All the money I’ve wasted renting

All the money I've wasted renting

Ten years of renting was a few too many, personally.

Non refundable agent’s fees

A week’s rent plus GST – many, many times over.

Bonds you never see in full again

Fair enough in some cases, but definitely not in others.  And as a tenant you’re at a vast disadvantage here.

Carpet cleaning

Expensive carpet cleaning fees are included in leases by agencies – big and small alike – everywhere. Tenancy law information online seems to suggest these are unlawful, or ‘unenforceable’, but practically speaking, if it’s in the contract what are you going to do, kick up a fuss? There’s a dire shortage of housing in Auckland and it’s hard enough to secure a rental as it is.

Dodgy utilities

I was briefly in a very strange situation where I was in charge of the power bill, and everyone was supposed to split it evenly with me, but there was also a separate couple subletting the self contained downstairs rooms from one of the other flatmates/tenants (who was also the mother of my friend and fellow flatmate), and that flatmate was charging them a flat all inclusive rent and not including them in the power bill split. Yeah, try wrapping your head around that. Then there was the shitty apartment where you had to use their electricity provider – there was no other choice – and that provider had only one plan and no low user option, meaning we were stuck with higher prices than we would be paying on the free market.

Buying and selling things

Every move forces change of some sort – buying or selling appliances and/or furniture depending on each individual property’s size and what is or isn’t provided with it. Fridges, washing machines, tables, couches … It gets old.

Lost and broken stuff

I’ve had countless possessions go missing or break due to flatmates. No point having nice stuff.

And I can’t put a dollar amount on it, but…

So much time and stress. Taking time off during the work day to dart out to viewings (always within business hours) and to agency offices to sign papers.

Literally months of uncertainty over the years when you know you have to move and scramble to find a new place (about six months total in 2015 alone).

Fighting shitty landlords trying to blame us for things going wrong with the house, so they wouldn’t have to foot the bill for their own maintenance and repairs.

So, so glad not to be living what amounts to a temporary life anymore.

11 thoughts on “All the money I’ve wasted renting

  • Reply The Personal Economist April 6, 2016 at 08:47

    So true! The emotional cost of not feeling secure is also a big one for me.

  • Reply Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial April 6, 2016 at 12:40

    Do you have more than one utilities provider in your region? If so, that’s pretty great! Out here you’re pretty much stuck with whoever has a monopoly in your area. We didn’t have much of a problem renting (yes broker fee but no deposit and landlord was pretty good about getting things fixed). I don’t miss having a roommate though (at least, one that isn’t BF)!

    • Reply eemusings April 6, 2016 at 13:21

      Water, no, but everything else, yes.

  • Reply Latoya @ Femme Frugality April 7, 2016 at 00:01

    I had no idea that you had to bring appliances to some rentals. You would think those would be included. I guess it just depends on the area you are renting. And sharing power utilities, yeah, I would have been livid about that!

  • Reply Jess April 7, 2016 at 01:25

    In New York City, broker fees are anywhere from a full month’s rent to 15% of your first year’s rent. Ouch. No tax on top of that but still, it can be SO MUCH MONEY. And it can be really hard to find a decent place without a broker.

  • Reply Michelle April 7, 2016 at 01:42

    The year my mom decided to buy was after a very disturbing incident with her landlord. She happened to be in her apartment at a time when people are usually at work (she had the day off). But, her landlord didn’t know that and started to come into her unit FREAKING HER OUT! He hadn’t given notice that he would be coming into her unit that day. Basically, he didn’t expect for her to be there. Needless to say, he was shocked and she was shocked and that day she began looking for a place to buy. She won’t ever rent again.

    • Reply Michelle April 7, 2016 at 01:42

      It has been many years since that happened btw!

  • Reply Funny about Money April 10, 2016 at 15:37

    I hated renting. Can’t imagine ever having to do it again. Tho’ by and large conditions here are better than you describe (except in really depressed housing), I’ve also had some very strange experiences.

  • Reply Jamie April 12, 2016 at 19:20

    That’s why I prefer owning. Renting is fine for the short term especially when you’re saving to own.

  • Reply Sense April 16, 2016 at 13:08

    Wow!!! I’ve really dodged a lot of bullets here in NZ. I don’t think I’ve been dinged on any of these counts (I rent furnished places and have had amazing landlords and flatmates, knock on wood). Since I don’t intend on being in Auckland forever, renting definitely >>> buying. 🙂 I’ll just keep saving up for my house down payment somewhere else!

    So happy that you have found and bought your place, and figured out what’s right for you.

  • Reply Mackenzie April 27, 2016 at 11:00

    I am still renting an apartment currently, but I remember one apartment we lived in years ago, where the landlord (tried to) refuse to fix our air conditioner because he said it didn’t get hot enough in the summer to warrant it being fixed.

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