Tuesday, 1 May 2007

I suppose I should have done this first, but anyway, this is what rentergirl is all about.

We didn’t all make it onto the property ladder. I have no home sweet home.

Television, and newspapers devote hours worth of space to desirable and expensive property, but few of my friends live that way, in dream homes: we drift from city to city, and flat to flat. Penury condemns me to rented accommodation - a world of shared houses, grim bedsits and mad landlords, of strange, semi-psychotic housemates, and unpredictable evictions. There is also hope, humanity and humour in this world.

I am not alone. Buy to let compels many people to negotiate a life that means moving on every six months, sharing houses well into your thirties, if not for ever, for example when relationships break down.

We face intrusive, lecherous landlords. We negotiate with dubious rental agencies, who demand reams of references and one kidney in the freezer by way of a deposit. The perfect home is in Brigadoon.

There are bogus, bullying removal companies when you can’t ask your friends to drive you anymore, belongings to pack, friendly hangouts to locate. And then there are flatmates, who range from your new best friend, to those who have you with the emergency services as they stand on the roof and threaten to jump.

There’s the gap when you are between houses, and must beg to stay with unwilling friends, tolerated only because they know they could be next, either through relationships ending, job loss, or leases not renewed. There’s that moment when you arrive in new town, knowing no-one, aiming to make a new life.

This epic, universal journey of finding a home dominates many lives. This is how many people live now, and may do forever. If nothing else, I've learne d alot through this experience.

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