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Property available for rent
Houses are available for rent at $1 a week in rural NSW
This home in rural NSW is available for rent at just $1 per week.
RESIDENTS of rural NSW are offering their spare homes for rent at $1 per week in a desperate bid to attract more families with school-going children into their communities.
The reduced rent is almost 500 times cheaper than Sydney’s median rent of $520 per week and works out to about 15 cents a day.
The catch is that most of the properties require some work and are often in isolated locations.
Properties currently available include a five-bedroom house on the outskirts of Cumnock, a town 60km west of Orange with roughly 275 people.
The house needs a lick of paint and the main door requires mending. The home gets water from a large tank.
Cheap as chips: This two-bedroom home near Parkes is available at $1 per week, but needs repairs.
A two-bedroom farmhouse located between Cumnock and Parkes, a bigger regional centre in the area, is also available for $1 a week rent.
The house is located up 8km of dirt road and requires painting.
The laundry, bathroom and garage require repair and the listing specifies that the tenant “needs to be a handy person with reno experience”.
Other cheap properties have two to three bedrooms and are available only to families with children of primary school age.
This rural farmhouse also rents for $1 per week.
Cumnock resident Christine Weston of Rentafarmhouse.com.au, where many of the listings appear, said the cheap rents were part of an initiative to save the local schools.
Many rural schools were in danger of closing or losing teaching staff on account of falling student numbers, she said.
“We’re looking for big families with children to move in and fill up the schools. The bigger the family, the better,” Ms Weston said.
The current stock of $1 rentals has attracted interest from as far as Scotland, she added.
The Cumnock rental comes with five bedrooms.
“The big cities simply don’t have affordable housing available,” Ms Weston said.
“Large families, especially those in Sydney, are struggling to pay rents each week, so moving out here is an appealing option. It’s not just cheaper, there’s more space and it’s a change of lifestyle.”
Apart from having young children, families need to meet three broad criteria if they want to bag a $1 rental, according to Ms Weston.
The listing for this farmhouse specifies that the tenant needs “reno experience”.
They need to be fairly handy, preferably tradespeople, be prepared to get involved in the local community and, lastly, understand what making a treechange involves.
“You can’t just be swayed by the romanticism of country life,” Ms Weston said. “We have Brown Snakes out here and rely on water tanks. You have to be prepared to handle that.”