Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You Got Me Wondering .....

I'm really interested in everyone's opinions.

Be anonymous if you want, it truely does not bother me.

Lurkers, come on out and give your ten cents worth.

A reader has really got me wondering what the general consensus, worldwide, nationwide, citywide is. In a comment on my last post she mentioned that she finds home owners to be more responsible than renters. If you read the comment thread you may have noticed that I took a bit of offense to this comment. Not to the commentor, because she is very like me and has her strong opinions and I like that she is not afraid to share them. But I still found that the comment made me feel a bit flat. Made me wonder and I have to admit that it has been plaguing me for days now. I keep thinking about it and I thought, what the hell, let's put it out there.

Do you personally believe that people that own their own homes are more responsible citizens in all aspects of their lives than those that don't?? Please don't just say yes or no, have some gumption and explain your reasoning.

And I don't mean in a general sense.

You either agree or disagree, their is no "oh maybe, in general, statistically etc". I want YOUR opinion, and I want it backed up. And I really want true honesty.

My "comment" will be the next post. I am staunch in my views and I am also extremely interested in the overall response so get thinking and get typing!!


Kitty said...

it is a ridiculous suggestion that renters are less responsible citizens in all aspects of their lives.

i am a home owner and i am about to rent again while i build another house.

to suggest i would become a less desirable person for the 6 month period is ludicrous.

i have rented for most of my adult life because i travelled the world and i did have the money or the lifestyle required for home ownership.

i've owned fo 2.5 years and i can honestly say i care about my own property to the same standard that i did someone else's.

i was brought up to respect other people's things and treat them like they were my own. when i rented i employed that attitude, but when something fucked up or broke or whatever, i didn't have to worry that much, cause it was not mine.

i rang the real estate and told them.

i have renters next door to me in our street. there is a 6% rental share in this suburb. it's overwhelming owner/occupier and you would not know that they were renters. they are normal, pleasant people.

the renters before that? fucking pigs. never mowed their lawn, never took their bins in, never cleaned the windows, left rubbish and junk mail all over the garden. fighting night and day and endless screaming from their obnoxious fucking kids.

but there are home owners who do that too.

the end.

Anonymous said...

In all aspects of their lives? No.

When I first read this, I thought that person meant that renters are less responsible with their homes and in that case, I agree but with their lives? That's just ignorant.

I'm a renter who just doesn't like getting stuck in one place too long...but I am still responsible. Geez. Also? How many homeowners are now going through foreclosure? Tons.

Anne said...

Responsibility levels difer between individuals. I don't believe that renters are any less responsible than home owners - or vice versa. But I'm saying that in "some cases" home owners may take more care in their own property versus a rental - merely for the fact it is theirs, anything they do on this property is improving their investment, their asset. They may not have quite the same pride in a property that is not owned by them, because any improvements etc done by them would be benefiting their landlord. In saying this I'm not trying to imply that they don't care, but instead that there is maybe no benefit in improving something that is not theirs. I'm also not saying that they are any less responnsible.

When younger and a tenant, I cared for our home, looked after it, but felt a whole lot different once we had our own property. Because it was "ours".

A bit of a ramble but I hope I got across my view.

Jules said...

Kitty: That is what I'm trying to establish in people's thinking, do they think that only renters can be irresponsible??

Hilly: Good points missy!!

Anne: I hear your views from a house point of view but what about in the rest of their lives? Do you think that home owners are more responsible people overall??

Anne said...

Simple - No I don't think home owners are more responsible people overall.

Kitty said...

yeah. no i don't think owning home is a sign of superior responsibility.

i also think that i am in the minority and that most people look down on renters (our age and with children) as people who did not 'make it' in life.

the majority i might add, are a bunc of fucking cunts mostly. :o)

Lynda said...

Wow, Ok - I have only ever rented for one year of my life when I was first married. However - I don't think you can make any generalisation. I see homes around me that are owned are in a terrible state - I see homes around me that are rented and they are as neat as a pin. I do believe that because homeowners can invest in their property that yes, more is done and generally they are in a better state of repair etc.

