Life

Generation rent: from dodgy boilers to black mould, 7 renting horror stories

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published
A woman looking angrily at her rented home.

No one ever said that being part of generation rent was easy, but these renting horror stories – featuring everything from dodgy landlords to months without hot water – are quite something else.  

There’s no denying that one of the biggest issues of our generation has to be housing. With buying a home out of the picture for most of us, the private renting sector has become the only option for millions of young people.

Aptly named ‘generation rent’, today’s young people are faced with a myriad of problems thanks to their dependency on landlords and letting agencies to secure a roof over their head; in 2017, those aged 25-34 represented the largest group of private renters in the country, making up 35% of the private rental market. From dodgy landlords to broken boilers, renters up and down the country have a sense of solidarity when it comes to the awful living conditions they’re (unwillingly) paying to endure.

That’s probably why, when private renting organisation Generation Rent UK took to Twitter to ask their followers to submit their horror stories to #ventyourrent, they weren’t short of responses. 

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247 replies, 256 retweets and 395 likes later, their original tweet sparked an influx of (justified) rants from the UK’s private renters as they recalled all their worst stories to shine light on housing across the country in 2019.

Starring endless broken boilers and tonnes of black mould, here are some of the worst stories we saw shared under the hashtag – get ready to experience unprecedented levels of rage.

1. Who needs hot water in winter anyway?

“Last year I lived in a flat where the boiler broke and the landlord took four months to fix it,” one response read. “We had no hot water from August until December; still had to pay full rent of course.”

2. We’d love to know exactly what the landlord was thinking here

“Rented a place that had a condemned boiler,” another person began. “Landlord refused to replace it despite it breaking down repeatedly and causing damp. When we moved out there was black mould on the walls due to the rising damp, and they tried to charge us our whole deposit to play for the refurbishment!”

3. Because not breathing is a totally viable lifestyle choice

“I had water running down the walls and black mould from damp,” begins this story from Twitter user @whatshedidx. “I was told this was due to lifestyle – activities such as breathing and sleeping – basically all the things you should expect to do in a house.”

4. None of the logic here makes any sense

“We complained about not having a co meter or alarm,” one response began. “Landlord tried to fine us for damp in the bathroom saying it was our fault for not keeping the heating on long enough. Out heating is on a timer set by the landlord. We can’t change it.”

5. When cleaning bills become the work of the devil

“Deep-cleaned our house just before we moved out, only to be sent an itemised bill for cleaning from the landlords, who hadn’t done any cleaning yet,” another person added. “£3 for dust on living room left skirting, £3 for dust on living room right skirting, £1 for dust on lampshade etc etc.”

6. This is just plain dangerous

“Letting agent refused to fix a dip in the ceiling for months and ignored our calls until the whole thing caved in just before Christmas and almost killed us,” Rhys Harper wrote. “We subsequently lost access to the living room and kitchen for ten weeks (but still had to pay full rent).”

Just take a look at that picture.

7. Privacy clearly means different things to different people

“One recent landlord charged fair rents etc, but he still showed up unannounced (frequently despite reminders that he was meant to give us 24 hr notice) and served us all a Section 21,” Julia Blest said.

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Lauren Geall

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