Lifestyle

14 very real struggles only renters will understand

It should be pretty simple: I give you money, you give me a place to live. Right? Wrong.

By Susannah Guthrie

There is perhaps no process on this earth more infuriating than searching for a rental property.

We've all been there — the mind-numbing inspections, the hopeful applications, the shattering rejections and the sheer amount of paperwork. It sucks hard.

And then when you finally get a property, the drama doesn't end. In fact, it's only just beginning.

Renters are the silent, neglected majority who've had to put up with a dumpster fire of issues for far too long. Anyone who disagrees is clearly a landlord.

So let's collectively get a few things off our chests. All together now...

1. If an apartment is no longer available, take it the flip down from your website

No more of this 'Deposit taken!' or 'Applications received!' bullsh*t after I've just scrolled through 15 photos. I hate looking at things I can't have.

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2. Real estate agents: All over you until you actually need them

Then all of a sudden it's like "Helloooo? Was my application approved?" or worse, "Hellooo? Why is my hot water still broken?".

"Anyone?"

3. Value for money is not really a thing when you live in a capital city

Sure, I'll pay $700 a week for a studio apartment with stained walls, no natural light, no dishwasher, a broken shower and zero parking within a 5km radius. Seems fair.

4. The photos always lie

If I had a professional photographer staging my Instagrams with the perfect angles and lighting I'D LOOK PRETTY GREAT TOO.

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5. Or the photos are grainy/non-existent

How the hell am I supposed to know if I want to live somewhere if you only supply a photo of the exterior? And can I get a floor plan up in here? Why is there no shot of the kitchen or bathroom, does that mean they're not there?

CAN I GET A HIGH-RES?

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6. Inspections are always at the most inconvenient times

Oh 11am on a weekday? Yeah sure, I can make that, I don't have a job. Not like I'd need one to pay rent or anything.

7. ...And then they only last for a few minutes

I have to live here for 12 months but nah, it's cool, I'll just look at it for five minutes. That should do it.

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8. The agent never knows how to unlock the door

Or work the elevator. Or turn the lights on. Or tell me if there's a laundry.

9. Don't even THINK about having a pet

Even if a place says they accept animals, your application is probably going to the bottom of the pile.

And if you're brave enough to have a secret pet, you better train it to hide at the mere mention of the word "inspection".

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10. That feel when a large chunk of your pay goes to your rent

Goodbye, my lover. It was nice while it lasted.

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11. There's very little you can actually do with your space

Depending on your landlord's level of petty, don't expect to hang your nice holiday photos or re-paint that mouldy wall a colour that isn't faded peach. You'll get what you're given and YOU'LL ENJOY IT.

12. Everyone else at the inspection is, by default, your mortal enemy

Even if they look like nice people, you are clearly better than them and they must be destroyed.

Live scenes from my stream of consciousness at an open for inspection: Oh you think you're a contender? Have you SEEN my rental history? Bond back every time bitch. Every time. Don't even think about offering more money. Just because you have an expensive handbag doesn't mean you can manipulate the system. This is a free country. SOMEONE HOLD ME BACK.

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13. The suck-up rental applications you inevitably have to write

Why does writing a cover letter feel like creating a really weird dating profile?

Likes: Quiet — nay, silent — nights in, cleanliness, steam cleaning my carpets fortnightly, punctuality and working myself to the bone so I can always pay rent on time.

Dislikes: Anything involving mess, socialising, noise, potential floor damage or spending money outside my rent.

14. And the only alternative to all this is a huge-ass mortgage

And stamp duty, insurance, renovation costs...

Actually, you know what? I'm just gonna go call my parents and see if that spare room is still going.