to have Courage....In Family Life, In Spirituality, In Health, In Living Simply

I'm on a journey...... as we all are. Learning, remembering, re-discovering about health, spirituality, relationships, emotions and the mind.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Prejudice Against Big Families Renting

Maybe we are wearing our feelings a bit on our sleeves, but honestly it feels like we are experiencing alot of prejudice these days against our family for the number of children we have.

We are still in search of a rental place for our family.   We've been at this for a month now, and heard endless No's from landlords.

There are certainly a lot of places vacant out there.  From Sooke to Shawnigan Lake, Langford to Sidney and out to Salt Spring Island.   And the ones we looked at in August are still vacant this month, for the most part.

They all want your money, until you mention that the 'large family' that you have is actually 7 children (we don't even explain that we have 2 older ones, because we don't want to overload their minds).  I realize they have a difficult time computing that. 

"You probably need a much bigger place than this."   (Well, we were looking at your rental because we thought it actually would suit our family just fine, Thanks.)

"I don't think this would be big enough for you, then."  (What, aren't we able to make that decision for ourselves, that you must make that call on our behalf?)

The other day I was totally irked (pissed maybe?) when a fella said, "I was thinking about how many (ppl) there are, and I think I'd have to raise the rent for you....."  and then he was saying how the last renters (3 ppl) water bill was actually $180 for 2 months and ours would likely be much larger than that, and so he wanted to raise the rent.

Excuse Me??!!!! 

I said it would be understandably fair to discuss the water bill in 'actuality' rather than assuming that we would use more water.  We'd be willing to pay the difference, or what the actual water bill was, etc., but I resented the assumption that it would go up higher just because there were 3 times more of us than the previous renters, and therefore he wanted to raise the rent.

Then he said, (which was likely more the truth rather than the water excuse) "Well, there would be more wear-and-tear on the house and property with all those kids."  Granted, that is a reasonable comment and assumption.  But still an assumption.  It is assumed that children are harder on things than adults.  But we all know adults who are messier and rougher than children.  And we know families with only 1 or 2 children who are messier, rougher, more destructive than larger families.

Another excuse has been 'thats too many for the septic'. 

I think that's hog-wash.  (Okay.....that's my own assumption.)  It is reasonable to think that houses that are built with 4 bedrooms would automatically have a septic system that could handle 8 people (that's only 2 people per bedroom).  That's 8 people.  Oh, golly, 9 of us (of which only 2 of us are adults) all of a sudden makes it too much volume on the septic system.  One must never have guests come and stay, or at least hope they are constipated!!!

And then I've read really weird ads on craigslist and kijiji.  Like somebody renting out a 3 bedroom place, blah blah blah, maximum occupancy is 2.  Hello?  It's got 3 bedrooms.  What is that wasted space supposed to be used for?  What reasoning is that? 

I don't get it.  Maybe I'm not thinking for myself here.  Can somebody help me with that reasoning????  3 bedrooms for 2 people maximum.  Hmmmm?

One fella called us a couple of days after we viewed his home for rent, to let us know that he'd been thinking about it (hope he didn't lose any sleep over it) and decided that his house really wasn't going to work for us.  Thanks, man.  We couldn't decide that for ourselves!  (Jeesh, maybe that's why we hadn't phoned him back to put in an application.  You think?  Obviously, we can't think for ourselves.  But then, that's probably why we ended up with so many children.  We didn't think!!)

Ok, I'm ticked off. 

I know that we could live in a small house, even 1500 sq feet or less.  We truly don't own so much stuff any more so a larger house will sound hollow.  But we've been looking at bigger not because we need the space, but because the landlords basically are insisting on it.  They assume we live like the average American (x3 for all the children) so we need more space.  And we waste water & electricity like the rest of the average.

I'm tempted to lie about how many children we have so we can rent a more appropriate house for our family and the simple lifestyle, and save some money. 



  1. My heart is heavy for you Karen. It's a shame that we must encounter daily, so many people who blindly engage in arrogant presumption. If they would only take a moment to open their eyes and SEE, how wonderful this family is, standing before them.
    If I had an alternative, my house would be yours!


  2. Much love to you, Pat. Your words are kind.

    I know we will find something; something good and appropriate for us.

  3. I ditto what Pat said! Have you tried starting your convos with, "I know what you are thinking, BUT...and then selling yourself?? What if you say you are choosing to live simply like Jesus and don't need lots of stuff and all your children live by the bible and you can rest assured there will be less wear and tear on this house then if you rented it to the average Joe" PLUS, you have NO pets!!! Pets are disastrous for landlords. AND, you will pay your OWN utilities so they don't have to worry about $180 this or they have the damage deposit. Offer to pay a FULL months damage deposit instead of the half BC requires--BC only requires a DD=to a month's rent if you have a pet.

    Sell, sell, sell your assets!! Use me as a reference s tating that I have been a landlord for 10 yrs. and I would rent to you in a heartbeat!!! This is becoming a war for you, so you really have to sell yourselves through the eyes of a landlord. Offer immediately to give 6 months post-dated checks, tell them your husband is handy and can fix almost anything and that you wont' be bugging them often and that you have been homeowners for years etc etc. and are willing to give letters from a bank manager showing your fiscal responsibility. I am certain you have done all this, but just flowing with ideas for you from a landlord's perspective. Does it make it right? NO! Does it 'suck'? YES! But you have to play the game and you can win! Gosh, I was delighted when a Christian famiy of 7 preg. with 8 came to that 2300 sq ft house we had for rent!! Unfortunately, they didn't like that I had another renter onsite. But I would have taken them in a heartbeat--beautiful family.

  4. Well, we got the right fit, we believe. We're moving to Sooke for Oct 1st, with landlords that really like us, and support homeschooling etc. They live in the same estates and seem glad to have us! Met the 7 dc that will live there, and chose us over other ppl that were looking. And its a better deal than all the others we were looking at.

    I knew it would work out. Just a bit tiring, and sometimes depressing.

    Thanks for all the great words of encouragement and positive thoughts sent our way.

  5. You have a beautiful family... I like the picture :)