we rent right now. I think it is to do with how secure you feel - are you anxious that you are not in control of how long you will live there? And how much you feel you can do what you want to the place.

My previous rented flat was below the house of the landlord and I felt we were living in their home temporarily. My current flat, is one of a few owned by my landlords and we see them every six months. They take pride in making their flats as comfortable as they can. We could redecorate if we asked them first. They charge us a very reasonable rent in order to hang on to tenants who will treat the place as though it were their own home (in a good way!), and have said we can stay as long as we want. This is the only place our baby has ever lived and when we came back from the hospital it definitely felt like we were coming home.

By contrast, we could buy a house with a mortgage, but haven't because I feel this is our home, and the thought of owing so much money to someone (hire-purchase from a bank) makes me feel anxious. So, no, it wouldn't be a home unless we owned it outright.

Personally I've never felt that the rented houses I've lived in were home. The houses that I have owned have very much felt like home. I'm sure its different for everyone but personally, unless I own something, its not mine!

We will never be able to buy a house, we couldn't afford it and would never get a mortgage with dp's ill health.
However we live in a lovely HA home and we're very lucky with it. It is home to us, a safe place to raise our family.
We have lived in 3 houses/flat as a family and they have all been home, they have been where we have brought our newborns from hospital, where we have celebrated Christmas's and birthdays.
Who owns the bricks and mortar is irrelevant IMO.

hackneyzoo Tue 04-Dec-12 09:05:50

A sense of 'home' is not about ownership , it's about creating a space to live and function in.

CurlyKiwiControl Tue 04-Dec-12 09:11:06

Yes its my home, but its someone elses house so ultimately I don't feel that secure feeling that I would if I was able to buy my own.

Home isn't so much about how much time or money has gone into a place, or whether you have a financial stake in it. It's about how welcome you feel when you shut the door. Home is "my place", where I feel most secure, whether I have rented or owned. My parents home is rented, they have been in it for 15 years and redecorated several times to their taste.
I own my home, and have been here 5 years so far, plan to still be here when the mortgage is all paid off.
Odd question though, as home is different things to different people.

When we were renting in the private sector, our house never felt like a home, no.
Because of short assured tenancies, knowing that you could be given two months notice at any time was quite stressful.
We were given notice last December after me being made redundant in November, with only one wage coming in we couldn't afford the exorbitant private rents in our area.
We were given a council house in February and it very much feels like home, still rented but you have to be some kind of social deviant (which we are not) to be asked to leave a council house.

Firawla Tue 04-Dec-12 09:23:11

Yes it is still a home but there is a big difference how we feel now, we are in our 1st home that we've bought after shifting around from rented flat to rented flat. as mentioned by others you do have a sense of insecurity because you know its not permanant and that you cant do what you like to the place.
I think up north rented houses can feel more home as you can get long term contracts and landlords allow you to decorate etc (i have relatives landlords back in my home town and they said its like this) but we were renting in london and they kick you out after a year as they always want to sell or whatever else, so you never feel you will be in long enough to decorate or anything as wont be worth the money doing anything to the place

JugglingWithPossibilities Tue 04-Dec-12 09:24:38

I feel more secure and very fortunate that we own our home. But of course your home is simply where you live. People who rent their homes (as I have often done) should be better protected legally so that they can feel more secure in their homes. We treat all our neighbours just the same in our mixed road of home owners and tenants. The children especially all enjoy playing out together.
In fact I feel children turn your house into a home more than any piece of paper ! We were still renting when we had DD and she made it feel especially like home smile

Dontbesodramatic Tue 04-Dec-12 09:31:14

I rent our flat but its mine and DD's home.
I resembles our personalities and we've been told it smells like us... like vanillagrin

I wish we were able to make more of a mark on it but the shell of our flat belongs to the landlordhmm

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 04-Dec-12 09:35:58

Home is wherever you make it, and the technical details of who owns it don't matter to me.

I can't bear the attitude that renting is inferior, and comments like 'Do you own your place or are you just renting?'.

MadBusLady Tue 04-Dec-12 09:40:31

I've owned and rented and there's no contest. Renting is horrible. You can be moved on at any time, you can't decorate or put up bookshelves, but the worst thing is that you have to put up with whatever shitty old fixtures are in place so long as they are still vaguely functional.

We have threadbare carpet that is so deep-clogged with dust I'm sure it made my asthma worse for the first few weeks we were here, a boiler that cuts out at random moments on cold days when someone is in the shower, an oven that you have to practically gas yourself to light (because the ignition is "not designed to be mended" apparently hmm), a raggedy old kitchen full of rodent-sized holes. And we have one of the nicer rented flats I've known, and letting agents who are basically decent (in that they actually did regrout the tiles when I asked etc).

If this place was ours we'd be saving every penny to fix those problems, because they're horrible to live with. I cannot wait to buy again.

MrsMushroom Tue 04-Dec-12 09:42:09

We rent our home...and it is a home. It's the only home my 4 year old has ever known and it's very much ours.

We know that the landlord owns the bricks and mortar and that effectively he could ask us to leave at any time, but we own the feeling inside it...the atmosphere and the furnishings and wherever we go, those things and feelings will be coming with us.

The height chart that's drawn on the door-frame is ours...the memories are ours.

It is not owning a house which makes it a home. I could live in a mansion...own it...and it could feel like the least home-like place in the world if there was no love in there. Equally....if all we had was a tent, then that would be home too.

MrsMushroom Tue 04-Dec-12 09:43:58

I should add...we are allowed to decorate and put up shelves whenever we want....the landlord is rather special and trusts our judgement. He allowed us to build a deck in the garden and he paid for the materials because he said he was glad the house was being loved.

BrittaPerry Tue 04-Dec-12 09:50:17

Dd1 is 5 and has lived in four houses.

First one it kept raining ON HER COT and coming through the light fittings and the landlord wouldn't repair it. The washing machine completely broke and e refused to buy a new one, so we bought our own. When we took it with s he took the value from our deposit.

Second landlord was much better, we decided to move near to family.

Third landlord refused to mend the oven, took days to mend the condemned gas supply (with two foot deep snow outside and newborn dd2 inside) and eventually chucked us out with two months notice as he wanted his daughter to move in.

Fourth landlord seems ok, but at first they used a letting agent, who sent a little teenager to inpect and tell us off for having unpacked boxes in the spare room. The landlords mum let slip that they are looking at schools in this area.

It is our home, but that makes it even worse that landlords seem to have more rights than tenants.

If a landlord was offering a five year lease, where we could decorate, have pets, make minor improvements and so on, I would bite their hand off.

We actually have a deposit (ILs are vv kind) and mortgage would be cheaper than rent (in fact, when we were claiming full HB, we had to top it up by more than a mortgage would be on the house) but no dice as our jobs are part time, temp or self employed (we each have three jobs)

worldgonecrazy Tue 04-Dec-12 09:52:38

I've rented privately and owned houses. Actually, scratch that, I've rented from people who were paying rent to the bank, and I'm currently paying rent to the bank. It does feel nice to own more of my home than the bank does though!

I guess answers will depend on what "home" means*. My private rented accommodation was a definite stop-gap whilst I gathered my faculties, resources and sanity together after leaving an unhappy marriage. It was never meant to be somewhere to live. My current house (owned) is still not a "home" as I know we want to move fairly shortly.

Hopefully we will find that needle in a haysack, fantastic home within our meagre budget. I've done it once before and I hope the Gods of Home Moving will smile kindly on me once again when we start looking seriously.

A home is somewhere that is your sanctuary from the world. My home is out there somewhere waiting for me.

*When I was a small girl, we went on holiday and I got very homesick. Mum told me that "Home is wherever mummy is."

Willemdefoeismine Tue 04-Dec-12 09:55:58

Well they say home is where the heart is so I guess it is. But I would say that for me it would depend on how long I'd lived there and what good memories I had of it. I think if you lived in rented accommodation (and or even inherited the tenancy so the house/flat was entwined in your family heritage) and had raised a family there (possibly even giving birth at home) then it would have all the attributes of a family home. On the other hand if you were a renting singleton and basically used your house/flat as a B&B, then no I'm not sure it would ever truly feel like home!

noidles Tue 04-Dec-12 10:02:27

I think someone up the thread made the interesting point - even with a mortgage a house isn't technically yours. Technically, it's the bank's if you have a mortgage. So I think that makes the idea that renting is inferior to home owning a bit silly.

Also, a few people have said they find the question offensive, I don't agree - maybe it's deliberately provocative, but isn't that the point? To get people talking? So often I hear people say things like 'Do you own your place or are you just renting?' or people who say that renting is like 'throwing money down the toilet'.

I think it's not a straightforward answer - I've rented for over 8 years and have live in a number of places, some felt like home, some didn't.

The place I most felt at 'home' was actually in a house share with 3 other girls I worked with - the flat was huge and in a nice area and was decorated the way we would have wanted to decorate it. The landlord was really friendly and quick to fix anything that went wrong. We had a lot of space to invite people round for dinner and often had dinner parties, film nights, or drink parties. I loved it. It was sad when we went our separate ways - a couple bought a place, and myself and one of the other girls rented separate places.

I moved in with my DP into a rented house that ended up being a complete nightmare! We had to live for a long time with no shower, and when things went wrong the landlord just wouldn't answer his phone and would eventually get back to us to to say how busy he was, and that he'd rather we left him alone! We were allowed to decorate some rooms, but honestly it was like polishing a turd! So much work was needed on the house.

Eventually we got burgled and the landlord tried to make us pay for the repairs to the house, so we moved. We're now in a really nice flat that is decorated exactly as we'd like it, so it feels more homely. Especially at Christmas with our own decorations up.

One of my old housemates who bought a flat has a flat that is the exact same size as the flat I now live in, but she's paying about half the amount I do in rent each month on her mortgage. BUT she also has to pay when the boiler breaks, etc.

I can't wait to have a home that I own so I know where I'll be for the next few years, and I won't have the insecurity of not knowing if I can stay in my house for another year when the contract comes up for renewal. I want to settle down in a house that I'll own for absolutely years, but I don't look forward to having to pay out when something goes wrong!

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 04-Dec-12 10:15:44

You know, I hate that attitude, that you can't decorate or put up bookshelves just because you're renting.

Of course you can. You just have reset it all when you move out.

I have bookshelves up everywhere and pictures hung and all sorts of decorating done as well in my rented home. It's my home.

Of course, I also have a 2 year lease and no one can move me until it's over.

Stop accepting short leases. Take the chance to ask for a longer one. The landlord just might say yes. And if they say no, you're no worse off than you were if you didn't ask.

preety18 Tue 04-Dec-12 10:19:45

I think it's hard for first buyers to buy a house nowadays with the economic situation and if they haven't got any savings behind them therefore it's hard to get on the propeerty ladder.

of course it's still a home.

we are renting and are saving up to buy, and we could rent a cheaper property and save more but chose to pay a little more rent for somewhere that we would enjoy coming home to.

there are always things that remind you that you don't own it, however (to what degree varies from landlord to landlord, and most are reasonable i think). we have quarterly inspections from the letting agents, which personally i think is excessive, especially after the first year. as others have said, decorating is not always an option. also, we aren't allowed to put in new picture hooks without permission (regardless of whether the hooks are put in neatly or not - it's in the contract).

on the other hand, we can call the agents if we have a problem and they do all the chasing of plumbers/heating engineers etc, so there are definite upsides (provided you have a good landlord or agent, and I'm aware that we are lucky in this respect)

so whilst it is definitely a home, there are always reminders that someone else makes the decisions about the space you live in

Wallison Tue 04-Dec-12 10:32:47

A lot of landlords specify no decorating/pictures/hooks/shelves etc in the tenancy agreement though.

And I'd be wary of taking on a two-year lease without a break clause in it. Such leases in the UK are different from the ones they have on the continent because they don't allow the tenant to give notice, so you might end up substantially worse off. Of course, if there is a break clause, then that's fine.

noidles Tue 04-Dec-12 10:35:28

Tee - it's not always the case that you can decorate or put up bookshelves, etc, at all. If you go through an estate agent they periodically inspect the property and ask for the removal of any shelving, etc. Some landlords do let you decorate, but I'd say that most don't.

