Impossible renting in Canberra

mattm250 10 November 2010 79

God help anyone trying to rent a property in the ACT. We have been looking for over 6 months for somewhere bigger to rent. Either all of the properties listed on ALLHOMES are an issue of public safety or you need to be earning a six figure salary to be able to come close for consideration. Oh and if you have a pet, don’t even bother. I am so sick of spending hours searching the net for properties and calling agents only to find out that about 70% of them have already been rented and have been for some weeks. Come on people is it really that hard to spend 3 minutes updating the site if a property becomes unavailable. Stop wasting my time.

We recently applied for a property in North Canberra and put in an offer of $60pw higher than what was being asked (and I might add that we were and still are the only applicants) Due to the fact we have two small, very well behaved outside dogs. Apparently the six references we have from previous landlords and neighbors wasn’t good enough to prove that we responsible and clean pet owners. We were told that the owners would rather leave the place vacant than “RISK” have a pet on the property. Might I also add that part of the rental contract was to tidy up and maintain the already overgrown garden. Why would we do the work to have a rogue dog destroy it. This house has now been vacant for 2 months.

I think it is ridiculous how landlords and agents are allowed to discriminate against pet owners especially considering that over 65% of ACT residents own a pet of some sort. The ACT is the only state/territory in Australia that is allowed to advertise “NO PETS” I’ve heard of a tenant being refused because the owned a guinea pig. Insane, what damage could a guinea pig do. I’ve seen children do much more damage to a property than our dogs have ever done. i.e. NONE. We walk our dogs for an hour twice a day so when their at home there so exhausted, they sleep all day.

Most of the properties we are looking at are around the $800 a week mark and we are a professional couple earning a combined income of $125000 p/a. Does it really sound like we would let a pet destroy a property.

I understand that some landlords have been burnt severely by irresponsible pet owners but that’s what references and regular inspections are for.

Stay tuned for an update that I’m sure that I’ll have on another property by the end of the day.

Now I’ve finished my rant, let me know your thoughts.


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79 Responses to Impossible renting in Canberra
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georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 9:16 am 22 Nov 10

indigoid said :

I’m on a single income less than yours and could afford it. You might be able to afford it too if you stopped spending all your money on hookers and blow

At least he isn’t wasting it…

indigoid indigoid 7:10 am 22 Nov 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

a week mark and we are a professional couple earning a combined income of $125000 p/a

Mate, I’m on a single income more than that and there’s no way in hell I could find $800 a week for rent. That’s my fortnightly repayment on a $200K-odd mortgage. What’s your secret?

PS – good hunting.

I’m on a single income less than yours and could afford it. You might be able to afford it too if you stopped spending all your money on hookers and blow

Billie Billie 3:02 pm 15 Nov 10

Eirlys said :

And then of course there are all those ridiculous body corporates that don’t allow pets anyway. Sure won’t be buying a townhouse or any property with a body corporate.

Actually, changes to the Unit Titles Act 2004 mean that a body corporate must allow pets on application by an owner (not a tenant) – “owners corporation’s consent [to keep animals] must not be unreasonably withheld” (http://cdn.justice.act.gov.au/resources/uploads/factsheet.pdf – page 8). This does of course require the owner’s consent first.

The ACT Government is currently reviewing the Unit Titles Act, which may be a way of pursuing having pets in rental properties. See here for details – http://www.justice.act.gov.au/review/view/8/title/operational-review-of-amendments-to

Jethro Jethro 7:05 pm 14 Nov 10

georgesgenitals said :

Eirlys said :

The point? Don’t jsut immediately say “go buy a property” it makes you sounds condescending and like you have no idea of anyones circumstances who doesn’t earn 2 x $80000

Garbage. A couple earning 2 x $80000 can easily buy a property. The issue is one of aspiration or priorities, not genuine means. Just because you work in the city and do long or odd hours doesn’t mean you should automatically get a home 10 mins walk from your office.

Buy yourself something and pay in down for a few years, then upgrade if you want later.

