Why these hardworking Aussie landlords are NOT raising the rents on their tenants: ‘I can’t do it’
- Pete and Alana, of Paramatta, refuse to raise tenants’ rent
- Comes as report reveals many renters are struggling
A pair of Sydney landlords are bucking the trend and refusing to raise the rents of their tenants.
The nation’s rental crisis is so dire that housing experts say the official records show no comparable shortage of available tenancies since the 1930s.
That’s pushing up rent six times faster than wages – making it very hard for working Aussies to keep up with price hikes.
But Pete and Alana, the owners of Paramatta’s oldest restaurant Kouzina Greco, can’t bring themselves to take advantage of the housing shortage in Sydney.
‘We have an investment property that gets rented, where we weren’t out of pocket except for the council rates,’ Alana said.
‘But now we’re putting in roughly $1,500 from our own pocket every month. We don’t have a mortgage, but it’s almost like a mortgage.
‘I can’t raise the rates for our tenants, I can’t do it. I’ll leave it for as long as I can, because I feel sick to do that to them.
‘For me now to put rent up $20 or $30 for each tenant – alright, so I’m going to make $1,000 or more profit each year, but you know what? I’d rather stick it out than make these families uncomfortable.’
Pete and Alana, the owners of Paramatta’s oldest restaurant Kouzina Greco, can’t bring themselves to take advantage of the rental market like so many other landlords
Their comments come as the spiralling cost of living leaves a family of four with two full-time minimum wage workers with just $73 left after expenses, as many struggle to cope with rising rents.
That’s the conclusion of a new living cost analysis by Anglicare Australia, which points to people on the lowest incomes falling behind.
The report showed a single full-time minimum wage worker has $57 left after essential weekly expenses.
And a single parent with one child on the minimum wage cannot afford essentials, falling short by $180 after rent, transport, food, education and child care.
Housing was the biggest living cost, with average rents rising by more than 30 per cent over the past three years.
‘These numbers confirm what Australians already know – living costs are spiralling,’ Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said.
‘Essentials like food and transport are shooting up, and housing is more expensive than ever.’
Ms Chambers said many people were taking on extra jobs and heading to charities for help with food, rent and medicines.
‘Australians doing it tough need real action, and real leadership. That means making the minimum wage a living wage, limiting unfair rent increases, and investing in housing for people in need.’
The report called for the scrapping of planned top-end income tax cuts, stronger rental laws, more social and affordable housing, emergency payments to cover power bills and an urgent injection of funds into emergency relief providers.
In late 2022, all Anglicare Australia emergency relief providers reported an increase in demand for services, ranging from 10 per cent to 50 per cent compared to the beginning of the year.
Many reported that they were seeing new clients who had never used their service before, and the new clients were often from households with paid employment.
Anglicare compared data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics household expenditure survey and a recent SQM Research rent report with the minimum wage, which from July 1 will be $882.80 per week for a 38-hour week.
The single household figure of $57 income left each week had improved from last year’s result of $29 but remained ‘precariously low’, the report said.