Did you know that women CAN’T mow lawns?

Don’t worry, this was news to me too!

Sadly, this is just one of a long list of hurdles that single women face when trying to rent a property. 
As 2018 appears to be continuing the trend with an abundance of divorces, we are seeing more and more single mums selling up and needing to rent for the first time (with kids and dogs in tow). 

Before you all start jumping up and down, yes I know men are in the “same” boat HOWEVER FROM MY EXPERIENCE it is more often the mums facing the hard times with men often able to bunk with mates or house share, an option not available to the primary caregiver of the children. 

So how does one find a safe and secure home in today’s competitive rental market?

Firstly, if you were a prior home owner provide a copy of a recent rates notice along with your application. I also encourage you to supply the advertisement from your property sale showing the presentation of the property along with a written reference from your selling agent noting in particular the presentation of the home and their experience with any pets in the property i.e the dog always appeared well behaved and we never witnessed any barking, digging or chewing. 

Are you a stay at home mum? Yep, this too can make it challenging for you to obtain a rental. Generally speaking your rent has to be no more than 30% of your income, if you rely solely on benefits, this could put you outside the affordability threshold. Especially for your first time renting it may help to have a family member go on the lease with you as a “guarantor”. 

Pets too? Create a “pet resume” with photos of your pets and information on ages and temperaments. I would also try to include references from past neighbours to support your application noting that they never caused any disturbances and that they were regularly walked. You want to show here that you are a responsible pet owner so including vaccination records, council registration and history of flea treatments also can’t hurt your application. 

When it comes to inspections, first impressions can be very important! Your agent needs to be confident that you and your family are the best option for the property. If the kids are having one of ‘those’ days, consider leaving them with a family member and inspect solo. We all know kids will be kids, but if possible, you don’t want your first impression to be the family with the children that jumped on the lounge or screamed the house down.

If after all of this you are still struggling to secure a home take a look at the type of home you are applying for. I know it isn’t fair but sometimes you need to be prepared to accept a slightly more dated property or a property slightly outside of your ideal location just to get your foot in the door. Once you have six months of rental history I promise that the next time around will not be as difficult. 

I hope this helps! 

Peggy xx

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