I am currently sitting on my couch at home. Well, at the property that I rent from my landlord. I guess that makes it my home for right now, as I pay the landlord for that privilege. I am having a break between viewings of other rental properties as I race around all day to catch 15-minute viewing windows.
Why am I moving? I moved into a townhouse with a flatmate 10 months ago. I was trying something new. As a single parent with two kids, boys aged 8 and 10, Sydney is a soul-crushing place to afford to live. I theorised that sharing the costs and having a flatmate would ease my burden a bit. It hasn’t. It has made it worse.
This is not the fault of anyone, it’s just the nature of the circumstances, the property we are renting and the distance it is from my childrens’ school.
The lease is up in early October, and I’m on the hunt again for something for myself and my kids.
No flatmate. That ship has sailed.
So what’s my problem? Lots of other people in Sydney are on the rental market, and not complaining. Let me be clear. I’m not complaining about being a renter. Would I like to own my own place? Of course. Is it wildly unattainable? Absolutely. Have I come to terms with that? Yep.
What I haven’t come to terms with, or figured out the solution to, is how to present myself in a rental application so that I am not discriminated against. I have more than eight years of perfect rental history. I have never once been late with my rent. I have a stable full-time job in a professional role that pays me well.
I have maintained units, townhouses and houses (with yards) perfectly for all this time. I have glowing references from property managers, and from employers and personal referees. Regardless of all of this, no matter what I do, I am deemed a risky tenant by landlords.