Most the places I've been at haven't allowed a longer lease. So you have the choice - you risk losing a house that you love because you can't get a long lease. I think in London particularly landlords don't need to give long leases.

But, I think if I was still renting when I have kids I would make a point to get a long lease - ideally 3 or 4 years in length. I'd sacrifice having a house that I really loved for a bit more security.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 04-Dec-12 10:36:36

Why? I know, for a fact, baring extreme catastrophe, that I will not want to move for 2 years. And I can't live my life worrying about extreme catastrophe.

So why would I need a break clause?

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! grin

DorisIsWaiting Tue 04-Dec-12 10:38:01

It depends on the tennacy.

In LA and some HA you can decorate to your taste and make yourself at home.

With most private landlords there are limits to your decor, even as far as no blu tack on the walls. In that kind of environment it is very difficult to truly feel at home.

The potential for being asked to move on is also significant, so for those with more risky leases (private landlords again!) there is less security in the long term which can ultimately be at the back of the mind.

ouryve Tue 04-Dec-12 10:40:06

Of course it is. Though you don't have the same opportunities to personalise it as you would if you owned your house. Fat lot of chance many people have to do anything about that, though.

How are Barclays planning to use our answers to these questions, anyhow?

Is it still a home if you don't own it?

Yes it is.

I rent in the private sector with a landlord happy to do long term tenancies. It may not be my house but it is definitely my home. smile

Wallison Tue 04-Dec-12 10:40:48

I would never get a long lease of the kind you get in the UK without a break clause. What if you needed to move for work? What if your parents got sick and needed you nearer them? What if you had another child, or twins even, and needed a bigger place? It's not like if you own a house and can sell it when you want (and I appreciate that there are so-called 'accidental landlords' who say they can't sell their houses when they move but really what they mean is that they just can't get as much money as they would like for it).

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.

lynniep Tue 04-Dec-12 12:25:33

If it feels like your home, then it is your home.
Home is where the heart is is a very commonly used phrase, and is absolutely right.
You may own a building, and live in it, but it may not feel like 'home', whether for reasons that can be articulated or not.
Similarly you may rent a property and live in that, and whilst you are unable to aspects of it as it doesnt 'belong' to you- it can still feel like home. It is the roof over your head, a haven, and therefore a home.
Ask the children - they don't own 'it' but it is still their home...

turnipvontrapp Tue 04-Dec-12 12:31:35

Yes of course it is. Ownership does not come into consideration. Home is where you live.

pofacedalways Tue 04-Dec-12 12:49:47

MN, I am feeling increasingly uncomfortable about your marketing deals with big profit companies and now banks. I mean, I'm supposed to tell you something about my house/home for the chance of winning £150 voucher when the banks make billions in profit and their recklessness bankrupted the country. I mean really.

whattodoo Tue 04-Dec-12 12:57:32

I'd say that yes, it is still your home. What else could it be?
Of course, a tenant may not have the ability to decorate it, extend etc as they would like, but its still where your bits and bobs are, your friends and family come to visit you there, and it's where you make your life.
I understand that it may feel 'temporary' but even if you own your home, quite often it can feel like one you're living in at the moment until you get your 'forever home'.

RarelyUnreasonable Tue 04-Dec-12 13:01:51

Home is where the heart is, right? As long as you feel happy and safe, it doesn't matter whether you're paying rent or mortgage (or nothing if you're v jammy grin. Renting may be less secure than paying a mortgage, but not always.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Tue 04-Dec-12 13:06:36

You wouldn't even be asking this question if the UK had proper, decent tenancy laws.

I live in a place that does and I effectively have greater rights than the landlord over my home for as long as I wish to live in it. My landlord needs a good reason - one that will stand up in court - to evict me, while I can terminate the tenancy without giving a reason. The landlord has to give me reasonable notice if they want to inspect the place. I can do what I like re decoration etc as long as we restore it to the original condition when we move out or come to an agreement with the LL or next tenant.

We don't wish to buy because we don't anticipate living here forever. Renting is perfect for us. And of course it's our home. The UK culture of the 'property ladder' is bonkers and causes a great deal of misery, AFAICS.

LRDtheFeministDude Tue 04-Dec-12 13:12:39

Yes, still a home.

And I agree that if the UK had decent tenancy laws, this question would (rightly) be seen as absurd.

nemno Tue 04-Dec-12 13:13:22

I grew up living in army quarters and can definitely say that as a child each of them was home to me. It is clear my mother did not feel like that (she is a keen gardener) and only felt truly at home when they bought a family house. This was through choice because they were still entitled to quarters.

In my own adult life I have bought with a mortgage, rented through husband's company abroad, rented privately here and bought a family home and paid off the mortgage. The option that felt least like home was private renting in the UK. Perhaps not surprisingly living in an owned fully paid-off property feels the most secure and homely. But a secure tenancy with a decent landlord is not a terrible, very second best option.

hk78 Tue 04-Dec-12 13:13:59

I've tried both renting and owning.

Renting always felt like it was insecure, even when the properties were not the owners home i.e. it was a professional landlord. I also hated the regular inspections.

However, friends with HA or council tenancies have that security, so that would feel secure enough for me. Owning with a mortgage is probably no more secure than that but it gives the feeling that it is.

So for me, overall, it's not whether I own it, it's whether I can be uprooted suddenly or not that makes that 'home' feeling.

Elfontheshelfiswatchingyou Tue 04-Dec-12 13:19:58

I agree, if tenancies were more secure, with more long-term lets available and realistic rental prices, this whole thread would be full of positive answers. Everyone deserves to feel that where they live is their home.

Elfontheshelfiswatchingyou Tue 04-Dec-12 13:21:36

Just spotted the Barclays ad on the right- Home Buying, make your voices heard. Hmmm.

How about- Rights for tenants- make your voices heard?

DontmindifIdo Tue 04-Dec-12 13:22:01

I've rented and bought, and for me the point a house became a home was when we had the 'forever' feeling - for me it's not decorating or being able to hang a picture, it was the garden, actually knowing in November/December that I'll be in this house in August and it's worth doing the hard work in the garden as I will be there to benefit from it.

As others have said, it's not the renting vs buying feeling, it's the "I can stay here as long as I want" vs. "i'll probably have to move in 6 months". Secure longer tenancies are needed.

ln1981 Tue 04-Dec-12 13:22:41

My family have lived in 3 rented properties over the last 10 years and only the house we are in at the moment has felt like home. The difference being that our previous two properties were rented through an agency-so constant intrusio and inspections where the house had to be like a show home at all timess it seemed. This time around, we have cut out the middle man and our landlord pretty much let's us treat it as our home-we can decorate,we were able to get a pet and more importantly he leaves us alone unless we need him or we contact him. The house we are in just now is definately our home.

CanonFodder Tue 04-Dec-12 13:24:47

The only people who actually own their own homes are those who have paid off their mortgages. If you have a mortgage, well then your home is the banks if you don't keep up your payments. From that point of view it's not all that different from renting.

We have never and probably will never own our own place, but we are lucky enough to have a very long term let if we want it, 25 years was what we've been assured. We do whatever we like to the house and gardens and it is very, very much our home.

CanonFodder Tue 04-Dec-12 13:26:16

DontmindifIdo has it on the head really. It's that feeling of the freedom to put down roots.

GentleOtter Tue 04-Dec-12 13:32:20

We are covered by the 1990 Agricultural Secure Tenancy (Scotland) and my husband's family have lived on this farm since 1890. (tenant farmers)

The farmhouse has seen 122 years of births, marriages and deaths since dh's family have been there. There are heights of growing children carved into the wood around the door, scuffs and character marks, the garden has ancient apple trees and old roses. It is the hub of the farm.

Is it our home even although we do not live there just now due to the roof in disrepair/ no electricity/no heat/ no clean water?
Yes, of course it is our home and the heart of the family. The meeting place.

The Scottish government appear content and complacent to see tenants fight long protracted legal battles when landowners refuse to carry out repairs to sub standard houses. They are aware of these abuses yet do nothing to help the tenant. The agricultural tenancy laws are untenable and set firmly for the side of the landowner, land courts are too expensive.... I doubt Barclays will print that.

Our house does not look like much, is owned by someone who does not care about the property but it is very much home for our family.

Donkeyswife Tue 04-Dec-12 13:36:37

Of course it is, it's what you put into it, atmosphere etc.., that counts. Obviously you are limited by what you can do to a rented home, but it shouldn't be seen as a second rate habitat.

It's all about feeling comfortable & 'at home', whether it's owned or rented is irrelevent.

ReindeerBollocks Tue 04-Dec-12 13:44:08

No. It's not a home as there is no security in it, especially if it's a private letting.

Yes, you can furnish the house and make it comfortable, however if the landlord decides your gone, then it's 28 days and your outta there - no fluffy cushions or naice curtains are going to stop it.

I cannot wait to buy, and be able to furnish AND decorate, knowing that it will be a nice stable environment for myself and my family. A home that we can call ours without any threat of eviction, or people wanting to do six monthly checks to see if we are living adequately within the property.

So no, I don't believe that a rented property is a home, merely a house that you are currently using that belongs to someone else.

BetsyBlingtastic Tue 04-Dec-12 13:44:56

I'm looking forward to paying up the mortgage in a few years and truly owning our home - I do think that will feel different and more secure.

I sometimes think about the very basic accommodation peple live in in the developing world, that is dirty, vermin infested, lacking utilities, vulnerable to outsiders etc and try to count my blessings while moaning about the housework

I once visited a squatters village abroad - desperate conditions, but they had made it "home" in anyway they could, though I expect they knew they might have to move on at any time. They were quite resourceful, stealing electricity. I saw someone watching tv in a room with a mud floor a couple of chairs and nothing else.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 04-Dec-12 13:49:13

ReindeerBollock by that definition its not a home until you have paid off the mortgage or bought it outright in cash, as you're just as surely (if not just as quickly) going to be evicted if you can no longer pay your mortgage as if your landlord evicts you.

GetKnitted Tue 04-Dec-12 13:50:49

Yes it is still a home, but knowing that someone could just turn around and force you to leave, despite keeping up payments, despite loving and caring for the house, adds another level of insecurity that frankly I can do without.

The real cause of the problem of people not being able to buy is that the prices have been so hideously over inflated by speculation on the property market.

In my case no, I would have said yes a few years ago but we private rent and have had to move four times in two years.

The first property they came back from Spain because the recession was biting over there too and needed to move back in.

The second one the landlord remortgaged many properties and did a runner abroad with the money without paying.

The third one the owner began to make me feel very uncomfortable, coming to my house every day, repeatedly ringing the door bell up to twelve times a day if I didn't answer, (he also owned the house next door and was working on it) , I caught him peering through the windows and all kinds and being a lone parent with a child he started to make me feel unsafe.

The fourth one sold the property again because money was tight.

So its the insecurity, I always feel like its just somewhere to stay.

jennywren123 Tue 04-Dec-12 14:07:37

Yes, you can definitely call a house a home whether you are renting, owning, staying with family or living in your workplace (live-in nanny etc). It doesn't have anything to do with whether you own the land and bricks etc.

Home should be where you live. It shouldn't matter whether you own or rent it. It shouldn't matter if you live with family or if you are single and share with housemates. It should be a place where you feel safe, relaxed, and be yourself. It should be a place where you want to return to after a day at work, at school or after a week on holiday.

However, for many in this country, they can't feel 'home' with renting. I used to rent privately and I lived in 3 flats in 5 years. The flats were furnished so we weren't allowed our own furniture. We weren't allowed any decorations, including posters and pictures. The kitchen was already filled with not-fit-for-use crockery there is no place to put my own pots and pans. Do you know why we moved so often? The landlords never fixed anything, unless it makes the place uninhabitable. All the flats had serious damp issues. One has a non-working shower for 2-3 weeks before we gave up hassling the landlord and moved to another flat on the street. (The council said they don't need to fix the shower as there is a working bath). As a result of all this, I never felt home until I bought my own place.

Welovecouscous Tue 04-Dec-12 14:13:03

Yes - home is where the people you love are.

