Renting Sucks. Part One.

by Lori Dwyer on July 23, 2013 · 22 comments

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.


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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Di July 29, 2013 at 10:30 am

Oh I hear you!! The banks are no better, they “tell” me how much MY cost of living should be!
I gave up on them after giving them everything they asked for, and stopped short of giving them a spreadsheet of the color of my knickers and socks for a month!! they are so frustrating.!!
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Karen July 27, 2013 at 3:32 am

Blah, indeed! It is a giant pain in the tookus and often made me feel like I was begging for a place to live… having to give paystubs, give references, and be on some raffle system with all the other people wanting to rent the place…
However, hopefully something lovely like the Tiny Train House is just waiting for Lori and company to stumble upon it!


Casey July 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I concur. We are in our 3rd year of renting after owning and selling two homes. I feel oddly comfortable, though, renting in California as opposed to buying right now. Let someone else sweat it out if the house loses value. And, SO many have here.

Regardless, we adore our home and have made it ‘ours’. You will, too!


Vicky July 25, 2013 at 6:59 am

Having just done this in the last two weeks I feel you! Being a single mum with three kids, I feel like I’m already judged before they get past that information. I was declined for one house and admit I couldn’t help but feel personally rejected!! Thankfully I found a place near my little boys school, but I was holding my breath the entire time.
Good luck hun. I completely understand your anxiety about the whole process. It does feel somewhat demoralising xxz
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Lori Dwyer July 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I’m glad you found a place near the kid’s school Vicky! It’s so stressful. To be honest, I’m expecting the worst possible scenario- waiting for weeks and weeks and weeks until we find something. That way, if that doesn’t happen, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Optimism.
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Megsy July 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Oh Lori !! Melbourne is sooooooo, sooooooo worth itt!! We have every season, yrs sometimes in one day!! April I would love to show you and the MAMITW a wonderful month of comedy. You laugh and laugh in the month before you cough and cough for the next 4 rainy cold months!! Luckily the private psychiatric clinics are beautiful – well furnished with fridges. Most of the popular ones just a short wall from Chapel Streee!! You will love it here. Your babies will do all the best parts of growing up here now. The few years you have as a parent where there is so much bliss and secret parent proudness. The fights ease off as the glide happily and more able in many situations than you ever imagined, then you realize you are a good parent. !! You taught them how to react or gave them the skills to deal with that situation. The practice the gained from playing talking games like Town Crier has turned your child to a comfortable public speaker. Beautiful blissful years. The stop quite abruptly. That’s for another day my friend. It explains why we have a new shed painted black inside and out with furniture from a hard rubbish dump as decoration. A laptop and speakers. Even my sons mates didn’t think his crazy Mumma would go through with Xmas 2012!! No black rooms in my home!! Or that bass that tattles teeth!!
Now the noise and the mates are in the yard. Try getting a place around Beach Rd Parkdale. Its name inspires family life and values!! Parkdale!!
Love you always Mxx


Lori Dwyer July 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Thanks so much Megs :) xx
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Jenny July 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm

You’re moving to Melbourne? AWESOME!
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Lori Dwyer July 24, 2013 at 11:11 pm

I most surely am!! ;)
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Sam-o July 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm

We returned to renting about 5 years ago. It is a major shock. Agents tell us the owner is looking for a long term tenant because we’ve been burned so we trust and rent. 3 out of 4 houses were sold at the end of our lease. The next one we couldn’t get repairs done and so we broke our 2 year lease via a tribunal hearing. I kid you not, that was not the end. We moved to an investors house “he’s happy for you to stay 10 years, has a handyman on the payroll. Yadda yadda. 9 months in. Requested repairs to broken range hood & dishwasher as well as gutters to be cleared, when we moved in – still waiting. In the mean time, the roof has a leak, the air con died, the kitchen tap pretty well exploded( water is off in the kitchen) and on Friday, the oven died.

The owners handy man comes, looks and never returns.

The agent admitted to me that he is the worst owner she’s worked with and she’s been an agent since the 80s.

I’m about to go to the tribunal again. It’s soul destroying. I’m too scared to even look at another rental property but we are not ready to rebuy a house to live in. If I hadn’t lived this I would not believe it!!

Good luck. I hope you get a good one.


Lori Dwyer July 24, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Oh dear Lord. That sucks, big time :(
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Alisia July 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I hate the way they treat you – like you’re so much ‘less’ of a success than someone who wants to buy a house.
You go to buy a house, and they’ll open it at midnight for you to walk through if you want to.
You go to rent a house, and if you can’t make the only inspection scheduled for some obscure insane time, well then, sucks to be you.
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Lori Dwyer July 24, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Damn straight. They bought me a bottle of wine when I purchased a house. Can’t see that happening, renting….
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Miss Cinders July 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Not my idea of fun either. Good luck with it!!

MC x
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Lori Dwyer July 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Thanks Cinders :) x
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Circle of Toast July 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I’m sure it’ll be worth it, in the long run. Hope you find something soon!
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Miss Pink July 23, 2013 at 11:39 am

Oh I hear you! And it is such a painful rejection sometimes, like why am I not good enough to pay you to live in your house dammit!
Good luck with the house hunting. I hope something fabulous pops up and you snag it soon.
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Lori Dwyer July 24, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Oh my. I hadn’t even considered the possibilities of rejections and why-am-I-not-good-enough’s. What have I gotten myself into here…?
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Whoa, Molly! July 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

I hear you loud and clear. There is nothing more demoralising than looking for a rental. I’d offer my own stories, but honestly, there are too many awful ones to choose from and I don’t want to bum you out any further! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you guys!
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Lori Dwyer July 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm

This comments section has been absolutely, totally terrifying… :p
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Spagsy July 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

Oh how crap!!

Hope a place comes up soon !


Lori Dwyer July 24, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Thanks Spags xx
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