Families feel rental squeeze
Inflated rental prices and restrictions, such as not allowing pets, are having a ‘‘major social impact’’ on communities and even pushing some residents out, renters say.
Glenn Scanlon, who moved into a four-bedroom property with his family last week, said he was originally looking to pay $850 or less per week, but struggled to find anything at that price.
The family was forced to extend their search to more than $1000 per week, he said.
Recently returned from the United Kingdom and needing to be in the area for his daughters’ schooling, Scanlon said he looked at around 20-30 properties in three weeks to find something suitable.
‘‘It blows my mind, you know, when people are advertising places for over $1000 a week, and you walk in and they’ve got stains in the carpet.’’
Scanlon said the combination of high prices, poor condition of many rentals and landlords’ restrictions, such as no pets, made it even more difficult. The fatherof-three said decent, more affordable properties were like ‘‘finding a needle in a haystack’’, and they could have up to six people applying for them.
They were only able to get into a higher-priced property by talking down the asking price by $150 a week.
He estimated around half the properties he looked at were sitting vacant because the rental price was too high, which was to the advantage of neither party, he said. He said he felt the majority of landlords wanted it all - top price with minimum risk and spend - and wanted them to consider the social cost to renters.
‘‘They’ve now got a very important position in society, and I don’t think many of them look at it from that perspective.’’
From paying almost $500 a week for rent back in 2013, a West Harbour mother-of-two, who prefers not to be named, said she was now having to extend her rental budget to $650 a week for something decent.
She said she had watched many in her community ‘pushed out’, especially solo mums, as they could no longer afford to live in the area. Overseas home buyers, who either moved in themselves or put the rent up, were part of the cause, she believed.
After moving into her property five years ago, it became apparent it was leaky and had other structural problems.
The Scanlon family - Tara, 14, Orla, 17, Glenn and Viv - in their new Greenhithe rental. (Absent: Eilis, 10.) Glenn said he wants landlords to think about their role in society.