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A new survey also reveals that a surprising number are happy to rent long-term
Along with the weather, ever-rising house prices must be one of the most discussed subjects in the country. So is it any wonder that more and more people are resigning themselves to a life of renting? In fact, according to a new survey by Sofology, a third of renters have no intention of getting on the property ladder. That’s the equivalent of 1.48million households in the UK.
When asked if they thought owning a home was important, 31 per cent said no. And just over a quarter (26 per cent) said they didn’t want the responsibility of home ownership. But what we found most fascinating was that 83 per cent felt settled in their rental homes, and 61 per cent were happy renting. Are we about to see a cultural shift from buying to renting? The French and Germans prefer to buy, rather than rent, so why not us?
Anyway, on to the big question – how much will people spend to make a rented property feel like home?
Amazingly, one in 20 of those surveyed admitted to spending more than £3,000 a year on decorating their rented home, while the average figure was £490. The most popular spends were on redecorating (29 per cent), furniture (25 per cent) and home accessories (11 per cent).
‘We were surprised to find that the majority of renters are happy with their living arrangements and have no plans to buy a property,’ says Sofology’s Andy Leadbetter. ‘It shows a clear shift in societal norms. You don’t have to own somewhere to make it feel like your home. Our study shows that renters have become accomplished in making their house a home and with half saying they have already been renting for 10 years or more, it’s clear they plan on staying put. People who add their own home accessories and finishing touches with items like light fittings and photographs create a sense of home, but the majority say that adding their own furniture was the best way to feel settled.’
With that in mind, we’ve come up with these top tips for renters…
How to make a rented property seem more like home
1. Redecorate with rugs
Perhaps the easiest way to change the look of a place without upsetting your landlord and losing your deposit is to use soft furnishings. We all know the old ‘cover the old sofa with a throw’ trick, but there’s a similar way to deal with less-than-perfect floors. Layering rugs will cover a cheap and tatty laminate, scratched floorboards or a stained old carpet. Alternatively, if your floor is immaculate, a rug can protect it from any accidents.
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2. Dress up your windows
Curtains are an easy switch that you can put back at the end of your tenure, but that will dramatically change the appearance of a window. Ditch heavy, old-fashioned drapes for delicate voiles that will let more light in. Or add a window film for privacy or decoration – it can easily be peeled off before any final inspections.
3. Go wild with plants
Provided you can keep them alive, plants can totally lift the appearance of any room. Larger rubber plants and ferns can be used to hide the bits of your flat you’re not so keen on, while smaller ones can fill an empty fireplace or window ledge.
4. Don’t forget the garden
If you’re inheriting an easy-maintenence concrete jungle, don’t despair. Just gather as many pots as you can and fill them with flowers – it will make a big difference. Or you could try this clever idea and turn an old chest of drawers into a floral feature.
Also opt for a bright bistro set to distract from any dreary patio tiles, and again, use rugs – there are lots of outdoor designs that will add colour and class.