Agreed. Ma Bodine and I simply made the decision to buy within our means. Sure we live in a place a bit further out than we would ideally like, but hey, it’s Canberra. There isn’t such a thing as a 90 minute commute in this town.

BTW… our mortgage is WAY less than the $800 a week price that the OP is willing to pay in rent….. MATTM250….. are you two planning on staying in Canberra? If so, you should seriously think about buying. On your combined incomes you could afford to buy a 2 bedroom flat in the inner north or south, or something a bit bigger a bit further out.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 10:38 pm 12 Nov 10

georgesgenitals said :

Eirlys said :

The point? Don’t jsut immediately say “go buy a property” it makes you sounds condescending and like you have no idea of anyones circumstances who doesn’t earn 2 x $80000

Garbage. A couple earning 2 x $80000 can easily buy a property. The issue is one of aspiration or priorities, not genuine means. Just because you work in the city and do long or odd hours doesn’t mean you should automatically get a home 10 mins walk from your office.

Buy yourself something and pay in down for a few years, then upgrade if you want later.

Actually, I think I misread this and interpreted that Eirlys was asserting that a couple on 2 x $80k incomes COULDN’T buy a property. Sorry, my bad.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 9:16 pm 12 Nov 10

Eirlys said :

The point? Don’t jsut immediately say “go buy a property” it makes you sounds condescending and like you have no idea of anyones circumstances who doesn’t earn 2 x $80000

Garbage. A couple earning 2 x $80000 can easily buy a property. The issue is one of aspiration or priorities, not genuine means. Just because you work in the city and do long or odd hours doesn’t mean you should automatically get a home 10 mins walk from your office.

Buy yourself something and pay in down for a few years, then upgrade if you want later.

a lot is two words a lot is two words 9:00 pm 12 Nov 10

We recently rented out our townhouse fully furnished through an agent and decided to rent a house with a big yard as we have two small dogs. The agent found a tenant with a dog and asked if that was ok with us. We agreed on the conditions that the dog was outside and that they fumigate the yard when they vacated (because we would be returning with two dogs and a baby and the RSPCA advised there was an outbreak of parvo at the time).

Unfortunately in our case, the tenants broke the lease and left the house filthy. Even worse was the fact that the house smelled of dog, there was dog hair throughout the weave of our couch (bought for $900 a month before we let the property and we sold for $60 just so someone would take it away) hair throughout the woollen underlay and bedding, and they didn’t fumigate the yard.

As responsible dog owners who rented ourselves, we didn’t want to discriminate but unfortunately now we won’t consider dogs again – no matter what the tenants say about them. It’s really disappointing but we lost a lot of money at the end of that lease and we just wouldn’t risk it again.

el el 11:02 pm 11 Nov 10

mattm250 said :

I also must add that I am not putting all agents in the same basket. We have dealt with some fantastic ones Must make a special mention to Maureen Wales at Metropolis RE in Dickson. She went in to bat really hard for us and was amazing to deal with. Highly recomend her to any potential landlords.

colourful sydney racing identity said :

And there it is.

Indeed – Would you like a side order of salad with the astroturf today?

Eirlys Eirlys 7:52 pm 11 Nov 10

All this talk of just go and buy a house. It is such a condescending statement. Seriously. If I person COULD afford to buy they would. They generally (yes I know generalistions) rent because they cannot afford to buy. With my income and the amount a house costs in Canberra it is highly unlikely I will ever be able to afford a house. And then of course there are all those ridiculous body corporates that don’t allow pets anyway. Sure won’t be buying a townhouse or any property with a body corporate. So of course a free standing house-like object with 2-3 bedrooms not in the far far south or the far far west or the far far North, I’d have to get a new job (probably two) before that would ever be a possiblity.

The point? Don’t jsut immediately say “go buy a property” it makes you sounds condescending and like you have no idea of anyones circumstances who doesn’t earn 2 x $80000

Mysteryman Mysteryman 4:33 pm 11 Nov 10

Solidarity said :

Unfortunantly it is thier house, not yours, it is thier property and they don’t want pets, that is thier decision, not yours. Doesn’t matter what you think, it is not your house.

