*Jane lives in a small complex, in a three-bedroom townhouse in the Brisbane suburbs. It is five minutes from her daughter’s school and near her parents who provide critical support for Jane who is a single mother and works full time.

Jane started the lease almost three years ago in June 2021 at $550 a week. At the time even though it was more expensive than a previous rental, she had a good salary (almost 1/5 more than she is earning now) and could stretch to it at 32% of her wage before tax. It remained at $550 a week until December 2022 when it rose by $25 a week to $575.

Her current rental has had some floor damage from flooding during February 2022. Although the damage is minimal, it has not yet been fixed. There have been no major improvements to the house since Jane moved in. The landlord accommodated the installation of one blind request and another of their own initiative.

Jane has recently been informed that the new rent will be $700 a week from June 2024, when her current fixed term lease expires which is what another unit in the complex is charging. If Jane decides to stay at her rented home after June, the increase in rent will be 48.5% of her income after tax. It will also mean that her rent has increased by 28% over three years!

Jane is not eligible for any Centrelink benefits as she had savings from the sale of a house and does not receive any family assistance from her daughter’s father. As she was looking for work for eight months, Jane used her savings for living expenses.

Unfortunately Jane is not unique. Rental prices are increasing at over three times the rate of the cost-of-living index, at an average of $114 per week which is the average rent increase of callers to QSTARS in the first quarter of this year.

At Make Renting Fair in Queensland we continue to advocate for rent rises to be restricted to once per annum at the rate of CPI.

*Name has been changed for privacy reasons.