CHOICE research reveals renting crisis

Research finds renters facing insecurity, poor quality housing, and discrimination

CHOICE, the National Association of Tenants’ Organisations and National Shelter are calling for governments to prioritise rental security and quality issues, not just housing affordability, as a national study reveals widespread fear and discrimination faced by thousands of Australians.

DOWNLOAD THE RESEARCH

“Governments across Australia are rightly focused on the issue of housing affordability. Affordability is extremely important to renters, but it can’t be addressed without also looking at the quality and security of housing.” said Adrian Pisarski, National Shelter’s Executive Officer.

Woman holding cat. List of statistics concerning text which reads "Discriminated against when renting? 50% of renters report discrimination when househunting. For having a pet (23%). For receiving government payments (17%). Age (14%). Having young children (10%)“It’s hard to imagine a product or service this poor in any other sector. As consumers of rental properties, tenants have to deal with major quality issues like mould or flooding and are systematically denied access to a timely remedy,” said Alan Kirkland, CHOICE CEO .

“Worringly, we found that renters with more experience in the market were less likely to complain when something goes wrong which illustrates the entrenched culture of fear among renters. This is all the more of a concern when you consider the rising number of long-term renters across Australia,” said Ned Cutcher, National Association of Tenants’ Organisations spokesperson.

Key findings

  • 83% of renters in Australia have no fixed-term lease or are on a lease less than 12 months long
  • 62% of people say they feel like they can’t ask for changes
  • 50% of renters report experiencing discrimination when applying for a rental property
  • 50% of renters worried about being listed on a residential tenancy database
  • 20% renters experiencing leaking, flooding and issues with mould
  • 8% of renters are living in a property in need of urgent repairs