The Disadvantages of Renting a Home

by Kathryn Hatter, Demand Media
    Renting may fit some lifestyles, but there are drawbacks.

    Renting may fit some lifestyles, but there are drawbacks.

    Renting a home can be great in some situations, especially if you need freedom from home maintenance and ties to property. Although there are benefits to renting, there are two sides to every story: not surprisingly, there are certain disadvantages associated with renting a home instead of owning one.

    Personal Choices

    Unlike owning your own home, renting often means you can't decorate the home exactly as you'd like. Many landlords prohibit renters from painting walls and even driving nails into walls to hang decor. You don’t have the freedom to replace worn-out carpeting, choose flooring for your bathroom or even redo your kitchen cabinets if the desire hits. If you have pets, you may have trouble finding a rental unit that allows them. And some rentals, even if they do allow pets, require an additional security deposit to cover the risk of damage from the animals.

    Equity

    When you own your own home, every house payment you make typically builds up a little more equity in your home. It's an investment, and over time, you own a greater and greater share of your home. When you rent a home, you get a place to live, but you don't own anything at the end. Your rent simply pays for a roof over your head.

    Tax Advantages

    Although the interest portion of your mortgage payments is tax-deductible on Schedule A of your 1040, rent payments are not. The owner of the home receives tax incentives and write-offs as the owner of the property. Although certain states provide modest tax breaks to renters, in general you would receive greater tax breaks if you own your own home.

    Living Environment

    When you own your own home, you have much greater control over your living environment. If a problem arises, you can fix it as quickly as you like, according to your own schedule. When you rent, the owner pays for repairs, which means he also controls who does the repairs and when. You might have to put up with an unlicensed handyman rather than a contractor, or the landlord might arrange for repairs at an inconvenient time. Some landlords are slow to make repairs, especially small ones that they don't consider important. For example, you might have to live with small inconveniences like squeaky doors and leaky faucets unless you fix them yourself.

    About the Author

    Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator and regular contributor to "Natural News." She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, crocheter, painter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. Hatter's Internet publications specialize in natural health and she plans to continue her formal education in the health field, focusing on nursing.

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