I suppose is says something too about the fact that people have managed to save and own a home compared to those who have not. Big generalisation though. I think renters probably look after properties better overall due to the fact that it is NOT their property and therefore are accountable to someone else for the condition.

I suppose if pushed, I would have to admit that home owners are more responsible people than renters. Not more caring, or more honest, or cleaner, or tidier... just more responsible because I think it takes responsibility to decide to save, put off having kids, prioritise your life to put home ownership up high.

Everyone is different - home ownership is important to me but then I'm an anal personality who likes all my ducks in a row!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm trying to find the comment regarding renters being less responible and the closet comment on your last post refers to renters with dogs, but doesnt generalise that renters are less responible in all areas of their lives.

Are you referring to this comment?

Because in this post you are saying someone made a comment but if you are refering to the comment regarding people with dogs, you probably need to quote it verbatim as this post implies they think people who rent are less responible, but thats not what the comment about the dogs says so you probably need to quote it and give the full story. (so we get the full picture as my initial response was "thats just rediculous who would write something like that" but after reading it they are refering to renters with dogs and so that puts a totally different slant on things and I must say I agreed with most of what they said.

Jules said...

Kitty: Well said.

Lynda: I understand all your points and thanks heaps for commenting.

Anonymous: I actually didn't ask for comments on the other persons comments. I commented that she "finds homeowners more responsible than renters". That is the tone I got from both of her comments and I fully realise she is talking about dogs and as I pointed out I disagree with her dog points. But I also disagree with the overall presumption of her comments that a home owner is more responsible than a renter:

You are probably aware that i breed pedigree dogs, and one of the conditions I spitulate is that I only sell to home owners. (as many breeders do), as abandoned pets make up over 80% of animals the spca have to deal with and thats just not fair.

To me this indicates that the reader thinks home owners are considered to be more responsible dog owners. As a trained Veterinary nurse I have volunteered at the SPCA for a full year of my training for one day a week. Let me tell you that there are a large amount of pets that come through that system that are from home owners.

I am not disputing the reader's right to have her opinions. I am, however, disagreeing with them and it got me to thinking about the tone I took from her comments that indicated home owners were more responsible in her eyes than renters, and I not only got that she thought this purely about dog ownership.

And that got me thinking about it in a broader sense and hence my query about what everyone thinks about the overall responsibility (and not in terms to caring for a property at all!!) of home owners versus renters.

So if you would like to comment again with YOUR thoughts on the subject then I would be glad to hear them.

I was definitely not bagging my reader, just because I don't agree with her opinion on dogs and renting doesn't mean I don't value her contribution to my blog or value her as a great person, I merely mentioned the comment because it made me feel and it made me think and it made me wonder about other's thoughts.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

Well...I have to agree with kitty...everything...all of what she said is true.

She said it all. I've rented and that place was better when I left then before I rented it. And I knew wonderful renters and some bad ones too.

Sweetie...when it come to getting into a place to rent...you have to sell yourself as the responsible renter...and you'll be able to get your dog in too.

Later sweetie.

kathrynoh said...

I can't see how it makes any difference. There are heaps of things that go into decisions about living circumstances and there are all kinds of people in the world.

Unless you are like 30 and still living at home - those ppl are definitely less responsible :)

Tracy said...

I do not think renters are less responsible.

In NZ & I suspect Aussie to a certain degree, it has always been tradition that you save a deposit & buy a house, those that did not follow this pattern were the minority. They were usually in the lower socio economic groups - OK they were the poor folks, unemployed, solo parents etc or at least that was the perception, these groups were already at a disadvantage in the form of other peoples opinions.

There is still the ingrained perception that people who own their own home are more stable & responsible. If you get to a certain age/time in your life and you are still renting then there is something wrong with your priorities.

These days there are more & more people renting - in ALL groups & for all sorts of reasons and I think over time thinking will change. I think it will actually become MORE difficult to rent if you have not been a long term renter because you will not have references from previous landlords to vouch for you. I had friends recently who had to sell their house & rent, they had no references as they had owned for many years, it was hard to find a decent house to rent, and I am sure that part of the problem was that there were 5 kids & several cars - people had pre conceived ideas.

Lynda said...

Note peoples... Jules is not asking whether renters are better at looking after properties, just if they are "more responsible people".

