Applying for rental properties feels humiliating, somehow- as though your whole life is at someone else’s whim. Which, I suppose, it kind of is. There’s something patronising and soul-crushing about laying your documented self wide-open, knowing you’re at the mercy of the real estate agents.
Buying a house is so easy, compared to renting one. There’s no feeling of control when you’re entering the rental market. If you’re selling a house, real estate agents fall all over themselves to help you you out. When you’re trying to rent a house, they’re not quite so accommodating. The difference is startling.
The Most Amazing Man In The Universe and I email forms and documents back and forth to one another. We declare all our details, including our income, bank statements and tax returns. We provide the names of old employers from years ago who would barely remember us anymore.
We give emergency contact details, and the phone numbers of personal referees. I scan copies of my drivers licence, my passport, and my birth certificate.
It feels bizarre. When identity theft is a very real thing, sharing your official documentation is not something you do often, or without good reason. But every time we apply for a house to rent, we provide all that personal information over and over and over again.
Besides that slightly unsettling feeling… the whole process is just annoying. Frustrating. Time consuming. And kind of belittling.
Melbourne… you’d better be worth it.