Rental shortage hits pensioners
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.’’