A New Year’s rental crisis

At the beginning of every year, Queanbeyan and Canberra experience a dramatic increase in the demand for rental properties.

The combination of defence postings, graduate program intakes and the return of university students cause a region-wide housing crisis at the beginning of each year. 

University students and graduates general don't have immediate access to a vehicle and require accommodation close to work or campus.

Queanbeyan is sheltered from this annual upsurge by the lack of affordable and reliable public transport.

Stacey Monahan and her family are keen Raiders supporters. The family has been struggling to find a rental.

Stacey Monahan and her family are keen Raiders supporters. The family has been struggling to find a rental.

Most commuters simply aren't willing to use two bus networks.

However, families in Queanbeyan are still caught off guard by the increase in demand. 

Stacey Monahan's lease came up for renewal late last year.

Her son Caleb requires care for a metabolic condition, with vitamins fed through a tube in his stomach.

Their beloved family cat also creates an extra burden on finding a permanent property or emergency accommodation. 

The beloved family cat may have to go, with pet friendly and child friendly accommodation in short supply.

The beloved family cat may have to go, with pet friendly and child friendly accommodation in short supply.

“So far we have had no luck. We have been taken to the tribunal due to not leaving the unit we are in,” Ms Monahan said.

“We are a family of three, myself, my partner and our three-year-old son.

Access to a family home was once taken for granted, families are struggling to access affordable rentals.

Access to a family home was once taken for granted, families are struggling to access affordable rentals.

“It's quite upsetting as we have been through a lot this year.

“I am not looking for sympathy, but just feel at a loss of what to do as this is just so scary, as I have not been a renting person for long.

“We have been looking for a rental urgently as we should [have] been out of the unit we are in last November. 

“My son has a metabolic condition so is in need of vitamins through a tube in his stomach. The cat is his best friend in the world.”

Ms Monahan’s partner works in Queanbeyan and needs public transport to get to work, which also limits their options.

“My partner works and we have paid the rent every week. We've tried to resolve problems with the real estate and avoid conflict,” she said.

“But it is just so hard to find a rental. We were really surprised. We keep getting rejected and single people or couples seem to get the houses.

“When we go for inspections there are, like, 12 others viewing the places as well. So why do they send people to the tribunal if they know there are lots of people in this position? It is something out of the hands of the people renting. If anything, agents should help to find another suitable place.”

Ms Monahan said she had worked in early childhood education for more than 15 years, but needed flexibility “as my son’s rare condition ... means on the spot appointments”.