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Long term renting

(22 Posts)
PeaceLoveAndJaffaCakes Sun 28-Feb-16 23:13:14

We've been privately renting since 2007. Not eligible for council housing. We have a very small amount of savings for a deposit, but nowhere near enough. We've decided not to put our lives on hold and have been married five years and have a one year old DS. We've always had to move house after a year or two because the rent keeps getting put up every year, and the property becomes more expensive than it's worth, or just more than we can afford, so we move somewhere else and it all starts again. The longest we stayed anywhere was two and a half years, and the only reason the rent wasn't increased during the time was because it was a mouldy dive with the ceiling falling in. So we had to move anyway. We are very reliable tenants, never late with the rent and we look after the properties we live in, so you'd think a long-term steady income would be appealing to a landlord, rather than having the property empty in between tenants?
We've more or less come to terms with the fact that we will be renting for the foreseeable future, no other choice. But do we have to keep moving all the time? I hear of people who stay in their rented houses for years and years and are allowed to decorate etc, and to all intents and purposes the property is their home. I desperately crave the stability this would provide, especially now we have a child, but I just don't know how to go about securing a tenancy like this. Are there specialist estate agents? Do we need to ask for something specific? I really feel like I'm missing something, and it could make our life 100% happier and easier. I struggle very much with my mental health, and the constant worry of having to find somewhere else to live every couple of years is killing me.
Any pointers?

PeaceLoveAndJaffaCakes Sun 28-Feb-16 23:22:22

Apologies for lack of paragraphs blush

HirplesWithHaggis Sun 28-Feb-16 23:39:10

I wonder if it makes a difference where in the country you are? After we had to sell our house, we moved into what we knew was a one-year let, as the owners' adult dc were returning from furrin parts the following summer. We then moved into another place (excellent refs from LL) and stayed for about 6 years (no inspections) till the annual increase made me dissatisfied.

Moved a mile or so down the road and have been here over a decade, no inspections, decorate as we like etc - and no rent increase either! Repairs are also carried out as soon as reasonably possible. In our case, when the elderly boiler gave up the ghost in winter, it was replaced within three days. A knackered electric shower (we have two) was also replaced within a few days. A leak in the roof which only seeped a bit down the wall took longer, because the weather was so foul no-one would want lives risked for the sake of a bit of lead flashing.

What all three properties have/had in common, is that they're owned and let by landowners rather than landlords. I have no idea if any of them were/are mortgaged, for whatever purposes, of course, but I'd doubt any of them were/are, unless for tax purposes.

All three are also rural.

wowfudge Mon 29-Feb-16 06:53:57

We had a tenant for nearly five years in the NW. Actually reduced the rent when the tenant was struggling as it made sense rather than having a void period, etc and the rent was always paid on time. Tenancy ended when the tenant gave notice because they wanted to move to a different area.

PeaceLoveAndJaffaCakes Mon 29-Feb-16 08:50:58

I'm in the dreaded south east, in Surrey. We moved here to be closer to DH's job, and now I have other mum friends in the area I'm loathe to move too far away, although we would like to go back to Hampshire at some point.

specialsubject Mon 29-Feb-16 11:10:05

if you don't smoke you can be my tenant in a few months, and if all is as you say you can stay as long as you like, any increases will be a matter of £20 per year.

But you'll have to leave the south east.

PeaceLoveAndJaffaCakes Mon 29-Feb-16 11:15:50

Where's your house specialsubject? grin

Haribomachtkinderfroh Mon 29-Feb-16 11:18:09

I think it's just the luck of the draw. I've been renting since 2009. The first place was put up for sale after 12 months and I moved as soon as I found a suitable house as couldn't deal with the viewings. Landlord was a bit put out I didn't stay till the place sold.
Have been in this house for nearly 6 years, had only one rent increase of £25 and only 2 inspections. Repairs get done promptly. Love the house and area but we have started to outgrow it. So will have to start looking for something bigger soon.

ididntsignupforthis1 Mon 29-Feb-16 11:20:44

We're planning to try and long term rent out dms home as she is in a nursing home
Herefordshire village near to motorway links.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 29-Feb-16 11:20:45

<wonders if special subject is in the Midlands>

Catphrase Mon 29-Feb-16 11:24:42

I rent it's shit so you have my sympathies. It has a huge affect on my mental health as I can't give my kids a normal settled childhood. With pets, plants in the garden and a decorated bedroom.
My advise to you, is if your plan is to go back to Hampshire, do it before school starts for your LO. Once they start your ties to an area increase and the guilt of having to move them away as you can't afford to rent in that area anymore.
I know Hampshire has gone through the roof as well now though.

TheBalefulGroke Mon 29-Feb-16 11:28:23

I also think it can be down to luck. We've never been served notice in 15 years of private renting. Though, choosing cheaper less desirable properties may have something to do with that.
We've moved when we wanted or needed to move.
The landlord's I've met have been more interested in stably employed couples that will just keep paying year after year, not make unreasonable demands, let them know of issues in a timely manner so things can be put right etc.
All the buy-to-letters must be one-bedded city centre flats round here, we've never come across any.

