View Full Version : Getting a rental application approved

01-09-2006, 10:43
Just wondering how some of the single parents out there managed to get a rental in their city when rents are so high and always higher than the 1/3 of income that agents will approve for.
Eg, in Bris standard rent is around $200/week for a flat. Single parent, 1 child, income support from Centrelink maxes out at around $850 fortnight, including rent assistance (which you can't get UNTIL you have a lease).
It just seems like an impossible conundrum, yet there must be a way around it.

01-09-2006, 12:32
Believe me. I struggled. It took 10 weeks of fulltime house hunting with a newborn before someone would take a chance on me. And even then it was only because my previous property manager gave me an extremely glowing reference. Now im just hoping to find her again before I move in 9 months as she has changed agencies and I dont want to have to go through my previous struggle. Good luck with it!

01-09-2006, 12:35
The other option is community housing, organisations who rent to specific groups eg when I was a single mum I was with Womens Housing Inc, who only rent houses to women escaping DV. Your rent is calculated as a percentage of your income. Waiting lists can be long, but if you've got a real need (and a social worker who can advocate for you) then you might be moved up the list.

01-09-2006, 19:35
If you go the department of housing they will once you have chosen a property to rent privately provide you with the money for the bond (by way of a cheque).

When i first left my ex i had trouble getting a house.

I ended up telling the realestate man that i would have the money paid via centerlink centrepay.

Anyhow i got the property and i guess he changed his views about single parents as i not only was a good tenant but i was in advance with my rent and when i left not only got the bond back but around three hundred dollars extra rent that i had paid in advance.

Community housing is a good organisation and although i havent heard about the other domestic violence housing i suppose it would be long term???

02-09-2006, 00:51
When I was looking (for months), I had one agent tell me how much I can afford in rent... I went ballistic at her asking her if I look stupid enough to not be able to budget before searching for a home in rental prices I KNOW I can afford!?

Anyway, she wasn't pleased and I don't care.

I actually printed out my pay from centrelink, Added that it didn't include the rental assistance payment and that was just a base payment.
The agent I'm with now took one look at my pay and considered quitting his job lol I had to explain to him that I had budgetted, I had a great record even being slow on past payments when I lost my job but that I paid in full weeks before I left there, that I was incredibly anal about cleaning etc etc I basically blurbed it all out LOL
They didn't check my references after that?? lol But I think just being honest and open, and probably carrying around a small child helped.

Agents do take "chances" on people on centrelink payments... It's just a matter of finding one that's smart enough to realise you don't want a black mark next to your name and will always pay on time!!

02-09-2006, 01:12
for a property at $200 a week - you shouldnt have any issues renting it based on income.
I pay over $200 now.. and only get FA for one child.. so id be on approximately the same as you.
Id put it down to the fact that there are just too many tenants and not enough housing available- so someone has to miss out.

i dont recall ever being told that my rent couldnt be over 1/3 of my income. If you apply for a bond loan I know that it can't be more than 60%.
You may want to double check your figures with the appropriate agencies to make sure.
Ive rentedover 15 homes in QLD.. and never had the 1/3 rule in play.
(moved to Vic three years ago - to clarify why Im saying I was renting in qld)

02-09-2006, 08:04
Actually Illusional ive heard the 1/3 rule too and its a rule across the country. Its just some places are more tight then others about it and some dont want to give a young or solo parent a shot at it, so they use the 1/3 rule as a way of saying no.

02-09-2006, 10:03
I remember when Dad left my Mum and we needed to find a new rental property my Mum just had to end up being honest.

We couldn't get any assistance with bond as they would only give it to us if we found a property within the price range they established which was near impossible. Their were NO properties for that price range so we had to borrow it off my GP's and pay it back in installments.

We were less than a week away from being homeless and yet we were not eligible for assistance as our situation wasn't dire!!!! Housing Department was a 7-10 year wait and our local community housing was 3-4 years. So not much help when you have nowhere to go right now. We ended up getting a complete dump that was on a huge block of land and was being demolished for townhouses so we knew we were going to have to move again but hoped we could get some glowing references which we did as Mum made the house beautiful as she has done with every rental property.

Problem was the real estate wanted us to put Dad's name on the lease even though they knew my parents were not together and then they changed it to my Mum's name later on. They said it looked better to the landlord. We are very lucky Dad agreed and it didn't all go pear shaped.

