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How to Make Your Rent Pay Your Rent

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

Who the hell isn’t hustling in London?

Who the hell isn’t fussing and mushing

And cussin’ to pay bills from sunup to sundown?

Before we begin, my apologies to the people that fall between the cracks. This information won’t apply to you. For example, those who are sofa-surfing, or in hostels, or sleeping on the streets; the creative homeless (no one knows that you sleep in Maccy D's, public toilets, or on the buses). It doesn't securely cover those who are living in physically dangerous situations, or conditions that require you to prioritise some other cost to stave off ill-health.

However, if you’re lucky enough to have a roof over your head and feel relatively warm and safe with the people you share it with, this article is for you. It’s something we all worry about, paying rent mortgages, roof over head money.

It’s not easy. And if you’re fortunate to be employed and in a relatively steady job, or running a successful business, there’s always the fear of the wolf at the door. If you’re on any kind of benefit, well the wolf is always at the door. You’ll hear it quietly scratching at times, and sometimes howling madly at others.

And if all that stands between you and the mad wolf of homelessness is the thin roof over your head, then that roof has to be a priority. You’re spinning plates, but this particular plate has to be immobile. It has to be superglued. No mucking about with it and no fancy juggling tricks. Make sure you can sleep easy at night. So if you can, pay your rent, then add a penny more. If you're able, go up to a pound. Two or three quid is safer, four or five quid, that’s even better. Don't stretch beyond your means; but always have a little in excess. Let your rent go into credit, not arrears.

Make sure you can sleep easy at night.

Most social landlords don't refund excess rent, it’s just held over in credit. With a mortgage you get to pay it off that much sooner—provided your mortgage lender doesn't charge penalties. If you are under a Section 21 landlord, then it depends on your relationship, business climate, and a host of other things.

21 landlords have the legal right to end the tenancy without giving a reason, but in brutal pragmatic terms often it's simply because is that they want to upgrade the property or get higher rental returns from another tenant who’s willing to pay more. (Although a good tenant who pays on time and who pays even a little in advance is a treasure for many landlords, and not someone to be given up easily.)

"Well, I can’t afford to pay any more rent!"

'Course you can. In affordable terms, a penny is not ‘any more rent’. It’s not even a sweetie wrapper that you dropped coming out of Lidl with your Cadbury's flake. It’s certainly not that mozzarella and sundried tomato quiche slice you bought in Waitrose for the hell of it. And it’s not a can of Coke. It is a penny. But as Tesco’s says, every one of them counts.

Don’t believe me? Wait. There’ll come a time when the rent payment won’t go through for some reason, not necessarily through any fault of your. That’s when you can breathe easily knowing that you’ve got time to sort it out. You don’t have to run from pillar to post, be stressed about who to turn to if you’re homeless and all the other wonderful thoughts that lead to stress and high blood pressure.

As Tesco says: Every Penny Counts.

Add it. The time will go buy and you’ll forget all about it. Then one day you’ll look and see you’re in credit. And isn’t it better to look at your rent account and see £1,314.00 in credit than to receive a letter saying “Notice of Eviction Proceedings”?


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