High rent’s a home wrecker for young marrieds

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The cost of renting a home is keeping a young married couple apart. Khalid Farah reports.

Inflation in Melbourne house rents has caused Beyazidhan Ozgur, 23, a married student and takeaway shop proprietor from Point Cook, to live separately from his wife in his parents’ home. “Due to the expenses and high rents, I am forced to live with my parents,” he says.

“I’m a young Australian, I’ve been married for a year and a half, I prefer to live with my wife, however I live with my parents,” Ozgur says. ‘My wife and I prefer to live together and have certain privacies that married couples should have. However our circumstances lead us to live separately.

“Rent has already ruined the first two years of my marriage, I am afraid that as a result of high rent, I will lose my youth and the rest my marriage.” He pays his own rent, he works, has his own takeaway shop, makes a stable income, but is adamant that it is not enough. “Food, petrol, travel and other expenses are high. (For) a young adult between 18 and 25 years who is in search of individuality, house rent should not be high on his list,” says Ozgur.

For an owner of a takeaway shop with his family, that is not the case. He says, “To pay rent and other expenses you need to work full time. When you’re a student, you do either casual or part time, therefore it’s hard.”

Eleanor Currie, Pagan Real Estate administrator, says, “Rent is at least $280 a week for a one bedroom apartment, and is still high at $150-$200 a week, even in a sharehouse.

“If you were only earning $400-$500 a week, that is a significant portion of your wage going just to rent, not including outgoings such as electricity and internet, or food and university books.”

Ozgur says, “students could share houses and divide the rent, but that would ruin the experience of living alone.” He says, “Real estate agencies and the government need to be considerate towards young adults, understand the difficulties and help ease their stress, we shouldn’t suffer from rent inflation.”

Currie also says, “Governments need to make rent assistance more accessible, and also more in line with the cost of current rent prices.”

Isabella Carlson, 20, a fulltime Swinburne student says,” I just moved into a new place near South Yarra, got a new job, have to work extra shifts because rent takes 40 per cent of my salary.”