*Tom and his family had been living in their property since March 2019. When it came time to renew the lease agreement for the year 2024 – 2025, the tenants did not proceed with the renewal. They were consequently asked to leave at the end of the lease agreement. At this time, the current rent payable on the four-bedroom, two-bathroom detached property was $510.

Tom and his family swiftly commenced seeking alternative accommodation, but they continued to receive knock backs on their applications. This began to create a lot of stress and anxiety for the tenants as they have children and were concerned, they could potentially become homeless.
Adding to this preoccupation, the agent informed Tom and his family that they had already signed a lease agreement with new tenants and that if Tom and his family did not vacate by the time of the new lease agreement, they would be held financially liable for temporary accommodation of a 4-bedroom property in the area, with the average cost of an Airbnb property costing around $1,500 per week. In addition, the agent told Tom and his family that they would also be liable to pay the storage costs of the new tenants if they were unable to move when the new lease was to start. These storage costs were estimated to exceed $2000. The increased rent to be paid by the new tenants at the start of the lease had spiked by almost $200 a week from $510 to $700.

Tom and his family continued the search for properties during this time until they attended a QCAT hearing for termination for failure to leave at Brisbane. On the day, the Adjudicator said that Tom and his family must vacate the property in three weeks considering the insufficient time to secure alternative accommodation in this current market. Tom had strong suspicions that the agent was not providing a good reference for him which was adding to the lack of successful applications for him to secure new lease.

At the time of writing this story, Tom had attended his QCAT termination hearing and was provided 3 weeks to leave the property.

Unfortunately Tom is not alone. There are many families facing homelessness because they cannot find a home in their community within their budget when it comes the time to renew their lease. Being pushed out of a local community due to increase in rents is distressing for every renter, especially children who may need to start a new school if they move too far away.

With the median Brisbane unit rent now almost 17 per cent higher than January 2023, Make Renting Fair In Queensland continue to highlight the need to limit annual rent increases to the level of the Consumer Price Index (already adopted in ACT). They also focused on the need to introduce energy efficiency minimum standards. Make Renting Fair In Queensland also advocates for the removal of ‘end of a fixed term’ as a reason to end a tenancy.

*Name has been changed for privacy reasons