Rentish Idealism

Thursday, 30 October 2008

I don't know why I feel disappointed. I got a letter from my landlord advising me of the next rental increase in line with his "review of the rental market." So as of December, my rent goes up another $65 a month. I suppose that's okay. I can cope with an extra $15 a week if I must. Why do I feel annoyed then?

I don't think that people "getting ahead", whatever that means for them, is necessarily a bad thing. It does frustrate me a bit, though, despite intellectually knowing that, that my landlord advised me in a letter about the rent increase instead of giving me a call. But I don't know why I'm feeling frustrated about that either. It's the way things are done. Informing me in writing probably satisfies legal requirements, and then I have the information there at my disposal. Maybe I'm just a bit old-fashioned in believing that someone I shared grounds with for a year and a half or however long it was wouldn't give me a call first.

But this is the way things are done when you are a landlord. You get to increase your tenants' rent in line with your "review of the rental market". Apparently it's been a year since my rent increase. I'm not so sure about that and I'm going to go back over my records and check, just to satisfy myself. But I can't help feeling irritated that Nigel is going to go for every dollar legitimately due to him. Yes, I know. It's his right, right? I guess what is frustrating me is that Nigel is living in a flat with his fiancee, who I think pretty much owns it outright. He has also rented out his house to the three guys who are currently living there. And he works full-time, and so does his fiancee. I would imagine they would be pretty comfortable.

But then, who am I to whinge? I should just be grateful I have anywhere to live at all, in this current rental market that is squeezed so tight. Lots of people have nowhere to live at all.

I don't know why I'm complaining. I really have no right to. Am I jealous? I don't know. Maybe a little. I guess I would like to be in their position, sure. Maybe if I was in their position I would be increasing my tenants' rent every year too. It's only fair. It's only in line with "the current rental market". I remember in my earlier incarnation as the wife of an accountant, when we were looking pretty cosy, when I was in line to buy a house, when I knew that I would pretty much have no financial worries, that it didn't feel as good as I would have hoped. It felt stranely deadening really, and I can't say I felt any more secure about the future than I do now that I have no money at all. But of course, this is a ridiculous thing to say because when I retire and I have no money, in the future, if teh world is existing in its current form by then ... well, having cash behind you is a good thing, right?

Yes, it's true. My irritations aren't so much about people who have savings. Having savings is a good thing. If more people had savings and less people had credit, then we wouldn't be in the financial mess we are in. My irritations are with people who place their faith in financial security - it's a bottomless pit. You never feel secure enough. As many people are finding out these days.

So it would be the right thing to write a letter to my tenants informing them of their rent increase. It is procedure. But it would also be convenient that I wouldn't have to look them in the eye while telling them of said rent increase because I couldn't help myself - I would feel guilty, somehow, knowing that I was doing so much better than the people I was charging extra money to.

But all's fair in a gettng-ahead society, right? After all, it not their fault if I am struggling financially. I am single and living alone in a house that has two bedrooms. It is my choice to live alone because I like the space. As it was my choice to leave my husband. And I'm pretty sure that I could put in extra hours if I tried a bit harder, at least in the weeks and months when my health feels more stable. So it's nobody's fault that I don't have extra money flying around. I don't even feel like it's mine, either. It's not a blaming issue, it's just the way it is. And anyway, as childish as it may sound to some, I feel like God is there for me when it comes to finances.

So yeah, I'm not complaining about the reality of things. It's not even that much of a big deal, I suppose, that my rent is increasing by an extra $65 a month. That's not much at all. I guess it's not so much the rent increase, it's the clnical efficiency of the way we do things in this society. That's what really gets to me.

But then, I am ridiculously idealistic.


  1. guess it is a bit weird when said landlord used to live on same property, but he probably means nothing by it other than filling legal requirement to notify in writing within a given period

    when the cost of everything is skyrocketing a rent increase would be a pain, but at least being a tenant the cost of roofing over head only goes up annually,

    we've had so many interest rate rises in the past three years, before the bank had even sent the official letter with the new monthly payment, the rate would rise again!

    and did our bank pass on the 1% drop just announced - yeah right!?!

  2. 65 dollars still a lot of money - one of our loans dropped by a 100 dollars a month - today.

  3. Sounds like you should refinance with Mork's bank, Kel :)

    You know, I am actually quite happy at the moment that I'm relatively broke and I don't own anything, nor have any debt. It sure makes things a bit easier, I guess.

    I'm just happy I've got a roof over my head at all, really. I just found the piece of official paper a bit cold, but sometimes I get this Little House on the Prairie mindset going, you know? :)

  4. Our property value just increased, supposedly - like we could sell it for another half of what we bought it for with the market being what it is. Next year we will be paying double in taxes. It would be tempting to increase the rent if we had a tenant...such greed, eh?

    I'm very focused on how to cut our spending right now. Even socks...I'm thinking we need to learn how to darn.

    I'm happy to have a roof over my head too, even if it does leak in heavy rain. We should get another roof put on. The roof is only 3 years old but it was a home job and we can't find the source of the leaks. We also need new siding and some new plumbing...the list goes on, but I'm thankful for running water, hot water, a real stove to cook on and an oven that works.

    We have so much to be thankful for!

    ~Pollyanna :)

  5. Polyanna - leaking roofs are romantic ;) They are!! You can meditate on the drops as they go into the bucket. Hehe :) I want to plant some veggies. I STILL haven't done it! I find it all a bit intimidating for some reason. Weird, huh?

    I was thinking yesterday how totally sexy recycling is now, and reusing things, and I love it! I love the randomness of opportunity shops (I just hate how the word "random" has been ruined forever by 15 year olds :) I want to buy a new skirt for work so I am going to go trawling at the op shop tomorrow. I get so much more satisfaction out of buying something secondhand than off the rack. I feel a connection with the person who owned it previously, which is all a bit trippy but there you have it :)

  6. PS: Jennifer, I don't think it is greedy to increase your tenants' rent in line with the own increases coming from the bank, etcetera.

    But when it's all about what "the market" is doing - well, the market is high simply because there are not enough rental properties to go around and so demand is ultra high. I can't help feeling like that is greed, even though there is no way to say that to a property owner's face without them looking at you as if you're living on the planet Zircon :)


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