Yes, it's still your home.

It's where you keep your things, sleep at night and also where you see the people you love.

RudolphTheRedNosedGiraffe Tue 04-Dec-12 14:23:24

I've rented ever since leaving my parents' home over 10 years ago, some nice places, some not so nice, and I think the question is missing the point of a home. Of course a rented property is still a home, or can be! Creating a home isn't about choosing the colour of the carpet or being able to sort out the damp problem - that's decorating and maintaining a house. A home is about family atmosphere, love, respect etc.

I shared a house with a group of friends after leaving university, and it was home to me because we were very close and treated each other like family. Later on my small studio flat was definitely not a home because there was nobody to share it with. Now I am married and rent with DH and both places we've lived in the past year and a bit have been home to us. It would be great to own a property, have more confidence that we probably wouldn't have to move for years and be able to decorate however we wanted to, but it wouldn't make it more of a home than what we have at the moment - that's a different issue.

cherryjellow Tue 04-Dec-12 14:30:45

yes Its a home but it has a different vibe when you own it.

When we were renting we were told the house we were living in was going up for sale so we had to move.... in another house we had land lords spying on us (like on the advert!) and complaining through the letting agents that we haddnt cut our grass in 3 weeks :/ (we had very good reasons why we hadn't)and it was hard to feel homey when your being spyed on.

But being able to paint walls, hang things up and properly make it your own, makes it have more of a vibe of being your home

LateDeveloper Tue 04-Dec-12 14:34:39

I always rented until a few years ago and never stayed more than 18 months in any place (my choice through work and relationships). The rented places always felt like homes to me.

Sometimes I'd do a little decoration (with permission of the landlord) but even if I didn't having my own things and my own front door or even my own room in a shared flat was enough for me to feel at home.

It was only the last place I rented in that I felt differently. I had a tiny baby and the landlord's almost total lack of response to our very reasonable requests to fix basic things like the plumbing in the bathroom was really upsetting. It was my first experience of such an unprofessional approach - ironic as it was also the first time we paid so much money for what should have been a highly desirable property.

Landlord was just a young guy living in another city and obviously couldn't be bothered with his responsibilities but was very happy to take our rent cheque every month.

Agree that requiring landlords to be more professional and giving tenants more rights to longer leases (if they treat the property with care of course) would be a great way to make renting a better option.

elizaco Tue 04-Dec-12 14:45:59

Yes, of course it's still your home. It might not be YOUR HOUSE as such, but whether you own it or not, makes no difference as to whether it's home. We live in a tied house, with my husband's job. We're very fortunate, but of course, he won't have his job forever, but for the forseeable future, we're happy to call it home. It's a farmhouse in an area we would never otherwise be able to afford to buy/probably rent so consider ourselves very lucky to be able to bring up our family here :-)

ShatnersBassoon Tue 04-Dec-12 14:52:35

I've never rented property, but I know rented houses can feel like homes.

I was brought up in a rural area where lots of people rent houses from estate owners, and a rented house can stay with one family for many generations. That's most definitely their home, and they're supposed to treat it as such.

MrsHoarder Tue 04-Dec-12 14:54:03

Of course it is. Home is where my family and my stuff live whether i'm paying a mortgage or rent to live there.

TamasinR Tue 04-Dec-12 15:03:09

If you feel secure it can be rented or mortgage and still be home. I feel it depends more on how you feel about it. If you are constantly scared of missing payments for rent or mortgage it can really sour your attachment to a place.

madwomanintheattic Tue 04-Dec-12 15:27:57

superchristmasscrimper - my army quarters have always been my home. grin we have painted them, put up many many pictures, brought our newborns to them, nursed dh through a serious accident in them, had family to stay all over the world.

Just because I have to repair picture holes and re-paint it magnolia and deep clean when I leave, doesn't actually stop me doing anything.

If you choose not to paint your mq, that is entirely your choice (I assume because you can't be bothered with the rectification to standard). But don't say you aren't allowed to, because you are. We always hang our own curtains etc. everyone's mq looks completely different.

If you are saying that you can't afford to do these things, so your home is not personalized, then that's fine. But it just puts you in the same position as civilians in similar financial circumstances, bar the fact you'd have to do it every time you time you move. Ad I guess that's what we spend our disturbance allowance on. It's reasonably generous, which is presumably why people choose to get new washing machines etc instead.

expatinscotland Tue 04-Dec-12 15:31:34

'Just spotted the Barclays ad on the right- Home Buying, make your voices heard. Hmmm.

How about- Rights for tenants- make your voices heard?'

Too right.
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. '

Okay, Tee,so did you sign an agreement with a break clause or not, because well, I'm in Scotland, not England, but, again, regardless of if you think it's necessary, if it's in there, and you sign it, the landlord can serve you two months notice at any time after the first 4 months.

How do you know what people on here are doing with regards to tenancy laws? I suppose it's just easier to label people who disagree with you whingers, it's your standard MO. hmm

We're in a HA flat, so have security of tenancy, but do care and work towards changing it in the private sector.

poppy283 Tue 04-Dec-12 15:45:00

I agree with several pps - offensive question given the current state of affairs in this country.

jan2013 Tue 04-Dec-12 15:49:16

it doesn't feel like a home. i can get myself comfortable, but theres only so much i feel i can do. the neighbours complain as the garden is a jungle, but it would take renovators to come and cost thousands to sort it out properly. i cannot maintain it the way it is. there is no way i would ever get it done if im renting, and landlord won't do it. thats one problem. then i would love a new bathroom. our bathroom is awful looking, and the floors need done. i guess i can't complain, i have a nice house in a nice area. and im more concerned with other things in my life at the minute. but i could get frustrated when i think of the house and the way i want it. plus the feeling of insecurity that i could be put out or the rent can be put up. plus the fact that when anything needs done it takes the landlord a month and about ten phone calls to even register it in his diary. renting for me is not ideal but its ok as long as nothing goes wrong

Climbingpenguin Tue 04-Dec-12 15:50:58

I feel if in a HA/council then easily, it can be done in private, but only if you (i) plan to be there for a while and (ii) feel comfortable and secure with the LL

Ahardyfool Tue 04-Dec-12 15:53:07

I agree with the poster that said it depends how secure you feel and that means whether you feel secure in meeting mortgage or rental payments. My parents have been mortgage free for decades and have a huge sense of security and 'home'. I'd be more affected by them moving from the house I grew up in than I am by the fact that I have never lived in one house for more than 3 years.

Do Barclays think that a financially incentivised discussion might skew responses or are they not concerned with broad representation here?!

We rented for many years before finally buying a house this year.

None of our rented houses ever fully felt like a real home. They always felt a bit thin and makeshift and never properly ours. Things like not being allowed to put pictures/photos up, and having landlord quality fixtures and fittings meant that all the houses/flats we rented felt less 'solid' (and certainly much less nice) than our parents' bought houses.

And then there's the maintenance issue. It's not great when you can't do anything about problems and are at the mercy of your landlord, who may or may not fix it (and almost certainly not the way you'd've liked things). Our last house was very draughty and impossible to keep warm (despite humongous gas bills) and the garden was completely impossible to maintain (dreadful drainage meant that it was a swamp year round, and the previous tenants hadn't so much as tried to cut the grass in 5 years so it was well-established and I possible to eradicate weed central).

Sure our house isn't perfect, but it's nice to be able to fix things the way we want them (or to know that we've decided not to bother). Part of it feeling more like home is that we know we have no plans to move for the foreseeable future too. In rented we always knew we'd be moving on (and sometimes not when we wanted to).

We also no longer need to worry about getting our deposit back.

And we noticed that the neighbours are much more friendly when you move into a house that had a 'for sale' sign rather than a 'to let' one.

guineapiglet Tue 04-Dec-12 16:01:58

We are renting for a year, following a relocation with the whole family. I really like our rented house, it is very comfortable, and a good sanctuary whilst we look around for something to buy - a breathing space. We are very fortunate to be able to do this, in a rental market which is hyper competitive and very expensive. It is a temporary home, festooned with our photos and pictures in designated places on the wall, lots of familiar objects everywhere, but also lots of restrictions ( no trimming shrubs etc in the garden/no pets/subject to lots of inspections, no decorating to our taste, etc) - so we have tried to make it our own space, filling it with things the family love. The children have adapted very well to not sticking things on the wall, treating everything with respect hopefully and not painting their walls their favourite colours...... In many respects I feel sorry for the house, as it is in need of an update, some tlc and some redecoration, as it has been 'home' to successive families in our position.

Home is definitely where we are all together, but it has to feel safe and secure, and those renting from dodgy landlords, on insecure tenancies, and as a last resort, should also be able to feel this way about their respective 'homes'.

Ahardyfool: I think you're right that it would depend (at least to some degree) on how secure you felt in the affordability of your mortgage/rent. Our monthly mortgage payment is slightly lower than our rent used to be (and for a bigger house). We purposefully chose to limit our price range so that we will always be able to live off one salary (because you never know what might happen). Luckily we live in a part of the country where doing that was an option.

It's not just security about keeping up the rent/mortgage and having a longer tenancy. Some private landlords excessively check on their tenants. It's a lack of privacy issue too. We see many on this thread already. A friend was told to clean the oven or she will get a notice to move out! (She hired a professional company that specialised in cleaning ovens for tenants to do it. But she has no kids). I was told by my first LL to keep the heating on during the day when both me and DH were at work. She blamed us for the damp problem, but the bathroom has no fan and its was a open paln kitchen living area. The cooking and showering water has no where to go.

As for those who say stick it up to the LL. There is a lot of demand for rental property in the nicer part of town sad

AnAirOfHopeForSnow Tue 04-Dec-12 16:15:06

I couldnt call a rented house my home because of the insuciraty that the ll could ask us to leave when they want. Owning a house is much better but is a lot of responsability to maintain and update.

My dh had his house before we meet after getting married and our first child i put my name on the mortage and deeds but i still think of the house as his house but my home.

I think i will feel better when we move and buy a house for us as a family and it will be our forever home grin

Yes, I did say in my first post that you are at the mercy of your LL and that's not fun. Neither is dealing with letting agents, who have (in my experience) always been total bastards (who charge exorbitant fees for the displeasure of dealing with them).

Why can the letting agents charge so much for reference checks? What do they really do?

And lots of LL are a nightmare to deal with. Previous landlords have: tried to sell the house and then got annoyed that we gave notice rather than staying on and making their house look like a home; run up loads of really bad debt at the address so we had to deal with bailiffs repeatedly, and had difficulty setting up utilities; and kept checking up on us and making ridiculous demands about what we could and couldn't do in our flat.

In fact, we were keen to emphasise to the people we showed round our old house (who went on to rent it) that our previous LLs were actual, professional landlords who would let you rent as long as you want, left you alone to live your life and actually maintained the property. You'd think finding that in a LL would be easy, but it usually isn't.

CheeryCherry Tue 04-Dec-12 16:26:43

It depends..I think if you're in secure rented accommodation, can decorate and personalise it, then yes it will feel like a home. Many landlords won't allow alterations, and with every possiilty of eviction/landlord selling up, then it just feels like a house. And time makes a place a home.

BrewEmoticon Tue 04-Dec-12 16:28:04

I think it can be a home even if you don't own it, as many of the factors which create a home aren't to do with ownership of the bricks and mortar.

However obviously owning the place is going to make the occupants feel very much more secure which in turn will make it much more likely to feel like a home.

Equally you could own a place but it not be your home.

expatinscotland Tue 04-Dec-12 16:34:07

There's at least one thread a week here, and usually more, about bad private landlords, there are two right now, both of whom have landlords who have failed to maintain the property to a legal standard of safety (one doesn't even have a gas certificate in place). Reams of them over the years, tenants asked to show round potential buyers, landlords coming in to spy, letting themselves in with no notice, agencies coming in with no notice, etc etc.

Vagndidit Tue 04-Dec-12 16:45:25

People are too unnecessarily fixated on the ultimate prize of home ownership, often at any foolish financial price.
Life in general has changed in recent generations and people are more mobile than ever. Being a family "on the move" and needing to relocate--often abroad--for my husband's job every few years makes home ownership downright foolish. But that doesn't mean our rental properties were any less of a home than our owned ones. Home is where a family dwells, no matter how it's funded.

