Half of Australians who rent live in homes that need repairs: New report

A new report released by leading consumer, housing, and tenancy groups (CHOICE, National Shelter and the National Association of Tenant Organisations) show that Australians who rent are living in fear of eviction and rent rises.

CEO Shelter WA, Ms Michelle Mackenzie said, “This Report illustrates the impact on people who live in rental properties that are not safe and not secure due to short term lease arrangements.

The report, ‘DISRUPTED: The consumer experience of renting in Australia’ surveyed Australians who rent and found:

• 51 per cent of people who rent are currently living in a home that needs repairs.
• 68 per cent of Australian who rent are concerned that a request for repairs could mean a rent increase and 44 per cent are concerned a request for repairs could get them evicted from their homes.
• Nearly 1 in 10 renters had previously been evicted “without grounds”, and nearly 1 in 10 fear they’ll be forced to leave their homes in the next 12 months.

Principal Solicitor at Tenancy WA, Kate Davis said, “The upcoming review of the Western Australian Residential Tenancies Act provides an important opportunity to ensure WA renters can create a long term, secure home for themselves and their families and not face the fear evictions without cause or having maintenance repairs done in a timely manner.”

“Around a third of Western Australians rent their homes,” said Michelle Mackenzie, CEO of Shelter WA. As renting becomes a longer-term housing option for many people it is important that tenancy laws enable people to live in properties that are well maintained, with secure tenure and the option for longer leases.”

West Australians deserve rental laws that provide housing security and stability for people who rent. “Remaining part of your community and not having your life disrupted time and time again due to short term leases and evictions without grounds is particularly important for families and older West Australians so they can age in place,” said Ms Mackenzie.

This report shows the impact on people of poor renting experiences. We need to make renting fair.

Read the report DISRUPTED: The Consumer experience of renting in Australia here.