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Tenants could score free rent while helping their community

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With rental prices on the rise, finding a top deal is becoming increasingly difficult, which makes these rooms listed for free or at a wildly discounted price a top choice for tenants.

Renters on a budget could look into a home share scenario which is where rent is drastically reduced in exchange for approximately 10 hours per week of work around the home.

This could include cooking, cleaning, gardening, dog sitting, or sometimes simply spending quality time with the other housemate.

Home shares provide a cheap way for renters to live in the inner city while giving back to the community. Picture: realestate.com.au/rent


It’s often used by elderly homeowners who need someone around the house or people living with a disability – home share allows them to continue living independently in their own homes.

These rooms can be found on Flatmates.com.au both listed privately and through home share services such as Shared Lives and Holdsworth. Tenants who apply via the official services need to go through a rigorous application process.

“Given the nature and level of care, compassion and understanding needed for these home share scenarios, picking the correct flatmate is crucial,” said Claudia Conley, community manager at Flatmates.com.au.

“Flatmates acts as a service to give these home share providers leads where they may not have found them elsewhere.

Any interested seekers are required to undergo a background and police check, often a working with children’s check, and do need to commit to the work required in lieu of paying rent.”

Helping elderly

Spending time with the house holder is sometimes used in lieu of rental payments. Picture: Getty


As more tenants pour into the market and stock continues to dwindle across the country, many renters are finding themselves priced out of inner-city suburbs which makes home sharing something many share houses are sitting up and paying attention to.

“Flatmates welcomed 48,000 new members in October 2022, 53% of these new members were seeking accommodation but only 14% of these were offering accommodation,” said Ms Conley.

“There currently is not enough stock on the market for the people who need a place to live, so we do see home share and alternate housing scenarios becoming more popular with seekers.”

Sharing in the heart of Malvern

Shared Lives Australia has put a call-out for a renter to share a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Malvern.

The tenant will be sharing with a woman in her 40s who has a mild intellectual disability and will be moving out of her family home for the first time. Her family will also live within walking distance of the apartment.

Rent is free in exchange for 10 hours per week of companionship and support.

Reduced rent for an au-pair in Vaucluse

The median rent in Sydney’s exclusive suburb of Vaucluse may be $2,295 per week for a house and $750 per week for a unit, but one room in the blue-chip suburb will only cost $100 per week.

A family is seeking a live-in au-pair who can do five hours of household help per week including ironing, along with two school pick-ups per week (car included).

The tenant will be living in a four-bedroom house that sits on a large 873sqm block with multiple living areas and two bathrooms.

This sunny room is just $100 a week in Vaucluse in exchange for au-pair work. Picture: Flatmates.com.au


Free rent in exchange for gardening on the Sunny Coast

A retiree in stunning Glass House Mountains on the Sunshine Coast is offering free rent in a studio with its own cooking facilities and bathroom. This is in exchange for 12 hours per week of gardening.

The listing is looking for a man to fill the room and there is a flexible length of stay.

Reduced rent for dog-sitting

Dog-loving tenants will be all over this listing in Calamvale, Brisbane. For $100 per week, the new tenant will need to occasionally look after the resident dog while its owner is traveling for work.

The room is one of three in the townhouse and has built-in wardrobes and can be furnished.

Story Credit: news.com.au

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