LiveItUp Tue 04-Dec-12 16:49:25

From the comments, there are clearly different types of tenancy and security (I don't mean in the legal sense) which have an effect on how you regard the house you rent.

We sold our house nearly three years ago and rented, hoped it would be for a few years, but then the Landlord lost his job and needed his house back so, out of the blue, we had a month to find somewhere else to live. We'd only been there five months. We found another house to rent, and moved again, and although we secured ourselves with longer tenancy agreements, I was always half expecting them not to be extended at each annual renewal.

The thing though that I found most affected how I thought of it as home was the fact that I couldn't put my stamp on it. They had just done it up and it was immaculate, so I was constantly aware of marking the carpets or the boys (yes - three boys in a rental !! ) bouncing balls off the walls etc etc. Every wall was the dreaded magnolia, and they didn't want us to put up loads of pictures. We had to ask permission to get a dog (they said yes grin ) - but having to ask for something like that ..... No, it didn't feel like home in so many ways.

We finally bought our own house again this summer and my first job was to paint the boys' rooms funky colours and put loads of posters up for them. I now drink RED wine again with no fear of spilling it on the carpet, cos they're MY carpets. Marks on the walls .... just touch them up. I can plant what I like in the garden. Yes, this is home.

Whodhavem Tue 04-Dec-12 16:58:18

Your home is where you call home few people in fact own unless you have no mortgage the bank owns it! Banks are worried if people stop buying houses as it generates a large amount of revenue by lending you the money. Don't be fooled they will take it away as easily as they give you the loan if you don't pay!
So a home is where you make it rented or mortgaged!

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 04-Dec-12 17:04:05

I think it's your home if you feel it is.

I've owned a home and I lost it when my business went under. I've been in private rented and the landlord wanted it back. I now have a HA home. I decorate it how I like and as long as I pay my rent and am not a nuisance, I have a home for life. I don't have to worry about repairs, buildings insurance, etc. I feel very lucky.

Caution - unpopular view alert grin

People say they own their home when they are paying the mortgage but imo, until you pay off your mortgage, your lender owns your home as much as you do anyway. You could call them your landlord. wink Except you've got to do all the repairs etc yourself...

This idea of owning your home = an asset. imo, people have been trained to see home ownership as an asset when in fact (i think anyway) it is a liability. It takes money out of your pocket. You don't own it for 25 years, you have to pay all manner of insurances on it, the deposit ties up your capital, you have to maintain it, etc, etc

At what point does all that expense become an asset? It ties up your capital, reduces your available cash and you have to work harder to keep chucking money at it.

If you can't make investments that generate enough cash to pay for your home and the associated costs - it's not that much of an asset grin

Your assets are the things you have. Your liabilities are those things you fork out for. You tell me which section a house goes into grin

cq Tue 04-Dec-12 17:04:18

I would say it completely depends on your landlord, the condition of the house and the minimum period of your tenancy. And your mindset.

MoomieAndFreddie Tue 04-Dec-12 17:08:32

great post HEC

nahla321 Tue 04-Dec-12 17:12:11

Yes anybody can own a house but its who lives in it that makes it a home. You wouldn't say I'm going back to a house would you, you say I'm going 'home'.

Wallison Tue 04-Dec-12 17:18:04

You do get to have a house at the end of 25 years though. After 25 years of paying rent, all that tenants have to show for it is that they've bought their landlord a house.

Having a mortgage is not the same as having a landlord. A bank won't tell you you can't have pets or put pictures up or paint the rooms how you want them. A bank won't give you notice to leave even if you have kept the place immaculately and not fallen behind with your payments to them. They won't send around cowboy builders to do botch jobs and fuck your house up for you.

Probably more people would be more OK about renting if they were housed by the LA or an HA; it's not ownership on paper that matters but security and self-determination about your home environment.

Petershadow Tue 04-Dec-12 17:19:47

I've never felt that any house I rented was home.
But I think it depends on how long you are staying for and what your landlord will allow you to do

I'm a landlord also and some of my tenants have definitely made it their home without major works.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 04-Dec-12 17:25:38

Everyone is talking like no one has ever lost the house that they have bought with a mortgage.

Thanks Hec for pointing out that people lose such homes all the time.

A house is home if you make it a home. Doesn't matter how it's decorated or who actually owns the bricks and mortar.

Wallison Tue 04-Dec-12 17:26:54

It matters when your landlord evicts you, which they can do for no reason. It matters quite a lot then.

expatinscotland Tue 04-Dec-12 17:30:53

It matters when you wind up moving, and paying the cost of moving, two or more times in a year, when you can't find another home in the same catchment and have to move your kids' schools over and over again, when you don't have a working boiler and your landlord refuses to fix it or drags it out so have no heat or hot water (and it's illegal to withold rent in such a situation).

Yes, people lose mortgaged homes all the time, but I doubt it happens or has potential to happen twice or more a year.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 04-Dec-12 17:31:18

Well, if the laws in your country allow your landlord to evict you willy nilly when you have a lease? You and your country have much bigger problems than whether or not your rented property is a home.

Tigerbomb Tue 04-Dec-12 17:42:45

Up until a year or two ago, I would have agreed that a home is where the heart is. I had rented for 5 years and loved my "home". The landlord allowed me to make improvements at my own cost and I did just that as I felt that although it was his house, it was my home

Then I discovered the Landlord had been made bankrupt and we had to move pretty sharpish.

We then bought a property - I now feel that this feels more like home , I pay the mortgage (cheaper than the previous rent) it's mine. No-one can kick me out at a moments notice

noidles Tue 04-Dec-12 17:49:00

But people are just pointing out what they feel are the barriers to somewhere feeling like home. Overwhelmingly, people seem to be saying on this thread that the laws are in favour of the landlord (though I'm sure there's loads of landlords on Mumsnet who would disagree).

A great shake up needs to happen with the laws with regard to making private renting more stable. I imagine it's already happening to an extent - for example, the laws have changed around tenancy deposits. Landlords now have to insure their deposit with a scheme or they risk having to pay their tenant 3 times the amount of the deposit. That is fair, given that some landlords used to with hold deposits with no good reason, and there was no way to really dispute this.

I think there was also talk of landlords having to offer 2 year leases as standard (with a break clause) - but maybe I made that up.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Dec-12 17:57:30

Barclays say - "thanks for all your comments so far. The question today is designed to get folks talking about differences between how renting and owning a home (with or without a mortgage) can make you view your home/ where you live - your responses clearly demonstrate, as stated in the OP, that we are all different and have different experiences as well as views. There are no right or wrong answers and we are after debate and discussion with these threads".

ouryve asked how responses will be used by Barclays and they say "this Mumsnet activity is part of a wider national campaign to get the nation talking about home buying issues, we'll look at the themes and views to help shape our banking and support."

thanks, MNHQ

harrietspy Tue 04-Dec-12 18:09:01

Yes. I've never felt more at home than I do in my current (rented) place. I've lived in my 'own' home, too. The liberating thing about renting is that I don't pour energy into decorating. It's a good lesson in making peace with what's here.

Hopezibah Tue 04-Dec-12 18:16:00

In theory a home is a home whether rented or not. We used to consider our uni digs home too even though we knew it was just temporary. We were fortunate that our landlord had been happy to allow us to decorate if we wished to and we used to make the effort to keep the garden nice too. But I used to always feel a little nervous in case something got damaged. Once we were in a home we owned then I just felt more relaxed and it was lovely to be able to decorate and do things exactly how we wanted. The house next door has just gone up to let and the price they are asking for is way more than our mortgage but I suppose it is so hard to get onto the property ladder that landlords can charge lots. I really think it is hard for those starting out. We have friends that have always rented and just because they are relaxed and happy about renting their place always feels like home and we had no idea for years that they didn't own it.

noisytoys Tue 04-Dec-12 18:21:04

I own a leasehold flat it sometimes feels like I have all the worst bits, the burden of a mortgage and all the responsibility of maintenance, but still have a freeholder (landlord) so it isn't really mine

It is still my home though grin

Narked Tue 04-Dec-12 18:25:10

Is apartheid still wrong if you're make money from it?

thisthreadwilloutme Tue 04-Dec-12 18:25:52

For me home is definitely more about being with the people you love, I have lived in 3 houses in the last 4 years and all of them were home because we were all together. I know you can't always paint walls or change furniture in a rented house, but you can use photos, personal items, cushions and blankets to transform a room. For my children I have found that with familiar toys, bedding and favourite blanket a new house becomes home almost instantly.

I felt really at home in my last (rented) accommodation.It was great - a tidy little semi in a decent-ish area. It takes a lot for me to feel 'at home' - as a child we were moved around a lot and as a result I have found it quite hard to settle. I always seem to be thinking ahead to the next move.
Last year we got an offer we couldn't refuse from FIL who offered to move out of DH's family home in order for us to move in and do as we wish with it. In theory it was an amazing idea and I really looked forward to being more settled without having to adhere to the usual landlord rules. In this house we can pretty much do what we like, decorate as and when and generally enjoy. In practice however, I couldn't feel less at home. It doesn't feel right and now we don't really have the option to move without causing a huge family ruckus, whereas if we had rented and hated it we could just move after the lease was up. I suppose we have a bit more security, but I didn't have a great relationship with FIL anyway and now that he is expecting me to be eternally grateful and I am not, it's just making things worse.
The whole house needs blown up and started again - it was FIL's family home for 25 years and he is a terrible hoarder - it's taken us this long to do the basics. We don't have a kitchen because he refuses to do it up (we have a sink and an oven, but workspace is null and void. Flooring is up in the kitchen so down to bare boards which catch on feet and is covered in nails. No doors downstairs because all were dangerous and had to be removed (we have 2 small ds). Everything is desperately needing renovated beyond what we initially thought. It's awful. It's going to take such a long time to do it, so we are currently stuck in the position of trying to do stuff and trying to save up for our own place.


Anyway. Yes, a home can be a home whether it is rented or not. But only if you are happy in it.

maximusminimus Tue 04-Dec-12 18:26:54


We owned a house in the UK (well, the bank did...). We moved over to the USA this year and are renting. Does it feel any less like a 'home'? Not at all. My husband and my daughter are there, and it's still my refuge at the end of a tough day.

The old saying is true 'Home Is Where The Heart Is'.

The actual bricks and mortar,ownership, fripperies etc don't count for anything without a family to make it a home.

I've never owned my own home, I wish I could but sadly its not an option at the moment.
I don't personally feel its is "my" house, but its home iyswim? The way I see it is, four walls and a roof isn't home. Its bricks, mortar and tiles.

Home is where my family are, where my belongings are, where my memories are.

I say this, of course, as someone who has moved 5 times in the space of the last 6 years!

I don't feel its my house as its owned by someone else, so I'm hesitant to do any major stuff to a house that's not mine except slapping some paint on the walls. But then, the traditional thing of buying a house and paying a mortgage off is becoming less than commonplace for most anyway.

SantaJaxx Tue 04-Dec-12 18:39:04

I've lived in rented properties since I left home 18 years ago. A few have felt like home, others not so much. It totally depends on the landlord really. One house we lived the landlord did weekly inspections! shock We moved out when our tenancy ended. Our last house we lived in for 6 years, even though it was falling down around us, had no central heating, double glazing and was riddled with damp it still felt like home. Mainly because the landlord left us alone.

We live in a HA house now, and this does feel more like "ours" than any of the others have, because it's a secure tenancy and we can decorate how we like. I would love to be able to own our own home.

Bicnod Tue 04-Dec-12 19:06:08

I think it should feel like a home, whether or not you own it, but I have to admit that none of the rental properties I lived in (and there were MANY) prior to getting on the property ladder felt as much like home as mine and DH's first flat and now our first house.

The trouble with renting is that you are at the mercy of the landlord/lady. If you get a reasonable one, great. If you get a total arsehole you are, essentially, screwed.

JugglingWithPossibilities Tue 04-Dec-12 19:09:08

Just thinking it's only those of us who've not known what it's like to be homeless who'd say that home is not a roof over your head, or the bricks and mortar.