Make a budget and show them youcan afford it.

The frustrating things is that single parents can be so much more industrious and can do budgeting wonders than regular couples as they have to make a small budget go a long way.

03-09-2006, 13:48
The only way I have survived in the rental game is that my dad and just recently my best friends brother live with us. If I didn't have them or at least dad my son and I would be living out of my car (exaggeration there) but YKWIM.

I'm looking at moving back to Vic next year (nearer to family) and my dad and housemate are not coming with me so I will be searching for a place on my own so I will be facing these things then.

I may need all your help when it's my turn.

03-09-2006, 14:09
aaaawwwwww - i'm dreading the day we have to move out here after hearing all these stories:eek: The house i'm renting with my mum has been sold, we will find out next Friday whether we have to move and when, but we already decided that we wont move in together again - unless it has a granny flat for my mum or a seperate aera for her iykwim

So it's just me and Bub (17 months) ~ oh, and 2 cats :laughing:

hmmm....i certainly didn't take into account that Single Mum's a preceived as non- working and non-paying tennants :thumbsdown:

03-09-2006, 17:06
Some places are really good with taking on solo parents. I know i have never had any issues gettin a house, as long s u apply for a property well and truely within your means price wise.
This house and the last i was accepted for right away and i said to the agent it surprised me, and she asked why, i mentioned becoz im a solo mother and on the pension. She said they actually prefer that some what, becoz it means (usually) the parent is more respectable, grounded, will take care of the property and rent etc, all in a way to keep herself and her child homed and safe.
I thought about that for a min and thought Yup, good reason! LOL

11-09-2006, 11:48
Hey, havent looked for a rental myself, but beforei had DS i was in real estate and i have never heard of the 1/3 thing. From my experience with letting out properties, it has nothing to do withthe real estate. Some of the owners are very fussy about who the rent to, regardless of how much money you do or dont have. Every owner is different so i would just keep trying!

11-09-2006, 15:54
I haven't heard that rule either. I have being renting for 5 months - I work part time no support from govt.
The first real agent never called me back even after filling in the form - I wont forget her or where she works and will ensure I never go near her again!
When I spoke to my cuurent real estate agent he was fine ( I think it comes down to the actual agent) I was honest with him saying I was single mum and at the time told him I urgently needed a place. I filled in the application form and he told me honestly that the actual "landlord" decides not the agent - as I was a single mum.
Thankfully my landlord must have daughters (presuming) as he approved it the same day.
I think as long as you are honest and prove you can meet the repayments the agent should look after you - and if he/she doesn't just tell them that it is disscrimination and you will ensure you tell everyone how bad they are - remember real estate agents get work through word of mouth... you say one bad thing it could cost them $$$'s

11-09-2006, 16:10
My sister is a rental property manager in Qld and as part of the process she goes through of deciding which candidate to let a property to, she has to factor in the weekly rent against their weekly income and if they can't cover it, she doesn't look any further through their application.

sometimes you can get your parents to go as guarantors? and make SURE you have references from previous rental property - particularly through agents. Or take character references (such as teachers, principal, employer) if you don't have rental references.

i think it is also a matter of finding the right real estate/agent and getting lucky. perhaps if you try to arrange a meeting with a rental property manager to discuss your income and circumstances and ask them to come to YOU with a property?

Also - don't apply for properties you clearly can't afford. my sister tells me stories of single mums coming in (she works in ipswich and gets lots of them) on pensions who apply for houses well out of their price range and their applications are immediately discarded.

good luck. it can be really hard. my sister has sometimes talked about social workers or ppl like that coming along to assist ppl on low incomes or in difficult circumstances apply for rental accommodation. maybe that's an option?

lovingmumof 2now
12-09-2006, 21:42
I have had mixed experiences. The first house I rented, the landlord would not rent to me if I didnt have a partner, but I couldnt put my boyfriend on the lease and still get pp and rentassistance, so we moved in together, well that didnt work out and hes now gone, then when I was pregnant with his child and had my son then 5 I found getting a house no problem for some reason, oh but I did tell them I worked for my parents and got 300 a fortnight. I made up a reference and they believed it.

I then moved to another house but now have a part time job, but still am on partpayment parenting payment.

But realistically when I pay child care fees, I dont get much more.

Perceptions of people annoy the heckers out of me. Keep trying and stick to your guns. Don't let narrow minded agents walk over you.