On further thought, I am sure that home owners are more "secure". Renters are at the mercy of the landlord who can ask them to leave at any time. This must lead to a sense of insecurity for renters - the thought that they may have to find another home and school for their kids etc. This would seem to make owners more responsible in that they do offer a more secure life for their kids.

BUT people are people and there are smart renters and dumb owners.

None of this is directed at you Jules... I am generalising. I know that home ownership is a very hard thing to achieve :)

AlleyCat said...

If home owners are more responsible in general life than renters, that probably means that the majority of people who live in hong kong lets stay, are irreseponsible. it costs a bloody fortune to buy, therefore the majority of people rent. I am sure other countries are the same.

Ignorance is bliss.............

As the operater of a small business, I see many property owners who are extremely irresponsible in relation to looking after the properties they rent out. Refusing to pay for general maintenance; leaving tennants with blocked drains, leaking taps, substandard rennovations etc is hardly responsible.

Of course the media tells us about all the dodgy tennants, but never tell about the exemplary responsible tennants, coz who wants to hear about that............

I am still singing (Tiddas) ignorance is bliss, it looks me in the eye..........

I've been both a renter & an owner; the predudice you cope either way is bullshit.

ladypenelope said...

I think the idea that owning your own place makes you a more responsible person is bullshit. And I also think it has absolutely nothing to do with pet ownership.

Buying a house is not #1 on my priorities list, nor do I consider it a measure of my success. No-one has the right to assume me irresponsible because I choose to remain a renter. If I were to saddle myself with a huge mortgage that I struggled to repay I would consider that not being responsible...

Tully said...

To me that is like saying that people with brown hair are more responsible and people with blonde hair are less responsible, it is completely random!

Some very smart people say that it is stupid to ever buy a house and it would be better to invest your money in more lucrative money making measures anyway...

I rent and have no desire to buy a house, each to their own. We all have different priorities in life...

CaramelKitKat said...

G'Day Jules,

I love a good debate!

In my view, there is no one factor that determines whether or not you find a particular person responsible/irresponsible. I am a landlord and when it comes time to find a new tenant I am given a single A4 piece of paper with some basic details; this and the personal opinion of the agent is all I have with which to make the decision. I want to have my place occupied so the aim of the game is to find the best candidate with the available information. In my mind, two incomes are better than one - nothing against single people, this is purely about my perception of their ability to pay the rent. In this vein, home-ownership is also good as if it all goes pear-shaped there is an asset to sell to pay for any damage to mine – not that this is at all likely, I have insurance, but it does give me some comfort. Families (although more likely to be on one income) can be a positive because in my mind they are more likely to be long-term tenants - again, that's just my perception. Professional couples without kids are also good as they have high disposable income and could handle any rent increases. If I am being honest, their handwriting is a factor. Fair? Probably not. But we can’t help what we pick up on, much of it without actively doing so. (Other than the family factor, I think I have just described myself – maybe that’s the secret, find a landlord who is like you.)

While I was OS for a couple of weeks I asked Dad to be the contact for the estate agents. One of my places was empty and I left Dad with one instruction: NO PETS. You can guess what happened, eh? A lady moved in, with a CAT. I am not a cat person (neither is Dad, so WTF??!) and believe that they cause too much damage to native wildlife if allowed out (it is their nature and not at all their fault, but at the end of the day their introduction to Australia was a bad, bad thing). The only responsible way to keep cats is in an outside cat enclosure or inside - snaps to cat owners that do this - but this isn't going to happen at my place. If asked, I would have probably allowed a dog under certain conditions – purely because I love dogs and feel somewhat of an affinity others who feel the same way – there’s my perception coming into it again! Anyway, the lady was an awesome tenant, the cat was kept inside and there were no issues whatsoever. It’s just lucky for both of us that I didn’t do the choosing. Then again, had I had the opportunity to meet her I might have done differently – and this is the tactic I think you need to employ: have you thought about a ‘wanted to let’ ad in the local paper and on community noticeboards? This would give you the opportunity to put yourself forward and tell any potential landlords what you would like them to know.

Good luck with the house hunt!

Cinders said...

