On the night before his 30th birthday, Daniel Zilberman, a 22-year-old with a large, thick, white beard and piercing blue eyes, got the call that changed his life forever.
The apartment complex he had been renting for the past year had been sold and he was moving to a new home.
The move had been part of a deal with a construction company that he was considering.
The new apartment would cost him just $800 per month.
Daniel Zolberman had been looking forward to the move.
He’d been going to university and wanted to work in the construction industry.
But now, after the sale, his life was in shambles.
“I was worried about the rent,” Zilbermans parents told Al Jazeera.
“My savings were gone and my rent was going to go up.”
A few months earlier, Daniel had been diagnosed with cancer.
He was unable to work because of the disease, which left him unable to walk or talk, and he could not afford to keep up his dental work.
When his cancer worsened, Daniel was prescribed the most expensive drugs available, which meant he was unable, by law, to work.
He did not have a place to live.
He and his family had been living in a trailer park in north Sydney’s west.
“This is a pretty good apartment, you could rent it out for a few months and then move somewhere else,” Daniel Zilsberman told Aljazeera.
“We were getting all the things we needed, we were getting a decent wage, we could afford to buy a house and everything else.”
Zilberger was able to find a place that met his needs and was willing to pay a fair rent.
He decided to rent an apartment in the area.
“The apartments we were looking at were for the middle of the road, not too expensive,” he said.
“So I thought, if I can make a good living on it, why not?”
It was a decision that paid off, but the rent was not good enough.
“It was really hard to find decent rental prices,” Daniel said.
His family did not think that was fair, and so Daniel was unable do much about it.
“For the past two months I’ve been thinking about getting rid of it, to make it a good investment,” he told AlJazeera.
Daniel, now 30, had been working part-time for the construction company for almost a year.
“As I got older, I got a lot more frustrated,” he added.
“That’s when I realised I was getting screwed.”
His parents, who were struggling financially, did not know how to help.
“If I’d known what was going on before I left, I’d have done something about it sooner,” he says.
“Because now I know the landlords, they are very rude to me.”
As Daniel Zilibbermans story illustrates, there is no magic bullet for getting a house for less than what a tenant is paying for it.
It is important to pay close attention to your rent, which may be the first thing landlords ask you about before asking you about other housing costs, such as mortgage payments, child care costs or utilities.
But it is also important to consider the cost of the property.
“A decent property costs around $500 a week, so you’ll need to find something with lower costs,” said Michael Rundle, director of property and lettings at Property Consultants Australia.
“You can also find a great deal on a one-bedroom flat or studio.
But if you’re looking for a three-bedroom property, it will be more expensive.”
When the deal fell through, Daniel’s family found themselves on the brink of homelessness.
“At the time, we thought we were lucky,” he explained.
“There was no point renting and we didn’t know how long it would last.”
The couple moved in with other families, including Daniel’s own family, and for the first time, they were able to rent a place of their own.
“But then the stress and uncertainty of having to deal with people we didn`t know became too much,” Daniel explained.
A few years ago, they started looking at the properties on Airbnb, a website that lets people rent out rooms, apartments or small spaces.
“When you start looking at properties like that, it’s really not just a matter of looking for good deals,” said Rundle.
“In the case of Airbnb, they have a pretty nice rate for a space.”
They eventually settled on a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on a quiet, residential street in the western suburbs of Sydney.
The house was in a residential area, and there were plenty of places to walk.
“Unfortunately, because we were going through this rough time in our lives, it was hard to make a decision on what to do with it,” Daniel told Al Jazeera. “[It was