As young Australian’s, we currently find ourselves in a little bit of a pickle.
A wave of unprecedented uncertainty has swept us all, with many people losing their mode of employment. With government funding (Centrelink) still not confirmed for people who still hold their job, they will face little income until May 1st (based on their employer) when the, still frail, Jobseeker scheme finally kicks in.
As much as I dislike old mate ScoMo, he could have handled this situation much worse. Imploring a more Labour like standpoint, he surprised me.
The country has collectively begun to recluse into respective homes and block off from the rest of the world. With most citizens on minimal income for the time being, it begs the question; will I be able to afford rent?
Especially relevant when you think young Aussies around the country often work casually – usually in retail or hospitality jobs that have been the first to get slashed.
For those who don’t have to pay rent, much envy. But for those that do, I can help.
Don’t Push The Envelope
First things first, get motivated to write a well worded, respectful email to your current landlord. Do not be forceful or aggressive. Your landlords are people too, never forget that. This is a time where compassion should be given to those who seek it. We are a human collective not individuals.
In our current socioeconomic landscape, a little goes a long way.
You have to look at the first email as the first point of contact, which references a very serious matter. Be respectful, mention that you wish to open dialogue around the possibility of freezing rent payments for a period of time, or at the minimum some sort of reduction.
While being respectful is super important in choice of words and tone, you do need to be blunt when it comes to lack of income and why that has happened.
Treat it like an old-world transaction. You have to ask for much more than you think you will get. So, you can work down to what you would be happy with. If you’re happy with 40% off a month you should say maybe something like;
“As a household we are all currently struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic (proof attached to this email) and would appreciate if you could please put a freeze on the rent we pay for a few months or be perhaps cut 40% off the rent monthly please? It would be more beneficial if it was upwards of 50% off since rent is only a part of our weekly budget, but any reduction would be greatly appreciated”.
Or something close enough, ya feel? In reading that, did you feel appreciated to be addressed in such way, but also informed of the tenants’ financial position? If so, copy and paste that shit man.
The current assumed value of the property you are a tenant in is likely to drop a fair bit, potentially up to 20-40%, before the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Have Your Proof And Add Flare
Be ready to watch the email chain you have with your tenants to look more like a Reddit forum than an email chain by the time you have agreed on terms. The terms may be fixed or variable, either is a great start.
Proof of unemployment or proof of wage deductions are helpful as your landlord will find honesty and clarity in what you are asking for.
After all of that, add some personal flare, it’s important that you don’t lose sight and let your financial position get the best of you. It’s an uncertain, tough time, but we can and should be here for one another.