Two-thirds of tenants in Australia rent through an agent, so making a good impression on the agent matters. Certain characteristics count in tenants' favour, but some factors are beyond their control.
Stereotypes that paint landlords as "bad" and tenants as "good", and pit the two groups against each other, are actually holding back progress.
Labor's rental affordability scheme had its problems, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Once rent is paid, having to live on only $14 a day doesn't cover the costs of job seeking. The evidence of the need to increase Newstart and Rent Allowance is overwhelming.
The key to arresting galloping inequality in Australia comes down to housing policy and reversing spiralling housing costs.
A coordinated mix of policies does more to keep housing affordable for a significant proportion of a city's residents than the unbalanced approach we see in Sydney.
The government is being pressed to bring back a particularly ineffective and wasteful scheme.
The housing aspirations of young Australians change as they enter their late 20s and early 30s. But having somewhere safe and secure to call home is the top priority for all young adults.
Most older Australians want to live in a home they own, preferably in the middle and outer suburbs of a city. But increasing numbers look unlikely to realise their housing aspirations.
The need to manage long waiting lists for social housing, rather than serving the best interests of tenants and prospective tenants, is a major driver of policymakers' approach.
Whether you owned a home or not used to be straightforward. The boundaries are becoming permeable.
Not all landlords see their properties purely as investments. As welfare reforms take hold, some are starting to take greater responsibility for the well-being of their tenants.
Increasing numbers of older Australians don't own their homes. Whether they are private renters or live in social housing can make a big difference to their risk of loneliness and anxiety.
People on the minimum wage can afford only 2% of private rentals and only 1% if on the pension. Affordable housing requirements are often mandatory overseas, but Victoria is relying on negotiation.
Having quality housing matters. What's standing in the way of ensuring every Australian has housing that meets basic comfort and health standards? And how can we overcome these problems?
The real estate industry acts in its own interests, not those of the tenants it scares.
With Australian city rents too high for low-income earners, increasing numbers are forced to share houses or rooms or to live in options like 'beds in sheds' and other illegal dwellings.
The problems with housing systems in Australia and similar countries run deep. Solutions depend on a fundamental rethink of our approach to housing and its central place in our lives and the economy.
Living in shared rooms is on the rise, because it's more affordable – and more profitable for landlords. But it's also a more precarious, often overcrowded and poorly regulated form of housing.
Labor has made a substantial commitment to tackling inequality in Australia, but has taken a second-best approach to overcoming the huge shortfall of social housing.