What has been the existing problems in homes for rent that are being faced by renters in Australia?
In a survey conducted by the National Association of Tenant Organisations and Choice, over 1000 Australian renters were asked. And based on the results, some of the renters lacked housing security, some live in substandard housing, while some put up with conditions just to avoid being kicked out of their home.
83 per cent of the total respondents surveyed said that they are either signed up to a lease of under 12 months or no fixed-term lease.
Living in properties with urgent problems
At a national scale, 8 per cent of renters live in properties that require urgent repairs. Such repairs include roof leaks, storm damage, breakdown in heating and water, burst water service and many more. Here’s the breakdown for each of the Australian states: ACT: 2%, NSW: 10%, SA: 12%, Vic, NT & Tasmania: 6%.
Problems in Homes for Rent
If it happened that you are a renter, then you must have been hit by at least one or two of these problems:
- Floodings or leaks
- Windows or doors don’t close properly
- Paints are peeling off
- Tiles are coming off
- No fly screens on windows
- Locks are not working
- Pests (ants, ants, cockroaches) exist
- Key appliance doesn’t work
- Difficult to keep the property warm/cool
- Existing moulds that reappear
But why do renters don’t complain or demand repairs?
It was found that most of the renters are scared that’s why they just let things slide. Here are the following “culture of fear” they’ve been referring to.
- Fear that they’ll be evicted
- Fear that their lease will not be renewed
- Some are concerned that the rent will be increased
- Fear that they will have to pay for the repairs
- Maybe their request will just get ignored
- Fear that they’ll be bullied
- Fear of getting blacklisted
Renting in Australia
Rentals across the country vary depending on the location, the size, built-in features, and many other factors that influence the value of the rent. Let’s compare how different rentals are in Australia.
- ACT. 41 per cent of renters in Australian Capital Territory felt discrimination.
- Northern Territory. In 2016, rents in Darwin dropped by 4.6 per cent given that 63 per cent of apartments are rented by investors.
- NSW. Considered as the most expensive rent in Australia, average property in Sydney are priced $480 per week.
- Queensland. Renters in QLD have the second highest rate of disputes over return of bond. That’s 28 per cent. While 10 per cent of rental properties allow pets.
- South Australia. Though renters of SA have most likely felt discriminated when trying to rent a property, they have the highest rate of disputes with landlords over return of bond.
- Tasmania. The second least affordable capital city to rent in Australia is Hobart and this is due to comparatively high rents versus low incomes.
- Victoria. 4.8 per cent of the housing stock in Melbourne, that’s more than 82,700 residential properties, are found to be vacant.
- Western Australia. Garnering the highest rate of disputes over cleanliness when vacating is WA. At the same time, it has the highest rate of short-term leases.
Given that renters cover almost a third of the total residents in Australia, maybe it’s time to make necessary steps to solving the problems in homes for rent in Australia. Looking forward, rental values will definitely change in the next coming years.