Over 50 Members of The Rent Network have kindly provided their experiences which include stories of mould infestations, lack of ventilation and air-conditioning, price gauging, homelessness, evictions, lack of repairs, invasions of privacy and much more.
Today we are sharing the story of Danni.
Danni’s story is heartbreaking, and a true reflection of how homelessness does not discriminate and can happen to any one of us.
A perfect storm of low vacancy rates and inflation has left Danni, 20 weeks pregnant, her 9-month-old son and her partner living in a tent in the Perth hills.
Danni and her partner have income and could afford to rent a property in the $450/week range, however due to low vacancy rates and rental bidding they have been forced to find alternatives.
When Danni first contacted Kate Miller at The Rent Network, she, her partner and their 9-month-old child were renting a horse stable in the hills for $100 per week- no air conditioning, no security, no amenities and a lot of flies. A wire fence separated the living quarters from the undercover horse pen, a white sheet hung from the tin rood serving as their curtains.
It had torn Danni apart to be forced into such circumstances as she was well aware of the risks such environments may pose to her young son and unborn child. When Kate spoke with Danni she had just finished a 4 km walk to nearby amenities in 35 degree heat, with a 4 km walk back home.
Initially, Danni and her family were told that the stable would have access to and use of amenities inside the house on the property- however that quickly changed. They had paid three weeks rent upfront, as bond, with the weekly rent not including the cost of power bills. It is difficult to put Danni and her families previous living conidiations into words as the photos of their makeshift home appear to be from a third world country.
We’ve have heard from Danni this week and she has informed us that they are in a much better position now, living in a 12-person tent, close to amenities however some distance from the nearest bus stop so transportation is challenging.
She is further along in her pregnancy than initially thought, but positive that they have found something better than what they had with the horse stable.
Danni’s story is exactly why we need to tackle the rental crisis head on, and why we need to Make Renting Fair in WA.