"Appearance" is the key word. Many single parents (myself included ) make excellent tenants with the very fact that they are on their own with kids the core factor in their excellency. I would NEVER risk my tenancy with my children to consider. My father was the same when we were growing up, and he didn't work for 10 years of private renting. On my own, if I got evicted, meh, I could crash on a mate's couch or stay at a backpackers' or move into a sharehouse. Those options are just not practical when you have a family, and with no-one to fall back on, of course the rent will always be paid...BECAUSE I can't just go and ask my partner to spend his entire paycheck on it this week because I overspent!!!
My income covers it easily- end of story. I wouldn't have applied for the place otherwise. I should be given as fair consideration as anyone else.
Unfortunately it appears that a lot of owners and real estate agents are amateurs who seem to think the most effective tenant selection process is look and pick on superficialties. I know my referees haven't been called for the last 6 or so applications I've put in- so I haven't even been given a chance. IF they bothered to do the checks they would find out what "low-risk" I am based on my substantial rental history. Just because someone else works in a certain profession, is partnered or has more disposable income doesn't guarantee they won't present any level of risk...they may have substantial debt...they may have a heavy drug habit...they may get pregnant and become a single mother
Blah, blah...but when you already are one you're lucky if you even get the chance to prove that you're not any of those things...I wouldn't have truly understood this if I hadn't lived it...it happens...you can be the best tenant in the world but you will probably be overlooked...and as to the landlord, where's the wise business practice in that?