Rent it Keep It Course 2016

Homes North, in partnership with EACH, Freeman House and Pathfinders ran a Rent it Keep it (RIKI) course in August this year. There were seven participants, ranging in ages from 17 – 50. The course was run over two mornings as past experience has shown this is a more popular time.

The Rent It Keep It course explains tenant’s rights and responsibilities, how to present yourself to a Real Estate Agent, what to do if you get into difficulties and sensible budgeting skills.

There were guest speakers from NEWTAAS (New England and Western Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service) explaining tenants’ rights & responsibilities and how to seek assistance, and the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal and what to do if you are served a Notice of Termination. There also was a guest speaker from Northern Links, a tenant support program, and a real estate agent explaining what they look for in a prospective new tenant.

Young people, in particular, do not have a rent reference and find it difficult to obtain housing in the private sector. This is where the Rent It Keep It course helps them. Every participant receives a certificate stating they had completed the course and some of the real estate agents in Armidale are happy to use the course completion certificate in place of a rent reference.

One participant had lodged nine applications for private rental and been unsuccessful each time. The next time he took his Rent It Keep It certificate with him to a Real Estate Agent he was successful in obtaining a property.

Work is continuing by the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) with local real estate agents to negotiate for more agencies to accept the RIKI Certificate in place of a rent reference.

We hope to run another course in the near future in cooperation with the SHS services for our clients and theirs.

This was the first certificate I have ever received!

- Rent It Keep It participant