Sure, I agree, family is what matters most to most of us, and that's great.
But nearly every night at bedtime I try to remember to be thankful for my safe place to sleep and the roof over my head and over the sleeping heads of my children. That's something that not everyone has.
It gives me some much needed perspective.

Jux Tue 04-Dec-12 19:16:11

I lived in rented properties for years until I got married (dh already owned his flat, so we lived there). I always felt like they were my home. Where I lived, where my stuff was.

We now own our house and rent out a flat. The flat is our tenant's home. We don't wander in and out, we ask if we can come in to get the gas things checked, etc. She asks if she can put up a shelf or paint something. We've never said no to her, and it's unlikely we would. It's unlikely she'd ask anything unreasonable.

She is a great tenant, so we've not increased the rent for 2 years (she's been here 3) as we'd like to hang onto her as long as possible. She's been in arrears, but she told us the instant she knew she would have problems, so we didn't worry about it. She's got herself up to date again, and I hope she won't worry too greatly if she has to fall behind again.

I hope she thinks of it as her home.

expatinscotland Tue 04-Dec-12 19:20:47

'Just thinking it's only those of us who've not known what it's like to be homeless who'd say that home is not a roof over your head, or the bricks and mortar.'

I've been homeless and still feel it's completely dependent on the landlord if you are in private sector rental.

PetiteRaleuse Tue 04-Dec-12 19:20:55

I feel perfectly at home in my rented house. I intend buying much later in life when we have decided where to retire to. I have always rented, and always felt at home.

missorinoco Tue 04-Dec-12 19:28:13

Yes, very much so. I rented for years before I bought, both shared acommodation with friends and then alone. My flat/house was my home. The only one I didn't consider to be my home I moved out of almost as soon as I moved in. Ants in the cupboards and a kitchen I would never want to cook in were not for me.

I'm surprised at the question, and cynically wonder whether it will be used by banks to suggest it isn't a home unless you own it.

Seeing as technically the bank owns my house it wouldn't be a home either under that criteria.

I haven't read the thread, apologies if this has beendone to death already.

crochetcircle Tue 04-Dec-12 19:29:37

I get very attached to places the longer I stay there the harder it is to leave. Before I had children I would love specific spots in my homes with views into the garden or some pretty brickwork.

Home is wherever you are, and more recently for me wherever my family is. Whether you rent or buy is irrelevant. I think I've been lucky with landlords however, who've been lovely generally so I've always felt secure.

Vixjax Tue 04-Dec-12 19:32:22

Of course- a home is the people in it and whatever you make it.

mamij Tue 04-Dec-12 19:35:49

We rented for a while, and to be honest it never really felt "home". Sure, we had all our possessions and bits and pieces, and we obviously loved there, but we couldn't paint or decorate it, or even put nails into the wall to hang up photos. My DH called me silly as it was obviously our home.

When repairs needed to be done, it felt like the landlord was doing us a favour to do something. Sometimes it took days for the landlord to reply. We didn't take as much pride in the property as much as I would have liked.

Ivytheterrible Tue 04-Dec-12 20:00:44

It is definitely "a home" as it is the place my family and I come home to each night.

I don't class it as "mine" as in owned by us though. When asked questions about home ownership I say it's mortgaged or "rented from the bank!" I won't consider it fully ours until the last mortgage payment is made in hhhhhhmmm 2030!

UnbridledPositivity Tue 04-Dec-12 20:11:27

To be honest, I keep seeing the thread title as I check active convos, and each time I feel a little more insulted.

Of course a rented house can be a home, too. What a bloody ridiculous question. Some people never own their house. Some people spend decades in a council house. 'Home' isn't about owning the place. It's a state of mind which can be brought about through e. g. planting things, time passing, significant life events occurring, and people.

(I do agree though that some landlords make it difficult.)

stubbornstains Tue 04-Dec-12 20:15:42

A bank claiming they want to initiate an impartial debate on home owning versus renting is like a chocolate manufacturer asking people if they feel they deserve a little treat at the end of the day*.

I suspect they are looking for a certain...shall we say..slant in the responses here? Which they will presumably then use for marketing purposes.

I think that if Barclays actually did spark a serious national debate about mortgages versus renting they would come to regret it.

* My mind went utterly blank here, and I could not think of a decent analogy at all. Can anyone else do any better?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 04-Dec-12 20:22:42

grin no, I think yours is spot on.

Snog Tue 04-Dec-12 20:29:00

Imo a home is anywhere you feel at home - the contractual arrangements are not the primary factor - it's more of an emotional thing

melliebobs Tue 04-Dec-12 20:34:43

This is a hard one. Where me and dh husband lived previously was rented. Even though this is where we slept and where my family was I didn't call it home. But i think that was more to the fact that we always new it was a temporary thing (1-2 yrs max), i was never comfortable there and we never made the effort to make it 'ours' so i think that wud have helped. Now we own our home (with a mortgage) and it's more permanent. Again our family is here but we've made it our place.

I was brought up in rented houses as most working classs people were until the eighties. All our homes were homes of course they were. Private landlords can be an issue. The last place dh and I rented was ok but the ll was abroad for work and clearly saw the place as her house so we had to keep her cleaner, free of charge, great we thought... until we started getting letters from agent about people staying, windows open during the day and smoking in the flat... we bought a flat within 6 months.

Renting again wouldn't bother me. whereever I lay my hat

lorisparkle Tue 04-Dec-12 21:32:24

I have always felt that the place I live with my family is my home. Having lived as a student, renting, with other students that was not really 'my home'. However my DH and I rented together before we married and that was home. We now live in a house which we share ownership with the bank (ie a mortgage) and that is definately a home but we don't fully own it.

BabylonElf Tue 04-Dec-12 21:37:54

We rent, have done for the last 5.5 years - in that time we've had short hold assured tenancies of 6 months, and 4 different addresses.

Where we live now, we have a long let tenancy - we've been here for 3.5 years and are signed up for another 3 minimum. It is home, but none of the others were.

We've met our actual landlord twice in the last 3 years, but they're only at the end of a phone if we need them.

D is a plumber/joiner and any little Jobs that need doing, he just does them. Bigger jobs, we ring the letting agent and get agreement, then DH invoices agents and we're all happy smile

I the last month, I have reprinted every room in the house at atonal cost of £46. It all looks clean and nice and I'm happy.

The DCs love it here, and yes, if LL would sell it, we'd snap his arm off for it!!

Wallison Tue 04-Dec-12 21:51:14

^Seeing as technically the bank owns my house

People keep saying this and it's simply not true. If you've got a mortgage, you still own your house. The bank doesn't own it and you are not renting. You have borrowed money off the bank to buy the house and used your house as security for that. But the house is still yours. Just as a car would be yours if you used your house for security for a loan to pay for that.

Vijac Tue 04-Dec-12 22:14:57

Wherever you live with your family is of course home. However, I have to say that I feel more homely in an owned house than a rented one as it feels more permanent and I can make it how I want it without feeling that I'm wasting my money/breaking the rules.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 04-Dec-12 22:22:36

Of course a rented house is still a home.
Home is a feeling not an object.

chez2708 Tue 04-Dec-12 22:25:51

Yes, a home is what u make of it envy

Whatever the slant Barclays might have been hoping for, I think the main thing to come out of the thread is not that home ownership is awesomer but that insecure private renting is often so bad a deal that it feels like a better deal to have to fix your own bloody boiler. No one wants to pay for a new boiler, surely.

Mydelilah Tue 04-Dec-12 23:44:19

We bought our house earlier this year after many years of renting in different countries (moving with work). For me home is where my family is, and where I feel secure/safe/comfortable and it doesn't matter if rented or owning.

Even owning now doesn't mean i'm fully settled - We're still not in our 'forever home' though as we've bought the current place because its cheaper to have a mortgage than pay rent and new place is practical for work/nursery etc. Due to crazy prices in our area (London) we had to make big compromises to fit the budget. I dream of leaving central London for a beautiful house with a garden and for this reason all the decorating we are doing feels like I'm doing it with an eye on resale in a few years, and not just for me.

I guess in conclusion owning doesn't automatically mean home for life either...

TheCatInTheHairnet Wed 05-Dec-12 02:01:39

We have bought our house this last summer. It is the first time we have owned our own home in 5 years.

I have never thought of any of the 3 homes we lived in, during that time, as anything other than home. Our first rental was for 3 years, and I was gutted when the owners wanted it back, so happy were we there. That said, we had a huge sigh of relief the day we moved in here. It was ours and that was that. I could paint it, I could move things around and knock things down. I haven't actually done any of those things yet, but my heart sings a little every morning knowing this is our forever (for now) home.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Wed 05-Dec-12 06:48:45

Can anyone do the maths of what a home actually costs you?

purchase price + mortgage interest (25 years) + buildings insurance + repair costs + surveys + legal fees =

(plus anything I may have forgotten)

and that's without the cost of moving, if you decide to. surveys. changing mortgage, etc

If we assume that you move once in your life, to a bigger home. What then?

against the cost of renting at £x per month. (round here average private rental is about £800 a month for a family home)

How much have you actually paid for that house that is, when your mortgage is paid, actually worth £200,000??

does anyone know?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Wed 05-Dec-12 07:07:20

I guess I won't be winning that voucher grin

<pretends not to see Barclays shoving entry down back of sofa wink >

FateLovesTheFearless Wed 05-Dec-12 07:12:55

Having been a tenant for years and likely to stay that way for years yet, I have had many rentals and so no living in a rental is not a home to me. Knowing that at any time the landlord may ask you to leave means its not a home. A home to me is long term, there are no guarantees with rental, certainly much less than with mortgages.

My parents have been renting the same house for twenty two years, as a part of my fathers job. I am sure it's very much home to them but they are reaching retirement age and once the job is done, so is the home.

I currently rent from my cousin which makes it a bit more secure for me than a landlord I have no connection with but he will want to sell eventually.

I have four children, the eldest of which is seven and have moved seven times in her life. I doubt she sees this current place as home either. A home to her is a place where we are all together, not a building.

thewhistler Wed 05-Dec-12 07:20:05

Home is where the heart is.

Cliched but true.

I lived in rented accommodation a,lot of my childhood as we moved every two years. And home is where you make it. With your own things even if not your own choice of decoration. Familiar rugs, lamps, pictures, books and toys make your home, with the core being your family.

But, there is a sense of extra well-being if you own the property, and even better if you own outright with no debt and noone can take it away from you.

We all need a familiar roosting place. Especially most small children. Look how they like to go to familiar places. Our homes express safety and warmth and cuddles.

MadBusLady Wed 05-Dec-12 07:21:56

It doesn't actually make any sense that houses cost what they do, of course, because unless it's brand new the cost of the house itself has been absorbed decades ago. What you're really paying for is the land with all its amenities.

I don't suppose a post about Land Value Tax is going to be a surefire winner on a thread sponsored by a bank either, is it.

MadBusLady Wed 05-Dec-12 07:26:10

Good post, arbitraryusername. Totally agree. Whole thing is arse backwards.

Starrsmummy Wed 05-Dec-12 07:41:22

We rent and I do consider this our home, it's not very nice to think that our landlord could decide to sell up at any point but if that were to happen we would just move to a new home.

wherever DD and Dp are - that's home

Actually JugglingWithPossibilities you are completely wrong. angry

I have been homeless twice. A few years back we moved from one county to another, had nowhere to live and sofa surfed amongst family members for a month with a 5 month old dd.

When I was 17, I couldn't stand the idea of living at home with abusive dm for any longer, stayed at friends house a couple of times over 6 months, but once their parents had enough of my dm causing them trouble, I was street homeless on and off for a month. Was a very scary time being a 17 y/o girl alone at night in winter. Kept seeing the local council and social services who didn't want to know as my dm presented as some poor mother with a trouble making, tearaway teen daughter- she kept telling them that I was not homeless as I could come home whenever I wanted. It was major BS, as she'd changed the locks and was laughing at me out the window. I was not a teen tearaway, I was an A student, and due to her not being physically abusive to me, there were no marks, so it was easy for authorities to turn a blind eye and suggest I was lying. One of my tutors tried to offer a solution where I'd live with her and complete my a'levels, but my dm wouldn't agree to it- she'd preferred me to be homeless as it continued the emotional abuse, frankly.

