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Renters paying $3,000 more a year: ‘Out of control’

Australian house and Australian money
Aussie renters paid thousands more on rent last year. It comes as the cost of living skyrockets and some are forced to choose between rent and food. (Source: Getty)

Aussie renters on average forked out an extra $62 a week on rent last year, or over $3,000 a year, new research finds.

The average rental climbed 13.8 per cent over the last 12 months, research from the parliamentary library commissioned by the Greens found.

Rents rose from an average of $448 a week in June 2021 to $510 a week in June 2022 for households managed by a real estate agent. The increase was slightly lower for private rentals.

Overall, Aussies paid an extra $7.1 billion in rent across 2.2 million rental properties.

“Rents are out of control, millions of Australians are struggling to pay the rent, and families are facing living in tents and cars because they can’t afford record rent increases,” Max Chandler-Mather MP, Greens spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness, told The Guardian.

“When Australian renters have paid an extra $7bn in rent over the last year alone, no wonder so many are struggling.”

The research comes as the Greens call for a two-year nationwide freeze on rent, as well as capped increases after the freeze ends.

Families choosing between food and rent

The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) has called on the federal government to increase welfare payments as the cost of living skyrockets.

Research from ACOSS found 96 per cent of people on income support renting privately are in rental stress, spending over 30 per cent of their income on rent.

Rising rental costs are also forcing people on income support to skip meals, it found.

Those on JobSeeker currently receive $48 a day. The group is calling for income support payments to increase to at least $73 a day.

“People on low, fixed incomes were already struggling with covering basic costs before the cost of living skyrocketed,” ACOSS acting CEO, Edwina MacDonald, said in a statement.

“Economists and commentators speak reassuringly of ‘buffers’ but there is no buffer when your income is $48 a day, let alone in the face of surging prices for petrol, food, and rent.”

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