It’s very stressful. Every day we find ourselves discussing the budget, how we can manage to stay in the area. A lot of people are struggling right now but they’re not speaking – I want to speak on behalf of everyone in this situation.
Maryam moved into a two-bedroom Arncliffe apartment with her husband in May 2021, paying $500 per week in rent. In 2022, the agent informed them that the rent would be increasing to $650, which was unaffordable for the couple. Maryam and her husband negotiated with the agent for an increase to $580 per week.
In March of this year, Maryam and her husband contacted the agent asking for certainty about whether or not their lease would be extended. The agent said that they could, but that the rent would be increased based on a market survey. The new rent price was set at $785 per week, an increase of over $200, or almost 35%.
Now, Maryam and her husband have decided to downsize and are trying to find a new one-bedroom home anywhere in the area that they can afford, but are struggling.
It’s very stressful. Every day we find ourselves discussing the budget, how we can manage to stay in the area – I can’t drive much and I work in Mascot so we really want to stay close. We need to do so much work to look for places and go and inspect apartments, we’re having to take time off work, it’s really impacting us.
Here and in the surrounding suburbs, one-bedrooms are going for $600, $650 a week and the ones below $600 don’t have things like air conditioning, central heating, and have lots of issues. And everything is above budget for us.
Every property open for inspection will have 30, 40, 50 people lining up and so many are offering the agent a full year of rent in advance, or offering to pay more. We can’t do that, not everyone can pay that much.
Maryam and her husband are not alone in this struggle: they had a friend staying with them for a few weeks because he couldn’t find an apartment. As a single income earner with a wife and a child, he was rejected for every apartment he applied for. In the end, he had to move to Liverpool to secure an apartment and now commutes an hour each way to work every day.
Politicians need to be thinking about people’s average income, and consider single income families. Everything is getting more expensive, groceries have gone up, but rent has gotten significantly higher. Politicians need to put a cap. There should be a maximum amount that rent can go up every year, not 40%, 50%. I know interest rates have gone up, but they haven’t gone up the way that rent has gone up.
A lot of people are struggling right now but they’re not speaking – they have too much to do or they’re not able to. I want to speak on behalf of everyone in this situation. I hope my story can help someone else.