A Victorian tenant who was hoping to negotiate a rent freeze was instead asked to confirm how much they spent on things like food and entertainment — and how much money they had in their superannuation account.
Both Joshua Badge and their partner lost their jobs due to the coronavirus and are currently waiting for their Jobseeker applications to be processed.
In the meantime, they have no income.
After contacting their rental agency to explain their situation, they were sent a hardship application form — which has been seen by Junkee — which asks for a monthly breakdown of their expenses, how much was in their superannuation account, and how much annual leave they had accrued at work.
In a lengthy email chain the agency explained they need to understand how much tenants can afford to put towards their rent, and also attached an article on landlords facing financial hardship.
In response, Joshua decided to flip the question back on them and ask for a similar breakdown of their landlord’s expenses.
“We’ve gone to (our rental agency) saying we have no income and they’ve come back and asked, ‘how much money are you spending on food.’ What world are they living in?” they said.
“They asked about groceries, utilities, telephone, entertainment expenses.
“Where is this going, are we spending too much on food? Are you going to deny someone because they have a Netflix subscription?”