TheBalefulGroke Mon 29-Feb-16 11:30:16

Could you put out feelers socially? A LL that knows you, or is a FOAF is more likely to be comfortable with a long-term prospect.

Salmiak Mon 29-Feb-16 11:30:24

It can happen. Dh rents out his house to a family. They have been there for nearly 4 years (since dh moved into mine). They pay the rent on time, notify us of any problems and are lovely. Therefore we want to keep them and don't put up the rent, allowed them to paint their girls bedroom pink (on the understanding it would be returned to magnolia when they left). Although it is our house we view it as their home, so are happy for them to make cosmetic changes, etc.

We could get more money by putting up the rent but we'd risk losing fantastic tenants, and as long as the rent covers the mortgage we are happy

specialsubject Mon 29-Feb-16 11:40:47

smile Correct, I'm north of Watford. Yes, we have work, schools, transport, shops, fresh air, lovely scenery, things to do, airports to go on holiday. No tube line, sorry. We even have broadband and push button telephones, somewhat to the surprise of the chap at one broadband company!!

lower salaries so rents commensurate with that. Lower house prices too, of course.

balefulgrokes list of criteria matches what I want. I want you to change your own lightbulbs, but I also want you to let me know if there's a problem with the house because I'm not psychic and I can't fix it otherwise. I'll arrange a check at your convenience every six months or so (one of those will be for the gas cert) but otherwise you don't see me unless you get in touch. The house is clean, warm, comfortable and quiet. I bought somewhere that I'd be happy to live in, because that only seems fair.

I'm not going to move in though - OP, do make sure the place is a buy to let and not a landlord's home that they are planning to return to.

I also know of tenants who been in place for years, and have leases that confirm that. And they are in the south-east and London so it can be done.

PeaceLoveAndJaffaCakes Mon 29-Feb-16 11:49:03

I would happily leave the south east, but DH is uncomfortable leaving his job of 10+ years sad
I think i will ask around at the estate agents to see how things are. Thanks for everyone's advice.

cestlavielife Mon 29-Feb-16 14:48:06

choose a long term landlord not an accidental gone away for couple years person.. ie tell estate agent you want long term so they tell the landlord that...

i stayed one flat eight years ..same rent. until floors collapsed dry rot everywhere - no rental increase and when she had it all repaired she invited me to come back..i declined as had moved to larger if tired flat, have just renewed on same rent (but i have to employ a gardener) after two years .

Roseberrry Mon 29-Feb-16 14:52:37

We rented for years but only had to move twice, I think it's down to luck.
It might be worth telling the EA that you are looking for a long term rent, they may know a suitable landlord.

The only way we got out of renting was my mum dying and selling her house, think we would have been stuck forever otherwise!

PeaceLoveAndJaffaCakes Mon 29-Feb-16 15:44:14

I did ask our current EA if it was a long term rental when we moved here, but they've been very slippery and generally useless. It doesn't look like the rent will be increased again this year (had our renewal letter this week) so hopefully we will be secure here for another twelve months. They don't bother us with inspections, but they don't act on maintenance issues either hmm

Sandalwearingdoglady Mon 29-Feb-16 15:54:35

You can't always believe what you're told by landlords I'm afraid. Our last house was supposed to be a long term let as the owner lived overseas. It was a bigger house than our last one so we bought furniture etc to fill it. It was the estate agents policy to only do 6 month contracts but we were comfortable with that given that the owner lived so far away.

Imagine our surprise when we were served a notice to quit after 6 months. It's cost us a fortune, plus our new furniture had to go into storage because we couldn't find a house big enough to accommodate it all.

mostlymindblown Mon 29-Feb-16 16:15:02

We found our current home via Gumtree.

We deal with the landlords directly so rent is a bit lower than market rate as they are saving the agency fee. They have moved back to the woman's native country with their young son and appear to have no plans on returning in the near future. We have been here for 2 and half years and had once visit just before Christmas to sort a few maintenance items out which we discuss via email.

This has been the best renting experience so far - the main aim of all the agencies I have ever dealt with is to rip both the tenant and LL off!

Good luck, I do know how unsettling it can be

imwithspud Mon 29-Feb-16 16:34:27

We moved out of our previous rental after 2 years but that was through choice because something better came up. We've been in our current rental for just over a year, we are renting from a family member of dp's, and plan on staying here for the foreseeable future (hopefully until we are in a position to buy) - which as far as we know suits them just fine too. We are allowed to do pretty much what we want with the property from a cosmetic stand point, so it really does feel like a home. We've also yet to have any rental increases (touch wood as we couldn't really afford to pay much more than we're paying now).

I don't have any advice as I really believe it comes down to luck, I would hate to be forced to move every couple of years. For some people that suits them just fine but a lot of people want stability, I feel for you op.

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