So, apologies, but you know nothing about other people's experiences. And to make out like what I said is BS is rude. I had that house with my dm, that was a roof, bricks etc, it wasn't home as it was full of unhappiness, resentment and anger, constantly.

My situation now is different. I have a dp who loves me a lot, two dcs who are my absolute day to day reason for being, and no amount of bricks and a roof make a difference as long as we are all together.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 08:18:23

'To be honest, I keep seeing the thread title as I check active convos, and each time I feel a little more insulted.

Of course a rented house can be a home, too. What a bloody ridiculous question. Some people never own their house. Some people spend decades in a council house. 'Home' isn't about owning the place. It's a state of mind which can be brought about through e. g. planting things, time passing, significant life events occurring, and people.'

Well said UP. You and me both.

It's one more thing to put me off Barclays.

elfycat Wed 05-Dec-12 08:31:53

I'm a landlord who has also rented.

DH was in the army so we'd move frequently and in one case only lived in a house for 10 months between moves. These places were our homes though we had our stuff, our hobbies, the cats. They were a sanctuary where I could shut the world out of when I needed and invite guests and entertain when I liked.

I like to think that my tenants are living in a 'home'. I bought the house before I met DH and initially kept it in case things didn't work out. I've had difficult tenants, the ones who left the house in such a state it took 12 working days to clear out their rubbish, clean and redecorate; or the 2 friends who I let out of a 6 month agreement when it didn't work out sharing after a month.

I've had the same family in now for 4 years and if they squeak that they want something fixed I get it done ASAP. I've refused to allow the agent to put their rent up twice as they're such good tenants. I'm currently annoyed as the kitchen needs replacing and there's someone at the agency who doesn't pass along messages, I want a quote for a new kitchen so I can get it done for them.

I hope they consider it their home

mummymccar Wed 05-Dec-12 08:43:01

I do feel like my rented house is home, however I don't feel secure here at all. I've had landlords let themselves I. With a spare key whilst I was out, one landlord sold our house and didn't tell us until the board went up outside, and another removed the curtains and hid the keys to lock the windows on the day we moved in. Surprise surprise we were burgled within the first week.
Our landlord in this house seems lovely but I still don't feel secure. I know that I could get settled only for him to sell the house and turf us out or similar.
I'd love to own but unfortunately it is the deposit problem again. We could easily pay a mortgage and other house fees, but we just can't make that first step and new builds are rarely big enough for families.

buggyRunner Wed 05-Dec-12 08:52:43

IMHO its only YOUR home if you own it as you get the security in that. If you rent you csant decorate. I could not rent long term for this reason

JugglingWithPossibilities Wed 05-Dec-12 08:56:43

I'm sorry to hear of your experiences FFF and am glad to hear things are much better for you now.
I don't really think I made out that anything in your posts was BS. I was just expressing an opinion that took as a starting point your mention of "bricks and mortar" Clearly bricks and mortar isn't enough to make a home - but it is a start ?

Wowserz129 Wed 05-Dec-12 09:07:25

What a frigging stupid question!!! Of course it's your home even if you don't own it. Surprised Mumsnet even posted such crap!!

mylittlemonkey Wed 05-Dec-12 09:18:17

The house we live in was bought with a mortgage with still just over half owed on it (so I am not sure whether you could actually say we own the house as yet) but we do feel like it is our home and have spent quite a bit decorating and customising the rooms to suit our lifestyle. When I lived in rented accommodation (for approx. 10 years before I bought a house) I still did feel like it was my home and did buy things to make it personal to me although these would be things I could take with me if I moved. Most of the properties I rented though were pretty much to my taste before I moved in though. Those that

Me and my DH also rent two properties (that we bought before we met each other and kept on as rental properties) and I would hope and allow the tenants to treat it as their own home and would allow them to make any amends that were not too drastic as I would want them to feel settled and like it was their home and I am sure the longer you spend in a property and the more personalised you can make it the more of a home it becomes to you. If the tennats are happy they will stay longer and that makes life easier for me as a long term tennats that treats the property like their own is surely the best for everyone.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 05-Dec-12 09:24:00

I am pretty shocked that in the UK you can be evicted / the lease cancelled so easily and at such short notice. I thought the law had been changed to improvetenants' rights years ago.

In France it is much more in tune with the tenants. Mst rentals are non furnished you can decorate it in the way you like, can have pets, and it is hard to evict someone , and illegal during winter months. In non furnished houses the tenancy agreement is set at three years minimum - tenants can give notice in that time, but landlords can't. When the lease is up the owner has to give three months' notice, otherwise it is automatically renewed for another three years, I think.

Rent can be increased but by no more than a set annual % which is indexed depending on cost of living.

Tenants are not seen as second class citizens here, which, judging from these boards and the British obsession with owning their homes and getting on the property ladder, is far too often the case in the UK.

An attitude encouraged by banks such as Barclays, and an attitude whichhas massively contributed to the recession. Because banks are lovely when persuading you to borrow too much money, but ruthless when it comes to aking that property off you when you hit hard times.

stubbornstains Wed 05-Dec-12 09:31:26

Well said PR

yuletopian99 Wed 05-Dec-12 09:35:06

I've been a tenant for great landlords in the past who have let us redecorate (so long as with reasonable skill) and generally treat the flat as a home, although you always know it CAN be removed at any time, it can still be your home during that time, and feel like one.
Now we have a home we are buying on a mortgage and another that we let out, and I try to be as friendly as possible towards the tenants, address issues as soon as possible.

I'd also point out that from my point of view, and to answer the Barclays question, I dont feel like we truy 'own' the house we live in now, although it does feel like a home, as we are buying it on a mortgage, and I won't feel that we truly own it until there is no mortgage, which could be decades from now. The last few years have shown us more than anything else that borrowing on a vast mortgage to buy a home is no guarantee it can't be taken away from you when circumstances change.

stubbornstains Wed 05-Dec-12 09:38:17

In fact, this thread illustrates clearly WHY tenants' rights haven't been improved. It's hardly in the interests of the status quo to make renting more attractive is it? Far better to make private renting as insecure as possible, so that people will do anything to put themselves into debt with Barclays for hundreds of thousands of pounds.Nice little earner.

Shame about the widespread misery this state of affairs causes though angry

Wallison Wed 05-Dec-12 09:47:59

Also, making private renting insecure means that more people are happy to speculate on 'the property market' (loathsome phrase) ie buy up houses and charge other people to live in them as opposed to doing an honest day's graft, which makes housing even more expensive for everyone, and the banks are quids in.

Lifeisontheup Wed 05-Dec-12 09:49:52

I live in a rented house and it is our home but I do wish it was more secure, we are on a yearly rolling contract and there is always that fear when it comes to renewal, also would love to have the power to make landlords repair/replace things within a reasonable timeframe.

stubbornstains Wed 05-Dec-12 09:53:13

Perhaps Mumsnet should start a campaign for better tenants' rights?

...or perhaps not. I wonder how much Barclays paid them to "sponsor" this thread?

(whistles innocently).

FBworry Wed 05-Dec-12 10:11:48

I hated, hated renting and we are now million times happier in our mortgaged home. We own 2/3 of the house.

Yes, its worrying with a mortgage that until you have paid it off it could go wrong (but now days the goverement pays up to two years mortgage if you fall into crisis so some breathing space) but that one negative far outweighs the negatives I experienced with renting.

I think its dreadful how hard it is to get onto the property ladder now.
I think its dreadful that when you do, its appalling how much you have to pay for the shoebox sizes the houses are. My parents paid less then we did for a house triple the size in the same area 20 years ago.

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 10:20:06

What expat said ages ago.

Also, I am a LL and I regard tenants' homes as their homes, they have only to return them to the original condition (ie not purple walls) when they leave, which is what most people selling a house would do to sell anyway. Not that they ever do...

But it is a crap system for both LLs and tenants. I'd rather have five year tenancies than replace carpets every six months.

shesariver Wed 05-Dec-12 10:20:56

I live in a house I rent from the council and have never thought its not my home - we have decorated and did the garden the way we want and its where we are raising our kids so of course its our home. I think it would be different if it was a private let, which I have never stayed in as it might feel less then because of the conditions of tenancy. Its never been important to me to own my home, I think this country can become a bit obsessed with it really. Great if you can afford it, but Im not likely to.

BlameItOnTheCuervoHoHo Wed 05-Dec-12 10:23:32

we live in a housing association house. its our home. we have decorated it, we take care of it, we clean it, we pay the bills for it... my son is growing up here.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 10:30:58

'If you rent you can't decorate. I could not rent long term for this reason.'

No, buggy, you could rent long term, but you chose not to since you've got the choice open to you.

Let's be honest here.

I know I will feel uprooted when I move away from where I live now. It's the place I've lived in longest except my parents' house, and that's so different now from the house I grew up in that it certainly wouldn't feel like home to me (not in a bad way - that's as it should be IMO).

SandWitch Wed 05-Dec-12 10:33:45

Hully - I agree.

We have a mortgaged home, and it really does feel like home. I can't ever see us moving as we really could not afford to, so, as long as we continue to be able to pay the mortgage we will live here forever!

We did have a small flat (that we owned prior to having DC) that we let out after we moved to our family home. It was a nightmare - the rent only just covered the mortgage, and so with repairs, tax, periods when it was empty etc, we were constantly sinking good money after bad. I felt a sense of relief when we sold it, despite not making any money.

I lived, many years ago, in Australia for a while and the norm at that time was to rent, not buy. The difference was, you were secure in your tenancy, knowing that as long as the rent was paid, you would be able to live in the house forever. If landlords sold the property, the new landlords took the house, with you as tenant. Rights were protected and so people did not reel the pressure to buy.

Vondo Wed 05-Dec-12 11:49:45

Yes are rented house is our home. As others have said a home is where your family are. We would love to own our own home but that just isn't going to be a possibility in the near future. We have a very understanding landlord though who allows us to decorate as we please on the agreement that we will put it back when we leave. We've been there for 7 years and class it as our home.

NotAnArtist Wed 05-Dec-12 12:02:32

Totally. Wherever I lay my hat, etc.
I've moved house at least 20 times in my life. (I'm 29) My parents were constantly moving, and got bored of wherever we were living quite quickly. I've done the same as an adult, moving house and changing countries constantly. I live in the uk now, and, with a little pressure and an offer of financial help if we want it, me and DH are planning on buying in the next 2 years. Not because we feel like we need to own a house for it to be a home, but because we feel it's good security for when we're older.

SDTGisAChristmassyWolefGenius Wed 05-Dec-12 12:03:17

I would say that a rented home should be a proper home, and feel like one - but whether it does or not will depend on a number of factors - how long you are going to be staying there, whether or not you are allowed to change the decor at all, whether it is a furnished or unfurnished let (it is easier to feel as if you are at home when you have your own choice of furniture and decor, not that which your landlord has chosen), whether the house is kept in good repair by your landlord, and how your landlord treats you and his/her attitude towards you and the house.

I rented a lot when I was a student nurse and a qualified nurse, and again when I was a university student, and when dh and I moved the family up to scotland a few years ago, we rented for 6 months whilst househunting. I have rented some pretty basic houses (when I was a student), but have never had any major troubles with my landlords - and the places have always felt like my 'home'.

The most recent rental did feel reasonably home-like, despite us knowing that it was short-term only, mainly because it was an unfurnished let, and we had our own furniture in it.

WowOoo Wed 05-Dec-12 12:12:51

When i lived in a rented house, although it felt like a home there was always an insecurity there.
The landlord said he wanted to sell it and we had a month to find somewhere else - these kind of things often happened.

