Culture

Surprise! A New Report Proves How Terrifyingly Cooked Renting In Australia Actually Is

"It's a war zone."

“The rental market in Australia appears to have become something like a war zone.”

That’s how a new study into renting, co-authored by CHOICE, the National Association of Tenants’ Organisations and National Shelter, begins.

Most people who have rented in Australia know how much of a clusterfuck the whole situation is. Finding a property can involve weeks (and sometimes months) of inspections, beating out dozens of other applicants, sucking up to real estate agents and eventually settling for a mediocre, yet hugely overpriced, shoebox apartment (especially if you live in a major city).

Even if you’re lucky enough to find a place, the problems don’t end there. Faulty plumbing, mould, pest infestations and broken locks are all common problems for Australian renters, according to the report.

Here are the top 10 problems experienced by renters, as collated by CHOICE:

rental

If we were playing rental bingo I reckon most renters would have crossed off the whole list by 25.

The report also states that nearly 10 percent of tenants are currently living in properties in need of urgent repairs. A quarter of those who asked for repairs said that they never received a reply, or even an acknowledgement, from their landlord or real estate agency. Also half of all renters are concerned that if they lodge formal complaints, or continually request repairs, they’ll be blacklisted from future rental properties.

More and more Australians are renting, largely due to skyrocketing house prices, so it’s pretty concerning that the state of the rental market is so shit. Thirty seven percent of renters are under the age of 35 and the report argues that young people are more likely to be negatively impacted because we’re renting for longer periods of time.

The study points out that Australia is lagging woefully behind the rest of the world when it comes to renters’ rights. In Australia, leases are generally 6-12 months long, but they can be even shorter. In Europe, on the other hand, indefinite leases are common and it’s much harder for leases to be cancelled against the tenant’s will.

In response to the report, renters have been using the #RentInOz hashtag to share awful, yet all too common, stories:

CHOICE have also put together a handy guide to your rights as a renter and some information on what you need to do if you just want to get out of there and break your lease.

Since the house prices don’t look like coming down any time soon, you may as well brush up on where you stand in the rental war zone.