COMMENT

It's that time of year when students are trying to find flats and accommodation. Before the mad rush of January... before everything gets snapped up, before they're left without a plan.

And I feel for them. It's tough.

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Not just for the students but also the hard working young people - anyone in fact whose looking for accommodation and finding it extortionately expensive. Prohibitively so.

Forget getting on the property ladder, I'm not even talking about house purchases because many have already worked out that's a pipe dream and won't ever happen for them. I'm just talking renting.

To rent a place in any major city these days is right up there.

It's a good chunk of your wages just for a two-bedroom with a questionable bathroom.

one roof

I know tenants can be ratbags and being a landlord is tough, but boy are the landlords making money. They've got to be. The stuff they're advertising for top dollar for those on a living or minimum wage is at times laughable.

But they're getting away with it because someone somewhere will pay for it.

And because the market is tight and the competition is huge, tenants can't afford to be fussy.

I'm not saying young renters need subway-tiled splashbacks and hot and cold aircon, I'm just saying the bare bones basics of a flat that doesn't leak, or doesn't have mould up the bathroom walls.

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We know a bunch of young people looking for flats at the moment. Often times they turn up to a viewing and they're 40 deep in a queue.

Despite the Government's new rules around rentals, it's still a landlord's game. mThey still pick and choose who they want in there, they still call all the shots.

One young male we know of was told he was the wrong age, the wrong gender, and the wrong ethnicity. The owner wanted an older tenant, female, and preferably of another race. How do they get away with this? Because they can. Because the line is 40 deep and someone will fit the bill.

You have to jump through hoops, and be the most attractive candidate for their property, even when that property is a shoebox with a communal laundry and even when you have no idea what the "right" candidate is. It's a crap shoot.

Kate Hawkesby. File photo / Michael Craig
Kate Hawkesby. File photo / Michael Craig

So I feel for all the young people finishing up school right now and trying to set up for next year - for their first year of Uni; for their new job; or for their new life outside of school.

As they strive for independence in this allegedly progressive and woke 2019 world, where you're ironically still being told you're the wrong age, gender or race for a flat.

It's tough. No wonder so many are staying home for longer.