According to ‘The Telegraph’, work by the Resolution Foundation shows that 1.3 million households on low to middle incomes are spending more than a third of their net income on mortgage payments, rent and maintenance costs - forgoing other essentials such as food to pay their bills.The housing sector tends to classify housing costs as unaffordable if they take up more than 35 percent of net income.
The 1.3 million figure represents almost one in four of the 5.6 million low-to-middle income households of working age in Britain, according to the report.
I am probably not alone in blaming letting agents partly for the increasing rent in London especially. It is true that market forces play a major role in rent spiralling out of control in the capital but the agent as a way of outmanoeuvring the competition, often is first to inform a landlord that his property can command a higher rent.
I have never been a fan of letting agents because in my view they fleece you of money every opportunity they get and it’s hard to justify the fees they charge.
In addition to the unaffordable costs highlighted above, households that move house end up paying administration charges which sometimes are in excess of £300 depending on the size of the property you are renting. You also have to pay for check-out inventory not to mention the security deposit that keeps increasing no thanks again to the letting agents.
Whether moving to rented accommodation or your own home there is also the added cost of moving your property. Removal services do not come cheap especially if you opt for the professional removal companies.
This is of course the best option as you risk loss or damage to irreplaceable property by patronizing some of the untested man and van services who unlike most professional removal companies lack the right equipment, experience and personnel for the job.
Another option is to hire a van for a day and get friends and relatives to assist. This would be the preferred option where the household property you are moving is small, not requiring specialist attention and of course you have enough friends and relatives around to help out. If you are far from your family and close acquaintances you are not likely to get enough hands to move the contents of say a 2 bedroom apartment.When asking for help with moving household items you have to bear in mind that not everyone is blessed with the physique and energy to move bulky / heavy items on and off a removal van.
The hidden costs no one tells you about include the cost for updating your address on your driving licence, the administration charges payable to insurance companies also for updating your address on some types of insurance. If you are really unlucky you are made to pay a further additional premium for your contents and maybe your car insurance where the new address is deemed a worse insurance risk in the view of your insurers.
Children also need time to adjust and settle into the new accommodation. Kids sometimes struggle with the new environment especially if you have downsized or compromised on features like garden, balcony, kids lounge or overall size of the new accommodation.
There is also the cost to have your mail redirected to your new address which rises the longer the period you require the redirection. This is an optional expenditure but in actual fact you need to have the redirection in place otherwise you could miss out on important correspondence. It has been said that the internet is rendering correspondence by post obsolete but that has not happened yet with establishments like the NHS; correspondence by post remains an important means of communication.
A look at a typical moving home check-list will give further idea of the extent of effort and planning that goes into moving home. You have to notify your energy suppliers, banks, send out change of address letters and in some cases visit the offices individually to complete change of address forms.
From the man hours and energy expended during the home move, to the anxiety associated with the move during planning, execution and after the move including the challenge of settling into the new accommodation you always end up drained physically and mentally. However we all have to move home sometime so when you do be prepared.