Unaffordable, unstable and often unlivable – shining the spotlight and uncovering the truth about Australia’s rental housing crisis.

As the incentives for home owners increase (along with property prices), Australia’s renters are left feeling hopeless.

A survey conducted by Hunter and Bligh reveals that with rents increasing, a shortage of available homes, a feeling of being left in the dark with nowhere else to go and minimal support, more than half (54.6 per cent) of Aussies believe that there is a severe rental crisis nationwide.

‘Isn’t what we’re doing enough?’ More than two-thirds (67.5 per cent) of Australians who are renting had to provide proof of income alongside their application when they last looked for a new place to rent. Similarly 61.9 per cent of renters have also had to provide references from more than one property.

Interestingly, almost one in 10 (9.4 per cent) have also had to provide information about their superannuation, any FEE-HELP debt that is outstanding and links to social media accounts.

With demand for properties at an all-time high, Australians are also expected to somewhat lower their standards to get their foot in the door. Sixteen per cent of Australians surveyed have had to accept a home in a poor state of repair, 15.1 per cent have had to accept a home that was too small for their needs and, to ensure success and a secure place to sleep, more than one in 10 (11.6 per cent) have had to apply for a property without inspecting it first.

“I am frightened and insecure,” one respondent said. “It is an awful situation for renters. I can’t afford to save a deposit to buy a home because rent is so high. I feel hopeless.”

Just as uncertain as the application process is the state of the homes for available for rent. Nearly half of Australians renting (44.5 per cent) describe their current rental property as average condition and “somewhat” maintained. Close to a quarter (22.6 per cent) of renting respondents currently live in a property where a fixture (air conditioning, oven, stove, shower, toilet, etc) doesn’t work; 18.3 per cent are living in properties with security issues; and 17 per cent are at a health risk with mould present – none of which have been addressed by the owner or property manager.

Close to one-third (31.9 per cent) of Australian renters have said that it would be almost impossible to find a new home if they had to leave.

Just as around a third (31.9 per cent) of Australian renters admit that it would be almost impossible to find a new home if they had to move, nearly half (45.3 per cent) of the respondents say that they would stay with parents or family members if they couldn’t find a new place to live.

Meanwhile, more than one in 10 (11.3 per cent) said that they would opt to sleep in their car.

One Australian surveyed said: “As a young girl I went to many inspections fighting with 10 other families for a rental, and I would cry scared [as] I didn’t know where we would live,” one respondent said. “As an adult I now fight with 40 or 50 other inspectors. I have to offer 12 weeks’ rent in advance… and put guardians on my lease for the financial affordability. I have a therapy dog and real estates won’t have her.”

Data received by Hunter and Bligh and conducted by CoreData Research, a global specialist financial services research and strategy consultancy. The survey was conducted in June 2021 and received results from 1061 Australians.
Feature image: Photographed by grapix. Image via Canva.