There needs to be consequences for agents and landlords who are deliberately misleading or dishonest to their tenants about the reasons why they are evicting them
Lauren and her partner Jason have been renting together in Sydney since 2016 and have been in their current rental since April 2023. This follows two no grounds eviction notices in two years.
In the first instance, we were in a situation where we loved our home. We didn’t want to move but we were told the landlord wanted to sell the property and that we needed to leave. We fought back as much as we could but in the end accepted that we had to go.
Lauren and Jason managed to find a new place within the same apartment complex. However, just weeks later, they saw a ‘for rent’ sign advertising their old rental out the front of the building, for the same price that they had been paying.
This goes to show that real estate agents can really terminate a lease for no reason. They said stuff like ‘oh, the landlords have no money. They’re in dire circumstances and need to move in, renovate the place and then sell it.’ I think they moved in for maybe a month and then realised they didn’t like the place or the place wasn’t as valuable as they thought it was in the current market. Then they put it back up for rent. That’s what the real estate agent told us. Who knows if it’s true.
Lauren and Jason enjoyed another two years in this new apartment, before once again being forced to move out for no apparent reason.
We loved living there. We were there for two years and really made the place a proper home. But unfortunately, we ended up having a similar kind of experience. In February this year we were offered another year-long lease. About a week later the agent turned around and said ‘actually, we’ve changed our mind. The landlord realises he’s in a dire financial situation and he needs to move back into the property.’ We tried to offer more money. We tried to negotiate. But they said no.
We have emails saying ‘sorry, there’s nothing else you can do, the landlord is moving back into the property’. Yet, this turned out to be completely untrue. Once again, we saw the apartment re-listed online just a fortnight after we were forced to leave. None of it makes any sense - they’ve kicked out good, long-term tenants who had a home, lived close to work and set down roots within a local community.
Since the two evictions, Lauren and Jason have been able to find a new home but are still searching for answers and closure.
Given the state of the rental crisis in Sydney’s inner city and the inner west, we ended up moving to North Sydney and we’re really enjoying the sense of community in the area. Lots of bushwalks. Lots of harbour views. For us, what makes a home a home is the ability to spend time together: to do our craft, and our hobbies; to go for runs around the local area; to be in a place that’s safe and secure when you wake up in the morning and come home at night.
There needs to be consequences for agents and landlords who are deliberately misleading or dishonest to their tenants about the reasons why they are evicting them. It’s happened to us twice now, and all of the costs are borne by the tenant - not just the financial costs of moving, but the time taken off work, the mental health impacts due to weeks of stress, and the loss of community ties when you’re forced to move suburbs. It completely uproots the lives of the people who are looking for stability. There need to be more implications for dishonesty as well as an end to no grounds evictions.