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Landlords not renting to single mums
This is shameful

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102 replies to this topic

#1 Hodor55

Posted 11 June 2010 - 03:59 PM

In the Herald Sun, they reported a single mum living in her car with 2 children.

This was because she couldn't find rental accommodation.

Today the paper quoted a guy who worked in real estate, saying his boss had specifically asked him not to rent properties out to single mothers.  This was because 'They're probably not working, their kids will trash the joint and there's no father to maintain the property.'

I live on the same side of town as the woman in the story.  I personally have had a single mum stay in our bungalow for a while, and while it's pretty squashy with an adult and 2 kids it's better than a car.  

How disgusting that any rental office discriminates against these families!  They are the most vulnerable, often with a lot of upheaval and stress in their lives, young children, sometimes leaving abusive marriages.

I'm horrified to read about RE agents apparently telling their staff this stuff.  Although not 100% surprised.  How do they sleep at night?

#2 Steel Working

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:00 PM

Whilst there does appear to be a problem with single mothers gaining a rental property, unfortunately this particular women has told a few half truths about her situation

#3 Hodor55

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:05 PM

Yes, I realise not all of the HS stories are factually flawless.  I won't dispute.

However my disgust is at landlords apparent discrimination against single mums.  I have witnessed first hand the difficulty a single mum friend of mine has experienced trying to get a place, and she works and has a spotless rental history.  For 'some' reason, she can't get a rental. It's sooo wrong.

#4 PubertyBlues

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:06 PM

Not least the fact that she deliberately mislead the children's father and gave him a false address, and the first he heard of the situation was through the media.  

I'm sure she could have found temporary accommodation with friends or family and had the kids be safe in a home with their Dad.

At least now that he knows, they have apparently worked out a 50/50 custody arrangement.  Perhaps next time she'll think of the kids first, and her own sense of "embarassment" (that bizarrely included going to the media about her "plight") and let them stay with their father if she finds herself unable to house them.

Ridiculous.  And sadly, takes the focus of genuine people in the homeless community.

Edited for clarity.

Edited by libbye, 11 June 2010 - 04:07 PM.

#5 Hodor55

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:10 PM

I just want to clarify I am not talking specifically about the woman in the story.

I am talking about the person who worked at a RE agent who said his boss told him never to rent to single mums.

And from some things I've heard, it doesn't seem too far-fetched to believe he's telling the truth.

#6 msfox

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:14 PM

I haven't read the story in question but I know for a fact it happens far too much. A friend of mine is a single mother of two boys and a girl. She had a spotless rental history and a steady income. Despite this, she is STILL searching after eight months. Three months ago DP and I went for the same place as her. We were told our app had been accepted, and she was told that the owner had said she was second choice. We then declined, thinking that she would be offered the place (she needed to move more urgently than us). The real estate agency never called her.

#7 Guest_somebodynew_*

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:17 PM

Happens all the time.
I applied for 13 rental properties. I received 3 calls backs with rejections and 1 call back to say I got the property. Place is a dump. Didn't look bad on inspection due to furniture hiding broken blinds, and I didn't even think to check the taps wouldn't leak as soon as you turn them on or the fact the dead bolt on the front door doesn't work and the door can be pushed open.
I have a public service job, good references etc, and still I was getting knocked back. I even offered more for a rental property and they leased it to a couple for the lesser amount.
It is a bloody joke.

#8 Rainbow Lemur

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:18 PM

I am talking about the person who worked at a RE agent who said his boss told him never to rent to single mums.

As a landlord I would be less than impressed to hear that my agent was not passing all applications onto me.  They are failing in their duty to both tenant AND landlord.

#9 DontKnow2015

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:25 PM

I know that when I am offered tennants the sad reality is that if there is a double income couple versus a single income mum or dad with the same positive rental history than I know which one I will more than likely choose....

This has however not always worked out.  My worst tenant situation was when a couple split up, girl moved out leaving single male there.  He proceeded to do some fairly significant damage until the lease run out which I did not renew...

When looking at a potential tenant affordability of rent is a significant considerration for the landlord.  

I had wondered about the father in that story...

Edited by rebecca59, 11 June 2010 - 04:30 PM.

#10 Hodor55

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:30 PM

That reminds me of a single, working friend I knew years ago, with a daughter (we shared a house as single mums for a while), she took her (unemployed) brother with her to apply for a place, said he was her husband, and got the lease.

Prior to this she had been knocked back from many similar properties.

#11 huggle

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:46 PM

My mum has had the same tenants in her rental property for over five years.  Just last week she had a call from the real estate agent advising her that the tenants had seperated and the man had moved out but the woman wanted to stay in the house with the children.  The agent advised mum that the lease was up soon and did she want to continue to rent the property to this woman now that she was a single mum.  This woman has a job and can afford the rent and has looked after the property like she owns it for years so there was no reason at all why my mum would even for a second consider not continuing to rent to her but it just go to show the bias that some real estate agents have towards single parents.

#12 Rainbow Lemur

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:50 PM

Are single dads treated the same way I wonder?

Some of my best tenants have been single dads so if anything I was positively baised towards them.  For the record they tended to be highly paid professionals and excellent tenants.  

#13 Gangnam Style

Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:55 PM

libbye, having you ever thought about taking-up a hobby?

#14 PubertyBlues

Posted 11 June 2010 - 05:01 PM

Whatever do you mean Fanoir?

#15 Gangnam Style

Posted 11 June 2010 - 05:06 PM

LOL. There is one consistent theme in 99% of your posts.  biggrin.gif  I just wondered if you'd ever considered broadening your horizons.

