home

"I'm a renter and the one thing we desperately need is a 'landlord bond'."

“I turned up at my apartment at the start of the year,” Laura told Mamamia, “and it hadn’t been cleaned from the last tenant.

“The last tenant smelt. The cleaners didn’t turn up for another three days, and the smell didn’t leave for weeks.”

Sioban said, “The place I rent now, the stove top is not earthed properly, so we get electric shocks every time we ignite the gas burners. I told the landlord and she said, ‘I don’t understand the problem’. That was the end of the conversation.”

For Angela, “The shower drain overflowed every time you showered because the builders just put all their rubbish down the drain.

“There were cracks in the wall, like structural cracks. This was a brand new apartment.”

Jum lived in a house with no hot water, and when she broached the issue with her landlord, he refused to believe it wasn’t working. Fiona was changing in her bedroom one day, when the door slammed and locked her inside. She had to call an emergency locksmith which cost her $400. Months on, she’s still not been reimbursed.

These were just some of the stories we uncovered. A number of women reported having landlords turn up unexpectedly and walk through their homes. There were doors that fell off, bathrooms with no ventilation, lights and appliances that never worked and countless mould issues.

Australia’s current market seems to be skewed against renters.

POST CONTINUES BELOW: Our housing prices are making us crazy. 

We spend, especially in heavily populated cities like Melbourne and Sydney, an enormous portion of our wage on ensuring we have a roof over our head. Bond equates to one months worth of rent – and every tenant is legally obliged to pay that upfront upon signing a leasing agreement.

We have an awful lot of responsibilities. But what are our rights?

Last month, Domain published an opinion by Jennifer Duke titled, “The part of the rent equation we are missing: a landlord bond.”

One third of Australians are currently renting according to Duke.

While making rent affordable is a worthy topic, she says, the part of the debate that’s missing is the need for a ‘landlord bond’.

Tenants deserve to receive what they pay for: “a safe and well-maintained place to live.”

Image via Getty.
ADVERTISEMENT

As it stands, we do have The Residential Tenancies Act to legally protect renters, but they are a third party and can take time to address issues that require immediate attention.

Duke's proposition is that property managers would be able to, "tap into this fund as needed to fix reasonable maintenance and repair requests, without being delayed by landlords..."

The bond would also be symbolic, an indication that both parties are committed to keeping up their end of the deal.

Currently, we're facing a significant power imbalance. If the place you rent is not well-maintained, there are serious plumbing issues or broken windows, then there's an endless list of people who are willing to move in next week.

Landlords are capitalising on the fact we're desperate - and with the state of the current rental market; what's their incentive?

Rental affordability is one thing.

But we need to start talking about the serious issues we face once we actually move in.

READ MORE:

The 10 thoughts everyone has while moving house. 

This is the reality of raising your family in a rental property in Australia. 

It's official. Rent has become ridiculous. 

 You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud here. 

Tags:
00:00 / ???