First, let me start by saying I survived today!!!! I was very anxious the past few days but I managed, though now I am totally exhausted and a bit emotional. Things went, saw some pregnant people and did okay with it….still hard but managed. We finally met Ty and Jacob’s cemetery mates parents. For as much as we go to the cemetery we have never run into them but I recognized a picture they put up today and it was nice to meet them and hear their little guys story. There is an infant loss group starting this month that we intend on going too and now we will know two couples. We walked, talked and won a raffle prize (I picked the dog food to donate…there was a table of stuff to choose from and sure the soft heatable slippers would have been nice, knowing how cold my feet get, but I figured there was a dog in a rescue group that would enjoy a bag of food much more) So I managed….I can barely keep my eyes open now from the exhaustion but I got through and I was able to go to our SAYF committee meeting, though at some points I could feel the tears starting to well up. Thankfully the meeting was short and we were able to get out of there pretty quick and no one asked about my shirt, I may have lost it if they did.
So on to the topic of this blog…..the issues with renting. I have never had so much trouble finding a place to rent, given I use to be okay with buildings but now that I am anti building for many valid and good reasons, it is hard! I have been looking for a year and still feel guilty for passing up some great opportunities but we were just not emotionally ready. Here’s the issues I am running into which is making this so hard.
1. I find most rentals are geared towards students. There are more than just students in London looking to rent but it seems the majority of places are for students only. Stephen nor I are students, we both work (well, will be working) and have a family. Why is it so hard to find a decent property for us to rent? They probably think most couples with a family want a bigger place, a house perhaps…well yeah we’d LOVE a house but the reality of the last year financially has made that impossible. We can only afford an apartment right now but we’re not students. Landlord, please recognize that there are people who are not students that do require a place to rent.
2. Most landlords require proof of employment, which for Stephen is fine but he doesn’t make enough to just support rent so we need mine…how can I supply proof of employment when I am off on LTD. Most landlords do not accept LTD and I understand, they just want to make sure they get their money but we have never missed a payment and I keep telling all of them we can give excellent current landlord references if they are worried. Some also want credit checks, Stephen has no credit and mine is just starting to build and most places want a few years’ worth. We don’t have it. One of the main reasons we do not qualify for a mortgage is because we do not have a few years of solid work. We’ll never be able to get into a house because life is unfair. We do not have solid work history because we have dealt with losing our two sons and no amount of references or credit can provide security. I get it, they all have protocol but we already struggle with enough, we just want to catch a break.
3. Most places say no pets. Firstly, that is actually illegal. Where we live tenants have the right to own pets and landlords can’t do anything about it. I do understand if they say no dogs for noise reasons even though they really can’t. Secondly, when you list a place for rent that says “due to allergies” no pets allowed. Are you going to be living with us? Because if we are in a self-contained apartment then our pets will not bother your allergies. And if one more person I call asks if we have pets and says I should get rid of them I’m going to go off on them.
4. Our budget does not fit what we need. We aren’t poor but we do need more space, more space seems to equal a few hundred dollars more and given everything we have been through in the last year we don’t have extra cash. It sucks, It’s hard to deal with but the reality is, there is no point moving into another one bedroom when we really need more space. I understand landlords are in the business to make money but some of the prices are ridiculous. Just because you have an “older home” does not mean it is worth more. Who in their right mind would pay $1300 for a one bedroom apartment just because it is in an older home, you could have a mortgage for that price. Some landlords are really ripping people off. Where are the good hearted ones, the ones who would be willing to only make a bit of money but help a young struggling couple out….HA, I guess we don’t live in that kind of world. We have a budget set based on our finances now but it seems that won’t get us what we need so we’ll have to wait.
5. There are certain areas of London I am not willing to live in for safety reasons. Especially with Stephen going out and be having to be home a lone. I know crime can happen anywhere but if you look at the police reports there are a few areas they tend to happen way too much and I don’t want to raise a family in those areas. Also, we are the maintenance people for church, Stephen works out here and our boys are out here (out here means the west end) our lives are in the west end, we are here every day and would be here every day even if we moved so it seems a bit pointless to move all the way across town and take a 30-45 minute drive one way through town and back every day and a few times a day. It’s not practical for us to move to the other side of town, I have looked though as prices out there are a bit more reasonable…but guess who there for!!!! STUDENTS!
6. I really wanted a 3 bedroom to begin with but have come to terms with the fact it is not happening so I decided on two….but it seems 2 bedroom apartments are sparse. Theres plenty of one bedrooms, theres plenty of 3, 4, 5 bedrooms but very few 2 bedrooms.
7. We need something all inclusive or something a bit cheaper and we’ll pay hydro. There happens to be many places we would be able to afford….but once you add in the cost of utilities it pushes it out of our budget.
8. I am a bit anti apartment building. I have had so many issues with living in them in the past that I do not want the added stress of having to worry about it. Given, we do have some of the issues here as well but no where near as bad as being in a building. My reasons are valid, police have been involved more than once. I find the companies that own large buildings do not care about their tenants either, I have had nothing but horrible customer service from the building supervisors and the people in charge.
9. Also, just a note to people trying to rent a place out, one, pictures do help. If you don't have pictures it makes me feel like you are trying to hide something and most of the time when I google the address I know what the house looks like from the outside which says a lot about the inside. And, please give a decent description of what you are renting because one bed, kitchen, nice area, laundry....well that could be a box under the bridge for all I know....
So here I am, a year into our search and wishing I had just pushed myself to move when I found the few decent affordable places I looked at. I sit every single day and see if any new adds are posted on a host of apartment/house rental sites. I pray that something opens up, something that we can afford and that suites our needs. Something free of mold and mice. Someplace that won’t make me physically ill. Someplace where on the coldest mornings of the year I wake up and have heat instead of the heater being broken and us freezing. It has gone off every morning that the temps dip below 5…it’s cold! I have to go turn it back on now. At least I was able to get in a nap.