THE TORMENT is over for South Grafton's Roberts family after a fire damaged their South Grafton house earlier this month.
For three weeks Aubrey and Sandra Roberts have done the rounds of real estate agents looking for somewhere to live and late yesterday afternoon they finally had some good news.
The family, with five children, including three under the age of 10, had been staying with Mrs Roberts' eldest daughter.
"With 10 of us sharing a two-bedroom home, it was starting to wear a bit thin," Mrs Roberts said.
"Ray White Real Estate rang us and told us they had a place for us to stay. I was so happy, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. She said we could go in and sign the papers tomorrow morning."
The experience has been an eye-opener for the couple, who have owned their own homes for nearly a quarter of a century.
"I've owned my own place for 25 years and Sandra's lived here (the fire damaged house) for 23 years," Mr Roberts said.
"We weren't after charity.
"The insurance company will cover the costs of renting while they're repairing the house."
He said one of the main sticking points with agents was a lack of references as renters.
"We'd go in to apply and they'd ask us for our references and we didn't have any because we haven't rented anywhere for so long," Mr Roberts said.
Mrs Roberts said: "You would think people who had owned their home wouldn't need to go through all that."