It doesn't make a difference if you're a renter or a buyer as far as being responsible goes. I do think, however, that my single renting friends are more 'carefree' as such but not less responsible when it comes to looking after their places.

Chris H said...

To say a person who owns their own home is more responsible than someone who rents is ....LUDICROUS! Full stop, end of story.

Cazzie!!! said...

I have been a renter, and I have been a home owner too. My husband (or then boyfriend) and I rented our first house when I was 19 and he was 20. I was a nursing student, him a mechanic.
The house we rented was my friend's mum's place. They lived there before we did. BEFORE moving in we had to first fumigate the house. I had to get on a kitchen table and scrape the lard that was 3 inches thick off of the roof, then I had to bleach it. We painted the WHOLE place, it took us 3 weeks to make the house that THEY OWNED and HAD LIVED IN ..live-able! The grass was too long to mow it, so we had to first whipper snipper the whole yard. This place was at least a 30 square house, and it was a very large corner block.
OK, so, that was our first RENTED place, that the OWNERS had LIVED in. We cleaned it up, made it liveable. When I drive past it today I see the garden I put in there 16 years ago and it looks great, lavender and all. The owners do not live there now.
Then we bought a house, ten years later and 4 kids later we sold it, YES we looked after it, the renters that are there now have TRASHED it!
We then moved into a friend's place. the friends moved to NZ and needed us to look after it.
THEY WERE OWNERS..they WERE PIGS! Again, we fixed it up, painted it, made a garden and now new PIGS live there and have wrecked it again!
Here, we rent this house, we LOVE this house, we look after it, we have a dog.
It comes down to PRIDE OF PLACE, no matter where we live or if we own it.
It is not renter or owners that matter, it is how you look at life and how you live.
I often wonder at work, whn I am in the staff room, what people's places are like. They leave such a bloody mess, even in the microwave. I do NOT think "Oh do they rent, do they own a plce..I wonder..out aloud...ARE THEY PIGS AT HOME?"
That is all.

Also, re you coming to Bendigo, my Pa lives there, and I will meet up with you of course!

Anonymous said...

To quote someone cleverer than me: "Comparisons are odius". Why go there?

And, to be honest, where would landlords be without renters? and vice versa. I reckon it cuts both ways.

Arseholes are arseholes, no matter which side of the lease agreement they sign!

Anne and Denis said...

Hi Jules- I am a lurker who is de-lurking. Love your blog.

I write as renter who is part of a young professional(young) couple. We also have an inside dog to boot. Currently we live in a house owned by my partner's parents, and as such didn't have a problem with the dog. We will be looking to move to Sydney in the coming year and I know that the dog will cause problems in finding a place.

It shits me as our pedigree dog (I know this doesn't actually make a difference) is toilet and obedience trained, yet she will be a barrier to us finding a place.

I think the general view in the community is that renters are not as responsible. I think this based on the idea that there is something wrong with people who have reached a certain point and not purchased a mortgage all of their own.

The paradox here is that while this pisses me off as a sterotype, I get the feeling that once I buy a house, I will feel the same way. Eg, if i was renting a place out I would feel an affinity with a homeowner who is in the same boat so to speak.

I will say though that I think a lot depends on the rental property/price.

Anonymous said...

I'm another lurker who is "de-lurking".

No, I don't think that renters are necessarily less responsible than home owners. There are some wonderful tenants out there who are incredibly responsible people, and there are also some very irresponsible home owners.

I guess home owners have the potential to lose more from being irresponsible - they've usually put a significant deposit into the house in the first place, so if they lose the house from missing mortgage repayments or, if they don't maintain it well then try to sell it, they could lose out big-time financially.

A very tough question ... but very much dependent on the individuals involved I guess.

m said...

I think anon is confusing section 8 (welfare in USA) with renters. Not that all section 8 people are bad. I have several homeOWNERS in my neighborhood whose houses look horrible on the outside and at night you can see through their dirty windows how discusting their houses are on the inside. We had a renter family accross the street from us for a year and the grandmom would be outside sweeping and windexing everything. (loved her!)

