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Rental rates run rampant: 4 in 5 Australian renters say controls needed


Many Aussie renters are struggling to keep a roof over their heads as costs spiral, according to new research by Finder.

Rental increases of up to $500 per month across Australia's capitals have piled the pressure on renters.

A 2023 Finder survey revealed more than 4 in 5 (83%) renters think rental controls should be introduced in some capital cities.

Nearly 1 in 2 (45%) Aussie renters said they struggled to pay their rent in April, according to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker.

January CoreLogic data shows that rents have increased by an average of 10% nationwide in the last 12 months.

In the year to January 2023, Brisbane (16%), Adelaide (13%), Perth (13%) and Sydney (10%) all recorded double-digit increases in average rental prices.

Richard Whitten, money expert at Finder, said renters were often hurting just as much as homeowners in the wake of the 11th cash rate hike in 12 months.

"It's an incredibly tough time for renters in many parts of the country.

"We've heard stories of applicants offering hundreds of dollars more per week than the asking price just so they have somewhere to live – it's so disheartening."

Almost all experts surveyed in Finder's latest RBA Cash Rate Survey (86%) believe Australia is in a rental crisis.

At the start of 2021, 22% of Aussies said they would never be able to afford to own a home, according to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker.

By the start of 2023, this figure had spiked to 33%.

Whitten said despite landlords having the upper hand, there were still some tricks to help navigate rising costs.

"If you're dealt a rental increase, start a conversation with your landlord or real estate agent about what is reasonable.

"If you've been renting in the same place for a while and you pay your rent on time, you might be in a stronger negotiating position than you think.

"Remember, a reliable, long-term tenant offers peace of mind to a landlord. You can lean on that when trying to sign a new lease.

"Slash all unnecessary expenses and do an emergency audit of all utilities to see where you can save money on things like energy bills and insurance," Whitten said.

Do you think that rental controls should be introduced in some of Australia's capitals due to increasing rental costs?
Source: Finder survey of 395 Australian renters, January 2023

Here are 4 things renters can do about out-of-control rents.

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