Student fears ‘tight’ rental market may force her out

University of Otago student Vidya Varma is a victim of the "tight" rental market. PHOTO: GREGOR...
University of Otago student Vidya Varma is a victim of the "tight" rental market. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A student fears she may have to leave Dunedin after failing to secure a rental property despite visiting nearly 50 in the past month.

It comes as a real estate company described the market as "tight", saying potential tenants had to make themselves stand out in a crowded field.

Vidya Varma, who is studying for a doctorate in employment law at the University of Otago, lives with her husband Matthew in university accommodation.

Their accommodation agreement expires early next month, and the couple are seeking a place to rent for next year.

Ms Varma said they had tried nearly 50 properties over the past month without success.

"I’m getting an incredibly interesting insight into the market.

"I’ve been trying everywhere, every day."

"About four or five" new listings were appearing each day, and it seemed they were all getting snapped up quickly.

"It does feel like time is running out. We don’t want to go up north, we love Dunedin, but we might just have to if the situation does not change."

They were looking for a property in the vicinity of $500 to $700 per week.

The couple had transport, and worked at the university, so location was "not too much of an issue", Ms Varma said.

"We just want a place that is suitable for professionals."

Edinburgh Realty business development manager Simone Read said the student rental market was "tight".

"Due to privacy laws, pretty much everyone looks the same in applications.

"When prospective landlords get a whole lot of names, it’s hard for anyone to stick out."

She advised prospective tenants to approach Edinburgh Realty directly with a "bit of a CV" which provided some background.

"Write a really good description about yourself. It could prove all the difference in the end.

"The market is so competitive."

There would be "a few" properties within the couple’s price range.

"I sympathise with their situation."