We do take pride in our home and make it pretty on the outside because we are going to live here forever and no I wouldn't plant expensive flowers if I rented a home, but pretty annuals yes. I like many have always taken pride in my apartments (rent) and home.

Jules said...

Whew, this has really sparked a response but the majority of you are still talking in terms of looking after a property, although it is interesting I was really after your thoughts on their overall responsibility as people, taking the house out of the equation:

Spiky: You always agree with Kitty!! You two could be twins!!

Kathrynoh: LOL, it is funny you mention that because I did see a doco recently where they were talking about all the Aussies that are moving back home to save money in an economic environment where it is harder and harder to achieve the so called "pinnacle" of success - home ownership.

Tracy: Good points chick, I definitely agree, my parents have rented up until our first home when I was about 12. Then they have owned until they were between houses a couple of years back and they had two cats and a dog and found it damn near impossible to get a rental. They are extremely responsible and bordering on obsessive with their houses and Dad was a consultant engineer on over $200/hr but they struggled severly to find anyone to let them rent their home!!

Lynda: Darling you get it!!! So many people are missing the general tone of this questioning. I do agree with your points but I also think they come from a traditional point of view. What I mean by this is that you are thinking in terms of your generation and the stability factor of settling in one area for life etc. Unfortunately the world is changing more and more and, especially with the amount of break ups etc, kids are all over the place. In a way it has made for a confused society but also has made kids very adaptable. If it was me I'd love to settle in the country and never leave it!!! LOL

Jules said...

Alleycat: I'm hearing you!! I have been a property manager way back when and I couldn't get over how little some of the landlords were willing to do just to maintain a home. The place we are in has had the chimney swept - in two years. That is all!! And when we moved in there were things needing doing. So swings both ways.

Lady P: I think NZ is behind in the renting/owning perceptions. We have traditionally been a country that the majority of us grew up, left school, got married, bought a home, had kids and stayed in the same house for 25 years. The times are a changing.

Tully: Love your work!! LOL

CKK: Well darling, where have you been hiding for so long?? Funny how handwriting is a factor huh?? LOL, I have great handwriting by the way.

Cinders: Thanks for getting it!! I was definitely more carefree when I was single and renting!! Aaaah, if only I had a time machine.

Chris H: Thankyou!! Well said.

Cazzie: Novel much?? LOL, as I have mentioned to you before, I am grateful for your opinions as you are in the same boat as me with all your kids and dog etc and I find you an extremely responsible, honest and upfront citizen.

Anon: Thanks for your input!!

Anne & Denis: Hello!!! I love delurkers. Our dog (or bitch to be exact) is a pedigree border collie with papers. She has been obedience trained and toilet trained and will sit on one side of the park and not MOVE a muscle even when I throw the ball straight at her (her obsession!!) until I say OK. Wish the kids were that good!!! LOL

Anon3: Hi!! ****waves**** but what do you think about them away from their house payments, or house cleaning etc? Do you think the fact you have a mortgage makes you more responsible in life??

M: I wish I had a Grandma to do all those things for me!! LOL

Lee-Anne said...

Okay my two cents worth.

I spent 20 years renting. Your home is your home whether you own it or you rent it. Some places weren't all that crash hot. But I made it "home". It was my family's home. Planted vege and flower gardens put in sandpits. The landlords didn't mind.

I don't think it's an issue of who's more responsible, landowners or tenants but more a case of who takes pride in where they live.

EmmaK said...

Well speaking purely for myself I have never had much respect for a place I was renting whereas I always took good care of places I owned. That is partly because the places I have rented were shit holes I suppose - if they had been really nice maybe I would have tried harder. But generally speaking especially for the 20 something generation I have observed they don't really give a fuck about the apt they are renting and whether all the furniture gets smashed etc. In a nutshell I would say if you are going to rent something out rent to very boring PhD students or older people.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm coming out of lurking too :)

I'm in that 20 something group and rent with my husband and I would argue we are just as responsible, if not more so, than many of the people we know who own houses. Both us have 'responsible' occupations (a solicitor and teacher) and have lived in the same flat for the last 3 years. We pay rent on time and keep the place tidy - and our landlord loves us :) true, as Lynda mentioned, we haven't saved a house deposit, but we did save $20,000 for a three month trip overseas, and we've made the decision to put off children until we've finished all the travelling we want to do. We also have a mighty fine cat that we look after very responsibly. The amount of mortgagee sales going on at the moment shows that home-owners are not necessarily any more responsible than those who choose to rent.

