37% of us rent our homes, either from a private landlord or through a social housing scheme. In recent years, a lot of young renters have struggled to get on the property ladder, and much had been written about the lack of security that comes from long term renting.
However, there’s also been something of a rental revolution as some tenants have spoken about how renting fits their lifestyle better – for instance, those who want to move around a lot for their career and are not ready to settle in one place. Renters have also fought for better rights, and won victories such as the recent outlawing of excessive agency fees. And now, this ethos has bled into other areas of life, with people using the ‘sharing economy’ to lend and borrow resources, rather than buying.
It’s always been possible to rent a tux or a ball gown for that fancy black tie event, but now high street fashion is also available to rent. People who want to refresh their wardrobes regularly, but who worry about the high environmental cost of fast fashion can look to sites like My Wardrobe HQ for an alternative. At the moment, these options come at a premium price, but retailers like Urban Outfitters and H&M are looking to launch their own services, which could help to make it more affordable for the average shopper.
In fact, some retail analysts are predicting that eventually clothes rental will overtake fast fashion – mainly because consumers are starting to reject throwaway culture and look for ways to make their shopping habits more sustainable. Although the high street chains are yet to launch rental services in the UK, we’ll be keeping a keen eye open for them.
Rent a parking space
If you’re living in the city then you may be surprised by just how much of a struggle it is to park your car. On street parking can be expensive, putting your insurance premiums up and leaving your car vulnerable to damage and theft. It can also be inconvenient: parking for residents is often on a first come first served basis, rather than designated parking slots, which means that it’s possible to pay for a permit and then end up parking several streets away from your home.
Enter parking space rental. Sites have been popping up giving residents the chance to rent out their driveways, garages and allocated parking spaces to those in need of a little extra parking security. This is typically more expensive than applying for a regular permit, but in this case you are paying for the convenience. It’s also possible to rent at an hourly rate, which can work out great if you’re attending an event.
Renting rather than buying certainly seems to fit with contemporary concerns about the environmental impact of our shopping habits. We think that there’s still some way to go before people move to a rental mindset: home ownership is still seen as an important status symbol and right-of-passage, and that desire for ownership seems to trickle down to other items too. However, as new services pop up and attitudes change, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this really take off over the next few years.