#16 PubertyBlues

Posted 11 June 2010 - 05:15 PM

Gosh, not really.  Perhaps I should.  Memes perhaps?



#17 JJ

Posted 11 June 2010 - 05:15 PM

I can't comment on this particular case but it does not surprise me one bit. It's a very scary thought.

Having said that, I know a couple of single males looking for rental accommodation and they are having a hard time too. Apparently single males (and we're not talking about 18 year olds here) are also likely to trash the place, move out suddenly etc. and are knocked back based on that prejudice. Mind you, being single you can bunk down on a friend's couch for a while, which is what one of the above mentioned guys is now doing - it's a lot harder when you have children.

#18 Hodor55

Posted 11 June 2010 - 09:10 PM

QUOTE (cluttergirl @ 11/06/2010, 04:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are single dads treated the same way I wonder?

Some of my best tenants have been single dads so if anything I was positively baised towards them.  For the record they tended to be highly paid professionals and excellent tenants.

I would guess the bias is towards single mums?  If one of the reasons the RE agent apparently said was 'there's no dad to maintain the property'?  For some reason (let me guess..sexism) single dads are applauded while single mums are disparaged.  Not sure why that is, maybe the same reason that dads are often congratulated for doing normal things with their children like taking them to the park.  And SAHDs are amazing but SAHMs are martyrs.  LOL

JJ, maybe single guys are stereotyped too, as being messy slobs. You're right though, it's not as urgent for them as when there are kids involved.  As a single person there's lots of places I could stay, even my car would be ok, but with my kids, no.

#19 mapleleaf

Posted 11 June 2010 - 09:20 PM

I've never been knocked back from a property for being a single mum. I only have one child though so perhaps that makes a difference?

The real estate agent who leased me the rental I'm in atm told me the owners would actually prefer a single mum with one child over a family consisting of 2 parents + kids because we were likely to have less wear and tear.

#20 mumofsky

Posted 11 June 2010 - 09:32 PM

QUOTE (darciesmum @ 11/06/2010, 09:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've never been knocked back from a property for being a single mum. I only have one child though so perhaps that makes a difference?

The real estate agent who leased me the rental I'm in atm told me the owners would actually prefer a single mum with one child over a family consisting of 2 parents + kids because we were likely to have less wear and tear.

I wasn't helped by only having one child. I offered more than the market rent, zillions of references, a parental guarantee as well as an employer guarantee (my boss was willing to guarantee he wouldn't fire me or he'd take over the lease), and I was working and studying and still couldn't secure a lease. I had to buy something in a dodgy area in the end instead, but that was in the days of maximum FHOG and low interest rates, I couldn't do it now if I was in that position again. There simply wasn't a landlord willing to take a look at me.

#21 Ms Pinkus

Posted 11 June 2010 - 09:49 PM

Get this for maximum frustration - I've been living next door to an empty 2 bedroom half house with a back yard for a year. They just dont want to deal with it and clearly dont need the money. I've tried all kinds of offers and deals with no comeback from them at all.  I have a very good rental history, I work etc. Lately they have been coming and doing work on the place, so last week I saw them and tried casual conversation about what might be going on, and they said they dont want to rent it to me because i am a single parent!

#22 dessy123

Posted 11 June 2010 - 10:02 PM

I have been in this situation too, I have a perfect rental history, but kept getting knock back after knock back, it was just pure luck, I got this place, I was just completely upfront with the agent (thankgod she was understanding) I even told her that I kept getting knocked back, she got me into this place within a couple of days original.gif

Its a very sad world we live in, and damn right scary when you are own your own with kids and have nowhere else to go sad.gif

#23 voyagersaus

Posted 11 June 2010 - 10:08 PM

We would be the same with any single tenant over dual or more. The more people on that lease, the likelihood of more than one income and more than one adult to call upon when things go FUBAR with repayments.

#24 Lightning_bug

Posted 11 June 2010 - 10:21 PM

QUOTE (55sunny55 @ 11/06/2010, 04:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How do they sleep at night?

When I was a LL I did instruct my agency I had a preference for 'duel' incomes as PP said, just in case something happens to one of them.  It honestly wasn't to deny a single parent, I just didn't think about it at that time when I told them that's what I wanted.

Sometimes when you're looking at something from a certain perspective (such as protecting an investment) you don't always recognise the implications.  And the RE didn't think to point these out to me.

There needs to be a few more ethical restrictions put on RE.  Mandatory reporting of LLs regarding discriminatory practices or simply that they can not follow a direction of a LL in conflict with other laws.  Therefore if a single income applicant meets the criteria they have to approve, despite a LL's discrimination request.

Right now, RE can pretty much do what ever they want - all they have to do is say the LL instructed them.  And the LL, none the wiser of having broken the law (well, some people aren't bright or simply assume too much), is penalised.

#25 ~nikki~

Posted 11 June 2010 - 10:32 PM

I know that when I am offered tennants the sad reality is that if there is a double income couple versus a single income mum or dad with the same positive rental history than I know which one I will more than likely choose....

Not more than likely in my case but DEFINATE

I cant afford to risk my investment on single parents TBH.

They are not even considered at our rental. I am sorry but I am just being honest, I have heard way to many horror storys. Saying that we have also had our house trashed my a young couple. Lucky the last few tennants have been over 50's. Not saying that nothing can go wrong, I know it can but we are just more picky now.

We tried to give someone a chance and it backfired on us so now TBH I would rather have the house empty until we feel we have found the perfect Tennants.

I am sorry single mums have a hard time though I really am, It must really suck I hope you find somewhere soon.

Sorry just wanted to add, I sleep well at night very well knowing that my investment is in the best hands that we see fit at the time.

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