BINGO!

If you want a house that allows pets and lets you do as you please, buy one. Otherwise, get used to doing what’s asked of you. It’s not your property.

I-filed I-filed 12:44 pm 11 Nov 10

Jim Jones said :

Postalgeek said :

I-filed said :

I know a Tuggers EL1 couple who earn $240,000 between them and they have almost no disposable income – paying off big cars, furniture, maxed credit cards, holidays, private school fees for the kids …

So how do you define ‘disposable income’ if it’s not buying furniture, big cars, and holidays?

But these things are not luxuries dahlink, we NEED them

I think if people are paying off massive loans, that isn’t counted as disposable income is it?

Jim Jones Jim Jones 10:02 am 11 Nov 10

Postalgeek said :

I-filed said :

I know a Tuggers EL1 couple who earn $240,000 between them and they have almost no disposable income – paying off big cars, furniture, maxed credit cards, holidays, private school fees for the kids …

So how do you define ‘disposable income’ if it’s not buying furniture, big cars, and holidays?

But these things are not luxuries dahlink, we NEED them

mattm250 mattm250 9:58 am 11 Nov 10

Damn predictive text on iPad. yes I ment leper. Thanks for pointing that out.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 9:36 am 11 Nov 10

I-filed said :

I know a Tuggers EL1 couple who earn $240,000 between them and they have almost no disposable income – paying off big cars, furniture, maxed credit cards, holidays, private school fees for the kids …

So how do you define ‘disposable income’ if it’s not buying furniture, big cars, and holidays?

Amanda Hugankis Amanda Hugankis 9:34 am 11 Nov 10

mattm250 said :

I also must add that I am not putting all agents in the same basket. We have dealt with some fantastic ones Must make a special mention to Maureen Wales at Metropolis RE in Dickson. She went in to bat really hard for us and was amazing to deal with. Highly recomend her to any potential landlords.

Regardless of anything else – thankyou mattm250 for giving ups to good property managers. They should be given medals and parades and paid extra bonuses for treating people – landlords and tenants alike – like human beings.

I would add Danielle Coady at Blackshaw’s at Curtin to that list. She’s fantastic (and no, not my current PM).

cmdwedge cmdwedge 9:31 am 11 Nov 10

Contact http://www.mortgagechoice.com.au/mark.reber from Mortgage Choice. He’s an absolute champion, our solicitor actually said to us on settlement day that he was ‘the first broker that we’ve met who actually had a brain’. Tremendously nice bloke too. With your incomes, you can afford a house in Canberra. I earn around what you guys collectively earn and I have managed to buy a place in Chapman.

Well, lower Chapman. But it’s still Chapman. 🙂

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 9:27 am 11 Nov 10

mattm250 said :

I also must add that I am not putting all agents in the same basket. We have dealt with some fantastic ones Must make a special mention to Maureen Wales at Metropolis RE in Dickson. She went in to bat really hard for us and was amazing to deal with. Highly recomend her to any potential landlords.

And there it is.

carnardly carnardly 9:25 am 11 Nov 10

a Leaper? Does that mean you jump up and down on the spot and flap around?

You don’t mean a leper do you?

mattm250 mattm250 8:43 am 11 Nov 10

I also must add that I am not putting all agents in the same basket. We have dealt with some fantastic ones Must make a special mention to Maureen Wales at Metropolis RE in Dickson. She went in to bat really hard for us and was amazing to deal with. Highly recomend her to any potential landlords.

mattm250 mattm250 8:34 am 11 Nov 10

Wow hasn’t this started a war of words. Well for a start. We are looking at ALL properties UP to $800 pw and because of work commitments we need to be fairly central, hence the prices. Secondly since when did you income determine class or whether or not were professional. Thirdly have any of you tried to get a mortgage whilst being self employed, the banks look at you like your a leaper. I’d have more chance getting a mortgage if I was an employee earning half as much.

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