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No room to rent

No room to rent

Barossa real estate businesses, Valley residents and potential relocaters are feeling the sting of a lack of rental properties in the region.

Real estate agents in the Barossa have said there is a deficient property listing in the area, which is impacting the growth of the region and causing struggle among renters.

People searching for homes are resorting to looking at other means of finding a rental property, including private rentals.

Ms Jacqui Williams, Nuriootpa, resorted to the same tactics after she struggled to find a rental property that fit her needs or find a property at all.

Jacqui is lucky enough to begin moving into her new rental with her family this Friday, but she is sad to know that many other people are going through the same stresses.

Jacqui had to find at least a four-bedroom home to accommodate her four children (two with disability) and a cat.

When she found out they had been successful in obtaining a five-bedroom house in Penrice, Jacqui was overwhelmed that they finally found a place that more than fit their needs.

“I was nearly in tears on the phone when the agent called me and said we were successful… Getting the property was just a massive relief. The odds were against us.

“There is so much stress attached to finding a rental property. It’s not a secure scenario to be living with, knowing at the end of your lease you might have to move. You don’t have that stability. Finding a new place is stressful, add on the fact there is nothing around and prices are high. Up here, it’s compounded by the scarcity of rental properties. It’s an awful feeling, especially if you have kids.

“Going through this is not fun, I really feel for other families that are going through this who are probably doing it harder than I am. This type of stress adding on to everyday stress is horrible.”

Jacqui and her four children, Caitlin – 23, Cameron – 20, Toby – 11 and Isabella 9, were more than relieved to find a home in their local area.

However, their preferred location was in Nuriootpa, since the whole family is heavily tied within the community.

At one point, Jacqui was looking at rentals in Craigmore, which would have meant a complete lifestyle change for the family and would have required an upheaval of everything they are involved with in the Barossa.

Jacqui works part time at The Co-op, while her son works full time. She and both of her sons are volunteers at the CFS. 

Jacqui’s youngest children both have disabilities, which means moving them from their school, Nuriootpa Primary School, would have been really difficult for them to get accustomed to.

When Jacqui put the application in for the house, she had to go beyond what was required and attached a letter outlining their situation just so the landlords could see how desperate they were for a rental.

“We pushed every possible limit to get the property. We have a really good rental history. We have been [in Nuriootpa]  for five years. Never made a late rent payment, never had problems with rent inspections,” said Jacqui. 

“I think there is an increasing demand in rental properties up here anyway because it’s such a great area to live, it’s affordable, it’s good value, there are good jobs up here. It is a developing area, but there is not a rental market to match the demand. 

“If you have more than two kids, you will be struggling to find a rental up here.  It’s stressful for the children, they find the instability very stressful. As a parent, when you are listening to your children begging you to find a home. On a day to day basis it’s really hard.”

Jacqui hopes that people will invest in properties in the region, since the investment potential is so great.

She said that a rental property in the Barossa will always have a guaranteed tenant due to the demand.

Homburg principal and property management, Mr Andrew Beadman, said that the influx of demand for rental properties has created a new challenge of having to keep people on long waiting lists for suitable properties to arise.

“At the moment, it is very strong. We usually get a flurry around the November-December where we get a movement in and out. We have really high demand, there is people in need, but we can’t fill. Normally we will get some increase in demand, but this is far more than we have seen in a long time,” said Andrew.

“We hear daily, desperate stories of people that need somewhere. We will do a show at a property where we normally get six people along. We get 15-20 people coming. There is really strong competition as well. If we could have another 20 houses we would fill them. 

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.