University students Sarah Prichard and Monique Jensen spent eight weeks looking for rental accomodation in Bundaberg.
University students Sarah Prichard and Monique Jensen spent eight weeks looking for rental accomodation in Bundaberg. Max Fleet

Age hurts rental chances

RENTING a house was supposed to be a sign of independence for Sarah Prichard and her two friends.

But the house hunt turned sour when they were told by two real estate agents that at 19 and 20 they were too young to rent.

“One real estate agent called us after our application and told us the owners said we were too young and they were looking for a family,” Ms Prichard said.

“With one house we were told that because of our age the owners had requested an extra $30 a week for rent.”

Ms Prichard said after they had turned that offer down, she had seen the same house advertised for the original rental amount.

The house hunters are at a loss as to why they would be having trouble because of their age.

“As far as we know the other real estate agent has given us fine feedback,” she said.

The group did have some luck yesterday when, after an eight week search, they were told they had been accepted to a house.

Ms Prichard and her friend Monique Jensen are full-time university students who both work part-time while their third flatmate, Alex Schulel, is a full-time mechanic.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland Bundaberg spokesperson Michael Dempsey said the group's young age could have counted against them.

“As a rule of thumb, the person who makes the final decision is the owner,” he said. “If you have a middle aged person with a full-time job and good references against a young group of people, the owners will probably go with the older person.”

Mr Dempsey said asking for more rent because of a person's age was discriminatory.



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