Mum & Dad's house

PHOTO: VICTORIA BIRKINSHAW Sarah Catherall in her warm ventilated home which her daughter is ready to move out of.

It’s that back-to-school time again, but my struggle is not covering books or washing the school uniforms – I’m trying to help my daughter find a home. She’s a third-year university student and it seems fair that she wants to do that thing we used to take for granted: go flatting.

In 2020, flat hunting in Wellington is worse than job hunting. Rents have soared, there aren’t enough houses, and trying to get a roof over your kid’s head is nigh impossible. Last week, more than 25 years since I last walked into a potential flat, I find myself following a trail of flat hunters into a four-bedroom rental. Guarding the front door is a property manager who takes down my daughter and her friend’s names and tells them to apply online. The landlord is an anonymous beast, nowhere to be seen.