19 December 2018 | Daily Top Story: 51 percent of Aussie renters living in homes needing repairs



More than half of Australians renting are living in properties that need repairs.

These statistics from Choice show an “imbalance” in the market, according to the consumer group’s campaigns and communications director Erin Turner.

She said these repairs could be significant ones, such as for unhealthy mould, or defunct ovens. 


Statistics from Choice show 51 percent of Australian renters live in properties that need repairs. (A Current Affair)


Renter Keith Young told A Current Affair his residence had a leaking roof, rotting rear deck and even rats running around in the ceiling.

He said the deck was so dangerous their five-year-old child was not allowed out in the garden.

He said he approached his landlord and real estate several times to address the issues.


Issues in rental properties can include mould, which is hazardous to peoples’ health. (A Current Affair) 


But all he received, he said, was an eviction notice. 

“We’ve always paid our rent on time, we’ve never missed our payment and we’ve always got our bond back,” he said.

“Well we are (a landlord’s dream) but we keep getting evicted anyway.” 


Keith Young said he received an eviction notice after asking for repairs to be carried out. (A Current Affair) 


Keith said rats had gnawed a hole in the ceiling. (A Current Affair) 


In suburban Melbourne, Anthony Ambrose and his grandparents say they have been battling with their landlord for 10 years.

The elderly couple have burnt their hands countless times, as their kitchen tap has only one temperature – scalding hot.

“The real estate agent advised us that my grandmother, who is 86 years old, instead of washing plates in the kitchen … to wash in the laundry,” Anthony said. 


Anthony Ambrose says he and his grandparents have been battling their landlord. (A Current Affair) 


Anthony, his grandparents’ full-time carer, said he had to wash his grandfather with a bucket. (A Current Affair)


Anthony, the full-time carer for his grandparents, said he had to wash his grandfather with a bucket in the bath.

Ms Turner said while Australia had many “great landlords” the experiences Anthony and Keith claim to have had are “far too common”.

“When it comes to making a complaint or just getting something fixed, people who rent struggle,” she said.


Renters feel too afraid to ask for repairs, Choice claims. (A Current Affair)


She said Choice’s research also showed people who were in the rental market for longer, were less likely to make a complaint.

Choice is calling on state and federal governments to lift standards for the rental market across Australia and protect tenants from no-grounds evictions.

Landlord Dragan Todorovich said he understood the rights of tenants and wants to see changes to protect them.

“As a landlord living in an affluent a society as Australia, having people living in insecure housing is a bit of a tragedy,” he said.



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