Is the rent too high?
The rent is too damn high!
Pardon my French, but that's not my opinion. It's the opinion of one gentleman whose name eludes me so I'll have to Google. Bear with me a moment.
Jimmy McMillan, that's the guy. He ran for mayor of New York City under his platform that the rent was, indeed, too darned high. He even named his entire party after that statement. Not overly subtle. However, that was New York and this is Nova Scotia. Do we have the same problem here?
While I don't find my rent to be too high for me, it is fairly safe to assume that it will not be getting lower any time soon. It's like milk. The price keeps going up, but that doesn't change the fact that I can't dunk my Oreos in OJ. Regardless of the price, I'll keep paying.
In my previous life as a loner in a bachelor apartment (ahh, memories), I thought my rent was a little high. In my youthful exuberance I didn't fully factor in the costs of living and struggled to make ends meet here and there. My rent was too high. I was a sucker for paying that much. That was until I was browsing online for a new apartment and came across a bachelor apartment in my building available for rent for more than 1/3 more than I was paying. Same square footage, same layout, same laundry facilities. Slightly updated, but a lot costlier.
Great googly-moogly, I thought, there's no way anyone will pay that much for that apartment in this building. But someone did, and they continue to do so. They may pay even more than that now. It's easy for any landlord to justify their prices when there's someone willing to pay for it. Which is fine, as long as it's not me. The advice I have read is if you don't like how expensive your rent is, move.
Oh, okay, just like that? If only it were that easy.
On an online survey on this very site, 6.13 per cent of respondents said their rent has gone up more than 50 per cent in the last year. Fifty-freaking-per cent. If my rent is ever to go up that much, suffice to say I'd be moving as well, but I will not be going gentle into that good night. If my rent was $800 and increased 50 per cent to $1,200 (math!), then a fuss would be kicked up. To just accept an increase of that magnitude doesn't seem right to me. While I'm not suggesting a movement, I do support and empathize with those who face the rent increases. We renters stay together.
I don't really fall on one side of the fence or another. Rents will go up. It's inflation. It happens. While we all wish we could afford the downtown penthouse, you're better off spending less on rent than you think you can afford. That way you can handle slight increases as they come.
Renting is great, I think. There's very rarely unanticipated costs that might come with ownership. But if you feel you're being taken advantage of, or that your rent is too damn high, kick up a stink. You have the support of Jimmy McMillan and myself.
But you can't have my apartment.