As a homeowner you live in constant fear that something will go wrong with your property.
When your boiler breaks in a rental property you make a 10p phone call and get the landlord to sort it. When you’re a homeowner you sleep in five jumpers and a woolly hat for weeks before you cave in and end up hundreds, if not thousands of pounds out of pocket.
It’s fair to say as rewarding as it may be to get your foot on the property ladder, renting certainly does have its perks.
But after finding myself embroiled in a dispute with a landlord I have come to the conclusion that renting is more trouble than it’s worth.
After paying our bills on time each month, cleaning the property top to bottom and vacating before our contract was over to accommodate the new tenant, we were told we wouldn’t be getting a penny of our deposit back.
Not only did the landlord want to keep our deposit of more than £600, they wanted to charge us an additional £400 for recarpeting and redecorating the house.
I was furious - I thought that the carpet looked like it was ready for the scrapyard when we moved in - yet the landlord thought to bill us for a new carpet blaming our dog for wrecking it.
They even wanted to charge us for - ‘finding a crumb in a drawer’.
This was the same person who had thanked us profusely for moving out early and for being such good tenants.
As I raged and researched what we could do to get this money back from our landlord I realised this was a widespread problem.
I read page after page of internet blogs from irate tenants and even came across a bloke in America who had taken a sledgehammer to a rental property after his landlord refused to pay his deposit back.
Extreme you may say but I can sympathise.
Before reaching for the sledgehammer however, I thought I would simply use my intellect (or Googling skills) to try and outsmart our landlord.
We took the matter to dispute which required us to send evidence, statements and all manner of things, some of which we simply didn’t have as we weren’t expecting a dispute, to an impartial body.
At the time it seemed like a lot of effort, but after a two-and-a-half month wait it felt like we had a little bit of justice, the landlord was allowed to keep £300 instead of the £1,000 they asked for and we were finally given the remaining money back.
I am still miffed that any of our money was taken but am claiming this as a victory against all the landlords out there who think they can take advantage of tenants.