Now that we own it feels much more secure and also homely. I like the fact that we can do whatever we like to the decor, structure of the house etc.
Also having all our own stuff in it makes it feel like it's ours and ours alone. Who else would have such hideous antique furniture?!

helcrai Wed 05-Dec-12 12:27:20

I have lived in many rented properties before finally getting onto the property ladder. Some were verging on squalid (student days) whilst others fairly comfortably furnished (finally started work). The common thing with them all was that once I had moved in my own possessions and lived there for a few weeks it felt like mine regrdless of whose name was on the deeds. I was sad to leave all of my lodgings as I had had many happy times there with friends and family. I love my "home" now; yes it is truly mine because I have bought it with my husband but the thing that makes it home is my family living in it with me- so long as I have my kids and husband I could live in a cardboard box and still feel blessed!

Mintberry Wed 05-Dec-12 12:30:31

Well, I'd define 'home', as opposed to 'house', as a place where you feel comfortable and... well... at home.
It could be a house, flat, mansion or trailer.
Similarly, it could be owned or rented.
I've lived in a rented flat for a couple of years and it feels very 'homey' (but then, we have a pretty good landlady who has never tried turning up out of the blue, kicking us out or stopping us painting the walls).
Hypothetically, I could inherit a spooky haunted mansion over night and it not feel like my home. grin

Arcticwaffle Wed 05-Dec-12 15:17:01

As others have said, I think it's much harder to feel at home in a rented house in the UK than in countries with stronger tenancy laws. I've rented, and owned, and been a LL (live-in with lodgers), and rented again, and owned again, and the rental times have been characterised by not really being able to do what we want, having to worry about decor, spillages, not having control over safety issues such as quality of window locks, burglar alarms, cooker quality. So it's harder, unless you have a really good landlord perhaps.

MY dsis tried to rent rather than own on principle (socialist ideals of not relying on privately owned property, but they got evicted with their dc at short notice twice in a year (landlady wanted house back, housing body didn't want tenants any more) and they gave up and bought a house, they were lucky that they had the money but it did remind me how much you're at the mercy of the landlord's whims.

expatinscotland Wed 05-Dec-12 15:44:25

Well said, PR.

Zara1984 Wed 05-Dec-12 15:57:51

Yes of course a rented property feels like home.

I used to be a debt recovery lawyer and discovering how easy it was to repossess property convinced me of the fallacy of the "I own my own home and nobody can kick me out" line of thinking!

A home is where you feel comfortable and safe smile

CheeseStrawWars Wed 05-Dec-12 17:08:42

'Home' is a feeling. A house is a thing. You can't 'own' a feeling.

I have been a homeowner and I now rent. My rented house is no less of a home than the one I bought because at no point did I actually own it - the bank did. I often see repossessed houses up for auction and hear people on mn and in rl talking about redundancy worries and think that the times of home owning meaning security are long gone. I also know many people currently with negative equity which is a huge worry for them.

I'm lucky in that I have a great landlord who assures me that this is my home. I can decorate, have pets etc. The only requirement is that if I move out I paint everything magnolia before I do. In return for paying my rent on time and looking after basic repairs and maintenance myself I'm left to enjoy my home without constant inspections and demands.

I doubt I will buy again. I'm in my late 30's now and don't have enough confidence in either the housing market or the job market to commit myself to £150k worth of debt. At least as a tennant I don't have to worry about the boiler breaking, or the roof needing fixing and so on.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Wed 05-Dec-12 17:33:33

My house is my home, I don't own it the last recession and DH's business failing put paid to home ownership for us but this place is home. Not owning it does not make us lesser people but that does seem to be an opinion held by some members of society.

MadBusLady Wed 05-Dec-12 17:39:14

I'm puzzled by the "not worrying about the boiler breaking" argument for renting. This is one of the many things I worry more about in rented accommodation, because landlords and letting agents are so generally useless at getting repairs done. If I owned the place I wouldn't mind paying for an emergency repair. And I wouldn't have a shit boiler in the first place.

MrsMushroom Wed 05-Dec-12 18:02:24

I've never found landlords bad at replacing boilers etc. in twenty years of renting from various people...both privately and through agencies. If your boiler breaks down, it costs thousands to replace....many people literally don't have that money....nor a means of getting it.

A landlord is expected to fix these things by law. I did once have a moldy flat and a lazy landlord...a call to the council fixed it as they said that they would call him and tell him if he failed to get rid of the mold, then they would serve him with legal papers of some sort. He dealt with the mold the next day.

MrsMushroom Wed 05-Dec-12 18:04:08

EnglishGirl quite. Owning a home is not an investment anymore (unless you're very fortunate) it's a millstone. My sister told me she is always in fear of losing her home to the bank. She had none of that fear when she rented it.

madbuslady I think it depends on the landlord. As I said in my post I have been very lucky. I've rented from 3 people and 1 was ok, 2 excellent. My current landlord lives 6 months of the year overseas and has a contract with plumber, electrician, builder etc. and if anything breaks I contact the tradesperson directly and the repair gets done and billed to my landlord, no questions asked. I appreciate that this isn't the case for everyone. Tbh though, even if my landlord was a bit crap it would probably be quicker to go down the road of forcing him to do a repair than it would be to get the money together for a new boiler.

MadBusLady Wed 05-Dec-12 18:25:52

EnglishGirl Sounds brilliant. I do wonder if a lot of the difference is London/Not-London? I've always rented in London (except as a student, but then student houses are supposed to be scuzzy) and never heard of anyone IRL with a landlord like some of the diamonds in this thread.

MadBusLady Wed 05-Dec-12 18:28:16

Eg just off the top of my head, the last place we were in the landlord didn't replace the broken washing machine for three months so we had to spend ages and £££ schlepping to the laundrette. And around the same time my friend finally got her letting agency to fix the damp in the second bedroom at her flat - after a year of asking them to do it. This is with all the usual phone call/email/letter escalation etc. I probably tend to assume that everyone's renting experiences are like this because I've never known any different.

Whirliwig72 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:30:01

I think a lot depends on the landlord's attitude tbh. I'm currently in the situation where my landlord has a deep emotional attachment to the house and although she is lovely she is consequently a little bit precious about things. Our house doesn't feel like ours as the landlords fingerprint is deeply engraved on it.

yousankmybattleship Wed 05-Dec-12 18:48:25

I think it is a home if it is somewhere you live with people you love. My first house as a married woman was rented and that was the best nesting I've done and most homely place I could ever have imagined!

prettybird Wed 05-Dec-12 18:54:35

A home is where you have invested emotion - usually a combination of personal belongings, family members and memories.

Leafmould Wed 05-Dec-12 19:05:21

You sank: I agree, you have to be able to feel comfortable with the people you are sharing your home with. Be that your partner, family, or also the shared interest with landlord or bank.

Social housing definately is the best deal. You get your repairs done, and you have security. A shame that the tenancy agreement has changed so that new tenants no longer have the same security as existing ones.

In my last private rent, I was always worried that the children of the aged landlady would flog it when she popped her clogs. Landlords have got loads of different reasons for evicting you, and after all, it is an investment to them, so if they need to release the capital, they will flog your home, in all likelihood to someone who does not want a tenant.

FrillyMilly Wed 05-Dec-12 19:16:30

I'm a tenant and a landlord. The house I live in is definately home although I do wish I had a bit more security. I hope the tenants who rent from us feel at home. I'm very happy to let people paint or put up pictures.

SarahG41 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:16:07

A home is somewhere you feel settled. With renting you are always (well I am) on edge that the landlord could give you a months notice to leave.

SuchFunSuchFun Wed 05-Dec-12 20:22:26

My husband, our daughter and I live with my MIL, it's not our house as MIL owns it and we pay towards the bills, but it's still our home. This is where we're building our memories and our lives together and while it might be an unusual living situation I wouldn't change it for the world.

I used to rent a house and it still felt like my home, although I couldn't paint the walls or hang pictures up, I could still put my photos and pictures on the shelves and bookcases and my cushions on the sofa, and when I came home at night and shut the curtains it definitely felt like my home to me.

It might not feel permanant as some people have said, but even with a mortgage life has a habit of turning things upside down, I don't think you can live life worrying what "might" happen; the landlord might chuck you out, but you might equally be made redundant and not be able to pay your mortgage.

In my opinion, whether it's your home or not is a state of mind, not a matter of who owns the bricks that keep you dry at night.

I think yes, your house is still a home if you don't own it.

I grew up in the Netherlands. My parents always rented. We moved house regularly (between the Netherlands and Germany) as dad's job moved. We moved roughly every three years, always into rented homes.
But my mum and dad had a knack of making the house our home within weeks. Our own lovely furniture, decorations and knick knacks and a plethora of new friends through the dore all helped to turn it into a home quickly.

I am now married with my own dc. We are on our second owned (with mortgage) home. The first one felt home the minute we moved in. The second one though took over two years before it felt like home. In fact, at times it still does not feel like home. It does not have that 'feeling' ....

So, for me a house can be a home whether it is owned or not.

AlexanderS Wed 05-Dec-12 21:13:40

I've rented from a housing association, rented privately and, now, have just bought my own house.

It just doesn't feel like your home when you rent privately. You can't decorate how you want or have pets, but more importantly you can't ensure the house is maintained safely or that you are left undisturbed in it. I've had so many bad experiences as a private tenant I can't list them all, but they include:

- cockroaches

- mice

- the kitchen ceiling collapsing after the landlord tried (and failed) three times to fix a leak in the bathroom himself (thankfully it was 4am so nobody was in the kitchen; instead we woke up and thought we were being burgled)

- my DP electrocuting himself on a light switch (just after the landlord had got an "electrician" in to do an "electrical test")

- the landlord letting himself in whilst we were on holiday

- the landlord turning up (the day after I'd had a miscarriage) and announcing he was thinking of kicking us out and letting the house to students to maximise his profits (DS was 18 months old at the time)

- after the lock on the back door broke, meaning it was permanently locked shut, the landlord sending round a "builder" who hacked the door open with a chainsaw, meaning we were then unable to lock it

I've never lived in a private rental that was kept in a decent state (at our old house the bottom of the bath was so scratched we used to get friction burns on our bottoms!), or had a private landlord fail to keep some of my deposit when I've left even if the house is spotlessly clean.

I found it such a stressful way to live that we moved heaven and earth to buy the house I'm sitting in now, which we moved into on Monday! It hasn't quite sunk in yet that it's ours.

We lived in a little 1-bed housing association flat when DS was first born - we only moved from there into a privately rented 2-bed house because waiting lists for social housing are so long in our area we knew we'd be waiting for a very long time to get anywhere bigger (our neighbours, also a couple with a DS in a 1 bed flat, were still waiting to be transferred to a house the last time we heard from them - their DS had just started school!).

AlexanderS Wed 05-Dec-12 21:33:49

P.S. In the cockroach and mice-infested flat I discovered that cockroaches do not die even if you trap them under a glass for weeks and weeks on end (I was too squeamish to just squish them). They really will be the only living creatures in the event of a nuclear holocaust. I also once pulled out my fridge to clean underneath only to discover a solid square of mouse poo. Yeah, that flat had been "professionally cleaned" before we moved in hmm.

Wallison Wed 05-Dec-12 21:43:04

I once lived in a place where the landlord let himself in while I was in the sodding bath!

Actually, reading through this thread I'm changing my view a bit. I do agree that a house can be a home even if you don't own it. It's where you make your memories and where you live your life from; it's important. That said, it kind of makes it even worse that private tenants (not those renting from LA or HA) have so little legal rights, protection and redress and lack of fundamental security in regard to their homes.

AppleOgies Wed 05-Dec-12 21:43:46

I grew up in army quarters... Moving every 2 years. I considered each and every quarter we lived in home. Home isn't about ownership it's about family, coming back to the same place every day and feeling secure.

I imagine some rentals don't feel secure and that may be a problem, but having a home isn't about longevity it's about security.

FlourFace Wed 05-Dec-12 21:47:04

Does this social media campaign have any objectives or is it just designed to irritate?

What are you going to do with people's responses, Barclays?

expatinscotland Wed 05-Dec-12 21:56:13

They're going to become buy-to-let landlords.

thisonehasalittlecar Wed 05-Dec-12 22:17:42

We rent and I consider this our home, even though it was supposed to be temporary until we bought and now it seems it's going to be for the foreseeable... It niggles at me that the dcs are aware we don't own it and we have inspections every six months which I hate we just had one and I get worked up about them for days in advanced even though they're a total non-event. The not being able to decorate bothers me a bit, especially as my tenants don't seem to mind throwing up purple paint everywhere! But realistically if I got the place just how I wanted it the CDs would probably have crayon all over it after a day or two. (Just like they psychically manage to every time we have an inspection coming up.)

