Rental short­age hits pen­sion­ers

South Waikato News - - Front Page - LUKE KIRKEBY

Car­ing for her dy­ing hus­band while rais­ing her one-year-old great grand­daugh­ter is stress­ful enough. Now a Toko­roa pensioner is also fac­ing home­less­ness.

De­spite never miss­ing rent and pass­ing ev­ery rental in­spec­tion Jil­lian has been given 90 days to va­cate the house she’s called home for eight years.

While she re­spects her land­lord’s right to do so, the South Waikato’s rental short­age and rapidly ris­ing rents has her fear­ing the worst.

‘‘Our prop­erty man­ager has been okay and given us a de­cent tes­ti­mo­nial but the prob­lem is there are no houses,’’ she said.

‘‘I have tried Pu­taruru but prices are around $300 a week for a ba­sic three bed­room house and we are on pen­sions.’’

‘‘Our de­par­ture date is Novem­ber 1 so we have now got less than eight weeks to find a house. We are to­tally stuck, I don’t know what will hap­pen to us,’’ she said.

She said as a re­li­able ten­ant she feels let down by the sys­tem which doesn’t re­quire land­lords

‘‘We are to­tally stuck, I don't know what will hap­pen to us.’’

to give a rea­son for serv­ing a va­cate no­tice.

‘‘Land­lords don’t have to give a rea­son, just a 90 day va­cate no­tice which can be shorter if you don’t pay your rent,’’ she said.

‘‘I don’t know but I think our land­lord prob­a­bly wants to put the rent up as they are quite huge around here now. In all re­al­ity that is his right but I don’t think it is very eth­i­cal.’’

‘‘My hus­band has a ter­mi­nal heart con­di­tion and he would have liked to have died in this house but now he won’t be able to,’’ she said.

Age Con­cern’s Lyn­d­say Bene­field said the im­pact of the rental short­age on el­derly in the South Waikato was only get­ting worse.

‘‘I’ve been work­ing with the el­der abuse re­sponse service in this area and over the last few months I’ve no­ticed a trend with adult chil­dren mov­ing back into the home with their par­ents be­cause there is nowhere else for them to go,’’ she said.

‘‘Older par­ents feel obliged but some­times they are not even ask­ing per­mis­sion or con­tribut­ing.’’

She said the Sal­va­tion Army’s three emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion houses were also full.

‘‘There is ac­com­mo­da­tion down at the camp-ground and last year I had an el­derly lady who was there.’’

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