Journal article

On the Edge: The Financial Situation of Older Renters in the Private Rental Market in Sydney

Rental housing Tenants Housing Private rental Working poor Australia Sydney

 In this study, based mainly on 17 in-depth interviews, I explore the financial implications of being an older private renter in Sydney. I illustrate that there are three key factors which determine their degree of financial stress - the actual rent being paid; the degree of support from family members and whether the older renter is living in a single or couple household. It is shown that several of the older renters interviewed found it hard to maintain their physical and mental health. The purchasing of basic items such as nutritious food and clothes was difficult. Having to devote such a substantial part of their income to cover the rent and never knowing when there would be another rent increase had a serious impact on the psychological health of some interviewees. The lack of finances encouraged isolation as interviewees found it financially difficult to participate in social activities.

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