Generation Rent

By Geisha Bar

I’ve just spent the last 2 weeks in a back and forth email with the property manager for my apartment, because they are doing a handover and the new agent wants to meet myself and my two flatmates and have us show her the house.
The thing is, we all have uni/work all day Mon – Fri as well as part time jobs, fitness commitments and all that other extra shit that life piles on top of you. So when property managers get angry at us for not being able to carve out a spare 5 hours (because, much like Telstra, you never get a specific time, just a broad timeframe) to accommodate them. Bearing in mind, this is not part of our contracted rental inspections or anything, this would be us doing THEM a favour.

This is just one of the many, many, many, reasons that I cannot WAIT to be a homeowner. What’s that, floating shelves? Yes please! Oh wait. We aren’t allowed to “put holes in the wall”. OK, but what if we get the owner’s consent to put them somewhere that adds value to the home, pay for them and install them ourselves, and leave them up when we leave? Nope. That’s too much admin for the property manager.

Renting makes me feel like a fucking criminal. You know how when there’s some kind of situation where someone has done something wrong (like stealing from work or something), and they don’t know who it is and even though you’re innocent, you just feel super guilty and your heart is pounding because WHAT IF THEY THINK IT’S YOU? Well, that’s what renting feels like. I’m just a normal person, with (dare I say it) excellent décor taste and a passion for living in a clean, uncluttered, healthy environment, and yet because I’m a renter, I immediately get treated like I am a criminal trying to prove my innocence. Last year we failed a rent inspection and were given a $50 fine because there was some very light dust on one of the light switches in a room we don’t use (I’d love to go around to the property manager’s house and see if there was dust anywhere in HER house). I thought the point of rental inspections was to check that you were not causing structural/ongoing damage, to make sure that when you left, the house could be restored to the condition that it was in before you arrived. Obviously not.

Funnily enough, sometimes that isn’t even possible, because my last rental company conveniently “lost” the property inspection report that we had signed upon moving in, and tried to take our entire bond for stains/marks that were already there upon moving in. Seriously guys, take photos and document EVERYTHING. Thank FUCK I had scanned our property condition report before sending it back to them. That’s $2000 that we nearly lost for no reason whatsoever. Yet, tenants have pretty much zero rights.

What alarms me is that we are fast becoming a generation where home ownership is becoming less and less possible unless you are in a relationship, and so the thought of renting into my forties has me freaking the fuck out :O

Love, Akika xoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxox