For the third time in two years I'm taking refuge from Wellington's mad rental market at my best mates parents' place.

The family who owns the Wilton property my friends and I live in are moving back to New Zealand and want to live in their home. Fair enough, we're out.

I'm 25, a working professional, no complaints have been laid about my previous tenancies and it's January, surely the university students haven't descended yet.

How hard can it be?

It's a nightmare.

Advertisement

I'm at a flat viewing and there is more than 50 people here. None of the rooms have wardrobes and there's no storage or outdoor space. The washing machine is rammed against the shower. At least it actually comes with a washing machine though.

I've just spotted someone I know at the viewing. Wellington really is small. It's my friend's cousin, wait isn't she a 19-year-old student?

I look around me. Most of the people here are students. How can they afford a three bedroom flat for $680 a week? Why am I even looking at this grungy flat? I think my fourth year university flat was nicer than this.

If we're considering rooms without wardrobes, I should probably get rid of some of my stuff.

Who's that Japanese woman everyone is raving about again? Oh yeah, Marie Kondo.

My friends and I cram onto my bed with cups of tea and switch on the Netflix programme. I'm inspired.

I get everything out of my wardrobe and put it in a pile on my bed. I hug each item to see if it brings me joy and thank each item I discard.

Mum texts me.

Advertisement

"Any luck yet?"

No, there's no luck, just some joy I found in my favourite yellow Winter coat.

My email pings. Oh. My. God. It's from a property management company, is this it? I open the email.

No, it's not it. It's an advertisement for a pricey two-bedroom apartment.

Property management companies have started sending me emails advertising homes way out of my price range now they have got hold of my details from a previous application form I've filled out.

It's pretty patronising actually.

A story pops up on my Facebook feed.

"Tenancy Tribunal criticises Quinovic breaches over bond, smoke alarms, and entry without consent."

Is this what I can look forward to if I do ever secure a property?

A press release comes across the news desk at work.

It says Wellington is now the most expensive city to rent in the country.

I interview a property expert and he tells me he expects the market will only get hotter in the coming months.

I tell him I'm looking for a place and he wishes me luck. I hang up the phone and rest my forehead on my desk.

We've applied for half a dozen properties now and haven't heard back from a single one.

I craft a message grovelling to my best friend's parents if they'll put a roof over my head until I find something. They've done this for me two times before. Both times I was there for a couple of months.

But it turns out I didn't need that roof over my head because I found one of my own, just applied for it and got it.

Hardly anyone was at the viewing, probably put off by the fact it's in Kingston, which seems to be a lesser known suburb in the capital - and perhaps the fact there's no whiteware.

It was down to the wire though.

We sign the tenancy agreement two days before we move out of our current home.

Tips for flat hunters

• Apply to see the property the day it's listed

• Make a flat CV and get written tenancy references

• Carry pocket tissues, you might randomly burst out crying in desperation

• Fill out tenancy application forms within an hour of viewing the flat

• Be prepared to throw your "budget" in the bin