As an aside I'm surprised to see how many on here are both renting and landlords themselves. Thought we were in a fairly unusual situation but seems not!

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Wed 05-Dec-12 22:29:16

We rent and it is most definetly our home, to me home is wherever my dp, step-children and dog are.

I am lucky in the fact that our landlord is happy for us to decorate however we want on the understanding that if we move out we will repaint everything white.

Having read lots of threads on MN I think making a rented house feel a home depends a lot on the landlord and letting agents, some seem to think they can have access to the house anytime they want.

our landords made it very clear when we moved in that all the time we are paying rent we can treat the house as our own and the only time we hear from them is when we need them to fix something, which they do quickly and efficiantly.

Same goes for the letting agents they do one visit a year to check the house is still in one piece but they always write asking us to contact them to arrange a time and then ring the day before to check its still ok, they never just let themselves in.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Wed 05-Dec-12 22:42:03

My rented from a housing association house is still my home.

Wherever I live, that is my home. Doesn't matter if I am paying a mortgage and the bank owns most of it, or if I am paying rent to a Housing Association and they own it.

I don't class that somebody paying a mortgage 'owns' their home either, until they have paid the bank back every last penny, though.

I accept I may be unusual with that one, but having been what I classed as a 'homeowner' in the past, I realised how wrong I was, and that I was no more a 'homeowner' then than I am now, when my house was repossessed when I could not keep up the repayments after a loss of career after a disability diagnosis.

I didn't own my home, the bank did. At least until they had had every penny I had borrowed on my mortgage, plus the interest, paid back to them.

So yes, my rented house is my home. As was the house that I had a mortgage for. But I didn't OWN either of them!

KrismasKrackerhead Wed 05-Dec-12 23:16:54

Of course it bloody is. What an elitist bloody question, sponsored or not. Go away Barclays. You are the bane of my life...

BoerWarKids Wed 05-Dec-12 23:52:33

Like many others have said, depends hugely on landlord, whether they're private, LA, HA, etc.

I've no hope of being able to get a deposit together so I face a lifetime of renting.

I need to make my rented property feel like a home because I can't think, "well, this is just temporary until I get on the property ladder." This is it for me.

MammaTJ Thu 06-Dec-12 00:20:56

I rent but from a HA, so have a secure tenancy. It is my home!! Very much so.

BikeRunSki Thu 06-Dec-12 07:50:44

Yes, a house is definitely a home if you don't own it. And it needn't be if you don't. When we were first married and renting our houses, DH and I moved every 6 months for 2 years - 4 houses in 2 years - because our landlords kept selling the houses! I have never been that bothered about the actual bricks and mortar and have never been hugely into interior design (on however an amateur level). But once a house is full of my things - books, music, paintings, photos, children(!), mess and noise - that is when it is a home. When I've lived in it and built memories there. When it's the place I look forward to coming back to at the end of a long day. I have had this with both rented houses and our "owned" (mortaged) houses. But I suppose my real "home" will be where we live now. It's a fairly non-descript detached new-build in rural Huddersfield. It's clean and tidyish, but nothing exiting and the countryside is quite nice, but it is where I bought both my babies back to after they were born. That is the best memory to have of a home.

JugglingWithPossibilities Thu 06-Dec-12 08:00:35

Ah, I remember doing that - bringing my DC's back home - to two of our homes Bike - one was rented, the other where we are now (which we own) - like you say that makes anywhere a home !

chrisrobin Thu 06-Dec-12 08:51:55

Yes, your home is where you invest your emotions not necessarily just because you own it. We call our house home as we have had good memories in it (starting out in life together, bringing the DC home for the first time, our 1st christmas as a family). The fact that we own it is not as important as the times we have had together there.

Of course it is your home, however it does come with a sense of unknown, IMO.

As a renter, with a DS and DH, we recently had to leave our previous property (of 6 years) due to the landlord needing to sell. It was so sad as it was where I got pregnant and then went on to see all my little ones firsts. It was sad to leave but we have settled into our new home well. But I do dread that we will have to move again at some point. Hopefully not soon!

This is how it will be for us as a mortgage is just not a reality for some time, more a dream.

clubnail Thu 06-Dec-12 19:12:56

We're living in Germany at the moment where buying a house is less common, so maybe that changes my opinion. I know the feeling I get when I arrive back to the family in our rented flat, and that feeling is one of coming home smile

spoonfulofnutella Thu 06-Dec-12 21:31:17

I am currently renting after having my own house and whilst I call it home and it is nice to return to at the end of the day it isn't the same. With two months notice I could be asked to leave, the management agency can come and go with a couple of days notice and I can do decorating. The lack of security is the main thing that stopped it feeling like home. I know with a mortgage you don't own it but at least you have full say on who comes and goes and how it's decorated.

BlastOff Thu 06-Dec-12 21:48:31

Yes, I think it is, but we bought rather than rented because I'd be worried about having to leave a rented property prematurely. But it would still be home even if it were rented as long as my family were there. And we've talked about selling and renting because it would be cheaper, and may be something (despite above concerns) we'd do for financial reasons.

Yes, Our landlord is great we've been with him 8 years, we had a 1 bed but when we were expecting he found us a 3 bed in a really nice area and we moved in and decorated it ourselves in exchange of deposit, we have this year completely re-plastered the walls and redecorated the whole house, we redesigned and fitted a new kitchen with a few luxuries (granite sink and touch hob and under cupboard lights) and he has had new carpets fitted throughout the whole house.
The price has never risen yet!
Soon we will be looking at discussing extending down under the house for a master suite as the house is now getting too small. My dad is a builder and we will be increasing the value for him.

imdreamingofaskyebluechristmas Thu 06-Dec-12 22:53:52

I think that your home is wherever you live. I know people that rent who love their homes, but they are in long term rentals, so feel secure and have been given permission to paint the walls, as long as its returned to neutral when they move out.

helendebs Thu 06-Dec-12 23:14:11

I grew up in a rented farm house and it was my 'home' even after I grew up and moved out it was still home for many years. I have rented many properties since but now have my own property. Home is about being with your friends and family and being happy it's not about bricks and mortar.

Shenanagins Thu 06-Dec-12 23:25:48

I rent out my flat which was my first ever home. it is no longer my home but my tenants but is still my flat. when i moved into my partners home it became our home but his house. now we have a lovely home and house together.

So in my mind a home is where you live and is your refuge from the outside world. a house is just a property.

mind you when i go to my parents, i am going home but haven't lived there for 20 years!

BikeRunSki Thu 06-Dec-12 23:27:02

I work for an organisation that owns a lot of land all around the country. You try telling some of our 4th or 5th generation tenant farmers that their house is not their home!

fallingandlaughing Sat 08-Dec-12 16:41:16

Of course it is a home if you don't own it.

I wouldn't fancy renting because of the insecurity factor, but I cringe when I think how much we have lost in terms of house "value" due to the recession.

aftereight Sat 08-Dec-12 17:39:23

Yes, a house is still a home, even if you don't own it. I'd imagine very few families own their homes outright, with no mortgage. And a rented house is still a home to the people living there.
A home is the place of sanctuary to which family members return at the end of the day, and live their lives with their posessions around them. That could be a caravan, a house, a boat..

BabysPointlessPocket Sat 08-Dec-12 17:56:21

I have always owned the properties I've lived in as an adult.
However, I grew up in rented council houses. They felt very much like home. Parents decorated however they liked and we always felt secure living there.
I know several people that have rented privately, to be notified a few months later that the LL wanted to sell even if that wasn't the LL intended purposes when they signed to rent for x months or x years. This would make me very insecure, if it were my home and would make the next house less like home too incase it happened again.

stephrick Sat 08-Dec-12 18:10:18

I've rented the same house for just over 8 years, with little social housing this is my only option as a working single parent, it took a while to feel secure, but is always at the back of my mind that I have to move within a few months notice. I did spend my married life in MOD married quarters and had to move every 2 years, but I always made it to feel like home, you have to for children.

My answer is yes. We bought our first home a year or so ago but it doesn't feel more like home than our previous rented homes. We haven't been able to afford to decorate and renovate our home so it's no different to renting really, except we have to stress over fixing things when they go wrong. I miss having a landlord to phone!

Neena28 Sun 09-Dec-12 19:36:31

Yes this is my home and my children's home too. I still own half of my ex-p's house but the location of that house made it more sensible for me to move than him. Originally it was a trial separation but has now been 3 odd years. I am happy in my home now, I have a lovely landlady who understands my position and is grateful that I can't be bothered to house hunt and buy when few houses come up in the area I live in. I am a regular income for her and I am allowed to basically do as I please. The house is now probably in a better state than when I moved in as I am cleaner and also more house proud than she is! I do understand I have been very fortunate to be in that position though and can afford to pay rent without help whilst my owned house remains my investment.

TrillsCarolsOutOfTune Sun 09-Dec-12 19:38:11

"Is it still a home if you don't own it?".


I see posts on MN where landlords have been unreasonable, but I also see posts where tenants have unreasonable expectations.

whatagreatname Sun 09-Dec-12 23:19:25

Yes I think that whether you own or rent a property you make it your home.

ClothNappyQuestion Mon 10-Dec-12 17:47:39

Yes it's still a home if you don't own it. I have always rented and some landlords have let me decorate to suit myself, which really helps me feel at home. I am always aware though that the house isn't mine. I would love to buy my own home and have the security that comes with it and the freedom to decorate/make more substantial changes.

racingheart Mon 10-Dec-12 19:12:14

To me, any place someone pays to live in as their main dwelling is their home and they should feel the right to call it that and make it how they'd like it. But in reality, I never really felt that way until I owed my first flat, and now we live in a family house we love, that feeling of home is even stronger.

When we rented the garden was a jungle but we were told we couldn't cut the shrubs back as the owner, who lived abroad, preferred it that way. So our small children had to clamber through bushes to get to the lawn.

A friend just moved because she's pregnant and knew the owner of her house might return from abroad and claim it back any day. She's still renting but a more permanent company let.

It's personal, but for a place to feel like home I need to own it.

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Mon 10-Dec-12 19:52:16

Many people around the world have to make a home for themselves and their families without owning though. Like the families on a TV programme I watched recently living on a beach in India where they were under constant threat of having their homes bulldozed.
Owning your home is a luxury not everyone has.
I wonder, around the world, what proportion of families are renting their homes ?

Wallison Mon 10-Dec-12 20:09:29

Yes yes other people have it worse and so tenants in the UK shouldn't be pissed off that they are treated as second-class citizens.


WholeLottaRosie Mon 10-Dec-12 20:25:33

I grew up in a Housing Association house and to me it was definitely home. Also most of my friends lived in neighbouring streets so everyone I knew either lived in HA or council houses, if someone had suggested we didn't have proper homes I would have thought them crazy.
One of the reasons my parents didn't own a house was because my grandparents had struggled through immense poverty, worked their fingers to the bone to afford a mortgage, and then had that house taken from them in the slum clearances. They were paid 'compensation' but at a fraction of what the house had cost them. I guess that experience made its mark on my parents to the extent they thought "Why bother?".

helenlynn Mon 10-Dec-12 21:06:16

It's your home, but it's your home where you can get into the shower in an otherwise-empty house and get out of the shower to hear a number of strangers conversing downstairs after the estate agent has let themselves and the next lot of prospective tenants in unannounced for a good look round your un-done washing-up and your private papers spread out where you were working on them and your knickers hanging on the clothes horse.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Dec-12 16:57:54

thanks for all the comments: trikken wins the £150 JL voucher...well done.

trikken Tue 11-Dec-12 22:39:13

Thank you! Best thing I've won ever.

VenusRising Mon 14-Jan-13 13:35:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VenusRising Mon 14-Jan-13 13:36:13

Oh didn't realise that this was finished.
Do I get a lollipop for taking part!

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