In just this last week, we've heard stories from renters that give a grim picture of what renting is like for renters in Australia today, covering issues of bond-theft, energy-inefficiency, homelessness, and negligence.
One major issue for renters is bond-theft - when a landlord tries to take your bond money without being entitled to it. We spoke with one renter in NSW whose landlord evicted them and then tried to claim bond in order to change the locks.
Issues around energy-efficiency are another big issue for renters and landlords are not doing much about it. We've heard from multiple renters who have decided to move to try to find a more efficient property, including one family who decided to move when they realised that the mould problem in their Canberra property was showing up in their baby's bassinet. Another renter offered their landlord an extra $20 a week in install a split-system airconditioner, but was still turned down.
And, of course, homelessness is an ongoing risk for renters. This doesn't necessarily mean sleeping on the streets - we've spoken with renters who've spent days, or weeks, or months, couchsurfing while applying for every property they could find. Or we've heard about renters with pets who, unable to secure a rental, ended up moving back in with their parents just to have a stable place to live.
Then, if you're lucky enough to get a place, you have to keep your fingers crossed that your landlord will actually maintain it. One renter we heard from had barely moved in when they realised that their front door wouldn't close securely, and their window blinds didn't work, offering no privacy. They are still waiting on action from their agent.
That's what we've heard in just one week folks. If you're keen to be part of our community working to change the law around issues like these, please sign up.