Log­i­cal leas­ing

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - REALESTATE -

MORE res­i­dents are look­ing to rent as a de­lib­er­ate and prac­ti­cal choice, new re­search sug­gests.

Ren­tal prop­erty web­site Rent.com.au, to­gether with the Ten­ants’ Union of New South Wales, has used In­ter­na­tional Ten­ants’ Day to em­pha­sise a need to de-stig­ma­tise rent­ing, as more Aus­tralians choose to rent, not out of ne­ces­sity but as a log­i­cal choice.

Rent.com.au chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Greg Bader said the coun­try’s ren­tal sec­tor has changed and will con­tinue to change over time.

“To­day our av­er­age renter is younger, more likely to be earn­ing a good wage and is choos­ing to rent less out of ne­ces­sity but more for log­i­cal and prac­ti­cal rea­sons,” he said.

“Af­ford­abil­ity is still a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor for many but we are also see­ing that peo­ple en­joy the flex­i­bil­ity that rent­ing can of­fer – in fact, around 20 per cent of our cus­tomers are ac­tu­ally prop­erty own­ers, just not in the lo­ca­tion they pre­fer to live in at the mo­ment.”

“We (as an in­dus­try and as a com­mu­nity) need to un­der­stand that 30 per cent of us rent and that num­ber is grow­ing. Lease se­cu­rity and flex­i­ble lease du­ra­tions are all ma­jor is­sues that renters face.”

Mr Bader said Rent.com.au re­search re­vealed only about 40 per cent of renters were look­ing for a 12-month lease yet 80 per cent ended up with one.

“Even more telling, 40 per cent of our renters also in­di­cated a pref­er­ence for a lease longer than 12 months, and yet less than 10 per cent of those peo­ple ended up with one,” Mr Bader said.

“This sort of im­bal­ance is not in the best in­ter­est of ei­ther land­lords or renters, nei­ther of whom want the in­sta­bil­ity that re­sults.”

Re­cent changes made by the An­drews Gov­ern­ment in Vic­to­ria to give ten­ants more rights do go some way to show gov­ern­ments are pre­pared to look at change.

“We sur­veyed our Vic­to­rian renter data­base in the lead-up to th­ese changes, and the is­sue of lease du­ra­tion was one of the ma­jor fo­cuses for the re­spon­dent group,” Mr Bader said.

“What ten­ants want is a place to live – a home – and the abil­ity to man­age that prop­erty as their home. Our cus­tomers over­whelm­ingly sup­port th­ese changes, which if en­acted, will go some way to ad­dress­ing some of the im­bal­ance that has ex­isted in the past.

“We would like to see Fed­eral and State gov­ern­ments take this fur­ther.”

Leo Pat­ter­son Ross, se­nior pol­icy of­fi­cer with the Ten­ants’ Union of NSW, said Aus­tralia lags be­hind many coun­tries world­wide when it comes to the rights of renters.

“In­ter­na­tional Ten­ants’ Day high­lights the work needed to bring Aus­tralia and NSW into the mod­ern world. We need to have a much closer look at the way we house our­selves,” he said.

“With a grow­ing co­hort of long-term renters as well as peo­ple choos­ing to rent as a life­style choice, Aus­tralia should be look­ing to lead the world not be left be­hind.”

LEASE ON LIFE: More peo­ple are opt­ing for rentals for prac­ti­cal­ity and flex­i­bil­ity which means ten­ants need to be looked af­ter.Photo: mon­key­busi­nes­sim­ages

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