Australia's worst landlords: 'We weren't allowed to flush toilet paper.'

Having gone from renting to home ownership back to renting I’ve had my fair share of horrible landlords and I’ve learned a lot about how to deal with them. My rule now is that I won’t move into a property unless there is a rental agent in the form of a reputable Real Estate Agency.

It saves so much stress. Then they are the ones who have to deal with the landlord and I can just live my life without having to fight for my rights at every turn.

With capital city property prices so high, many Australians are being forced to rent for much longer than they had originally planned. Currently 45 percent of Australians are renting properties. As house prices rise and people are forced to rent for longer periods of time, this will become an even bigger issue.

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It’s just a matter of time before you end up with a landlord who is, at the very least, a bit of a dud and at the very worst, a deranged stalker.

I had some filthy rich landlords that told me it was okay to leave a sofa and a wardrobe in the partially furnished granny flat I had rented for years and then they took me to small claims court to charge me for “rubbish removal” for the sofa and the wardrobe. I never got it in writing so it looked like I had just left my furniture, but I was moving interstate so I offered it to them. The receipts they used were from their family’s cleaning company.  I lost the case and had to pay them $500.  It wasn’t the money – it was that they made me look like I was lying. Melanie

Now there is a website fighting back against Australia’s worst landlords, providing a forum on which tenants can dob in dodgy landlords so people know to steer clear. It’s called Don’t Rent Me, and it lists problematic landlords, real estate rental managers and bad rental properties.

My previous rental was through a private landlord and he actually wrote on the lease agreement, ‘DO NOT FLUSH TOILET PAPER DOWN THE TOILET” true… we were also not allowed to use the pool and it was kept empty the entire time with him coming around after rains to make sure it was, the pebble crete eroded and we did not have a key to the pool gate so we never went in and the first time my gardener hopped the fence to snip inside, the landlord went ballistic and told me never to do that again so I didn’t. On termination, he wanted me to pay $12000 to replace pebble crete which broke away over the 2 years because apparently we had broken it all… total nightmare. Pauline

According to data collected by the site the worst places to rent in Australia are Southport in QLD, Shelley in WA, Frankston in Victoria and Stanmore in NSW.


The reason Southport tops the list is due to dodgy real estate agents and stories of property disasters.

Our landlord pretended to be the plumber, then stayed for a chat about his resolute belief in aliens (among other conspiracy theories) and then admitted he was the landlord. Not demands but UM HELLO. Maggie

At one stage a landlord who saw a bad property review on the site made contact, offering to rectify the situation and Don’t Rent Me creator Anthony Ziebell – who started the site after his own bad experience – said it turned out the problem was that the rental agent wasn’t even bothering to tell the landlord about the issues.

“The landlord has since fired the real estate agency and the issues have been fixed and the review has been taken down. This is exactly what we wanted to do with this website,” says Anthony.

“My old landlord was this very old man and he would routinely let himself into the house without letting us know he was coming over. He did it when I was in the shower once. And one time we came home from work to find our balcony covered in scaffolding, completely unable to use the space for a full week during the middle of summer because he’d decided the area would look nice rendered !!!!???? Katy

Bad rental situations don’t just affect single Australians but families and having a dodgy landlord or terrible rental agent causes a lot of stress for already hard-working people who simply want to enjoy their home.

Anthony from Don’t Rent Me says the aim of the site is to lift the standards of properties and management for tenants for singles, couples and families.

We had landlords that siphoned our electricity (they lived next door) and left my Mum with the bill. Andi

Anthony has even created a YouTube channel called Don’t Rent Me Investigates where the focus is on individual tenant cases around Australia including interviews and footage of living conditions some tenants have to put up with.

Don’t Rent Me gives tenants a way to fight back outside of official channels such as rental tribunals that can favor landlords and rental agents who have more experience dealing with the system.

I know someone whose landlord would snoop through their groceries when and lecture them on their diet and eating habits. Anon

You can find out more about the services offered by Don’t Rent Me at their website, dontrentme.com/au.