I think New Zealanders need to get over this obsession with owning a house and judging people who don't conform to the expected norm. Renting suits our lifestyle for the moment, and I'm bloody happy with that decision - the recession hasn't affected us because we have no debt (another facet of our 'responsible' attitude to life).

sorry! rant over now - thanks! B

Jo said...

I couldnt agree more with the comment above, and i am in pretty much exactly the same situation. I have CHOSEN to rent. In this current climate, I recon thats pretty bloody responsible!!!!
We have a big chunk of money in the bank and could easily use this as a deposit for a house, but having spent a long amount of years living overseas, I totally agree with B above - NZers need to get over the obsession with owning!!! As well as that, the recession has also not hit us either as we also have no debt, and our savings keep increasing cos we are RESPONSIBLY saving each month.
I definitely do not think that homeowners are more responsible. NO WAY!

Jules said...

Lee-Anne: I think the same, your home is your home, regardless of whether you own it, afterall there is the old saying "A house doesn't make a home".

EmmaK: Funny, I'm the exact opposite, when I rent I am extremely aware that it is somebody else's property, I think I would relax a whole heap more if it was MY wall that my 2 year old had drawn on and not my landlords. I have left every house I have rented in a far better state than I have entered it in. One of the last places I was in we were still doing a couple of little last minute cleaning jobs when the agent was having an open home for prospective tenants to look through. Three of the four groups walking through actually came up and commented to me how clean and presentable the place was being left in compared to other places that had looked at.

Anon4: Hey B, thanks for coming out of the dark. I love your comment, you and I think the same and I like your attitude.

Jo: You are extremely responsible darling, although your language is gutter dwelling!! LOL

Middle Child said...

Don and i rented. The only way we got into our own home was that he got a workers Comp settlement whe he broke his neck at work.

Sooo both sides...we were good renters and clean. Paid on time, mowed the grass and considerate of neighbours...as we were when we owned.

There are good people and bad people with all graduations in between. They are renters and home owners both. Some people may not cope because of mental illness, grief, extreme poverty, domestic violence etc etc no matter renter or home owner. Society has to have more compassion for these...

I am not religious but "Judge not lest ye be judged" is as good a philosophy as anything.

Jayne said...

Hey Jules - great post hon & certainly got fellow bloggers opening up!
I personally have lived in 'company housing' - i.e. housing supplied by an employer, for many years. In every case, I've always left the property greatly improved from what it was when I first moved in.I rent out my own house in SA & have briefly met the 2 previous tenants - both of whom had dogs. My little spot in paradise is still being looked after very nicely & I'm extremely grateful to a great agent & tenants who are respectful when it comes to other people's property.

I think some of the debate can be related to where we all live. Right now, I'm in a rented apartment in the middle of a major Middle Eastern city. Local (as in arabs - and any arab readers of your blog are more than welcome to deny it) don't give a shit about the condition they leave properties in. We had to have an interview to get this place, to see if my husband & myself were an 'acceptable' couple. What a crock of shit! The tenants next door are locals with a bunch of feral brats who make a shitload of noise, drop litter & run around like hooligans.

In my opinion, it boils down to the type of person you are when you go to rent a house. Previous references should be a good reflection for any prospective landlord.

Tania said...

Quite frankly I think it's not possible to judge the quality of a person by whether they are renting or buying a house - surely you can only judge the habitat that they live in!

And having said that - i've rented for years and years then some might say landed on my feet when I met my husband 7 years ago and he was buying his house. 30 years of renting (including parents that still rent now) vs 7 years of buying and I have to say my habits around the house are WORSE now!

All the years I rented I was conscious of it being someone elses house, inpsections were quarterly and any damage meant a bond could be lost - I wasn't taking the chances! Now i'm a little more carefree about damage because it's our house, or maybe it's because now that I have kids I expect damage.

I live my life with the motto that I try to judge people by one thing and one thing only - and that's the way they treat me!