Renters in Eltham and nearby suburbs are reportedly in a panic over the possibility of Australian landlords adopting the “KFC Test” currently being used in New Zealand when choosing suitable tenants. News broke yesterday that a property manager from Auckland had bragged about asking prospective tenants for bank statements so she could scan through them and determine their suitability based on the types of things they spend their money on.
Rachel Kann, a property manager from Auckland, reportedly said, “I don’t just want to put a tenant into a property and no sooner have they been put in they can’t afford the rent. They’re paying somebody’s mortgage and I see a lot of people who are low socio-economic and their bank statements literally will read, ‘KFC, McDonald’s, the dairy, KFC, McDonald’s, court fine’ … You know, I see a lot of mismanagement of money.”
Considering that Eltham boasts the holy trinity of fast food outlets on one glorious roundabout, renters in that area are now sweating on how unsuitable their bank statements may look if they decide to apply for a new lease. One anonymous renter told The Watsonia Bugle, “I had a quick scan over my statements last night and, to be honest, I was shocked. It was littered with fast food purchases, especially from the holy trinity. With payWave these days there’s just nowhere to hide. I guess I used to pay cash more for these things a few years ago when I secured my current lease. I feel like I can’t move now unless I clean up my act.”
While the obvious ethical considerations of such judgmental decision making are up for debate, it seems the shockwaves have already crossed the Tasman. Renters of Eltham, you’ve been warned.