This is my reality of renting.
We rent our home. It’s not going to change for the foreseeable future and frankly, it sucks. Don’t get me wrong, it also has a positive side but these days I find it hard to remember what that is. I’m sure it will come to me at some point.
I have been paying rent since I was 18 years old. So I’m pretty well versed, at 33, in all the less than delightful aspects of being a tenant.
The first craptastic part to renting is finding a suitable place to rent. It used to be a bit of a smorgasbord- loads of places to choose from. Now, Sydney seems to have a scarcity of rental properties and the ones that are available are charged at a premium. You have to go to an open house with 35 other desperate families where you smile and nod at one another, while hoping they don’t get the place and you do- provided it’s not some godawful place with a toilet in the kitchen. Unless that’s all that’s available in which case, you and the 35 other families embark on a Hunger Games style battle to prove to the property manager that you are the most worthy tribute to the house with its gloriously convenient kitchen-toilet.
Once all prospective tenants have fought to the death in the (probably very overgrown and weed-choked) back garden and you have emerged the victor, you get the dubious joy of the Inspection Report to contend with. This is where the disinterested real estate property manager has listed all the parts of your new rental home that are broken, damaged, dirty, worn or in some other way crappily outstanding. You then get to go through it, disagree and try to fit your reason in a box that was clearly designed for show only and not actual use. For example, in a previous house I had to explain that the kitchen cupboard shelves were not in good repair at all and were, in fact, being held together with surgical dressing tape. As were the canvas outdoor blinds. In fact, most of that house was held together with surgical tape. I’m not sure why but I can tell you that surgical tape is pretty ordinary at holding bits of house together.
Before you move in, you also have the fun task of cleaning all the things the last tenant didn’t clean. Awesome stuff like showers clogged with the hair of strangers or cockroaches desiccating within light fixtures. One property I moved into years ago came with a free mega-sized flea circus. Only without the actual circus bit- just the cast and crew, if you know what I mean.
Once you’ve dealt with all those bits, you have the Tetris-esque joy of fitting all your furniture into a house that was not considered when you acquired said furniture. In our last house, we had to take the laundry door off to get the (standard sized) washing machine into the laundry and had to remove the hinge covers on top of the fridge to get it into the fridge space. After that, we could only open the cupboard above the fridge space if we opened the freezer first. Naturally.