Janine and her family lived in their rental home for nearly 3 years. Janine said they had always paid the rent on time, taken good care of the property and the real estate agent never raised any concerns with them until the last inspection.

“Then they complained about the state of the house as we had baby gates and other children’s items out,” Janine said.

Before they knew it, the family had received a notice to leave without grounds. The real estate agent immediately re-advertised the rental home in Brisbane’s northern suburbs with a substantial rent increase.

Janine described the process of trying to find another home for her family as “an absolute nightmare”. They applied for 12 rental properties without success. Only by chance, Janine’s family were finally able to secure another property when she made a well-timed phone call to an agent who had just received notice from another tenant wanting to break lease. While the family were able to keep a roof over their heads, they were forced into debt to pay for moving costs.

The real estate agent never offered them the option to pay the increased rent to stay.

“We had lived in our home for nearly three years, made good friends in the community, and our neighbours are like family. Now we have had to leave, for no good reason. We would have happily paid the extra rent if it meant avoiding the hassle of moving, especially with a young family.”

Being faced with potential homelessness has had an enormous impact on her family and Janine still cannot understand why they were given a notice to leave.

“It just doesn’t seem fair that a property manager can push us out of our home when we’ve done nothing wrong.  I can’t think about what might have happened to us if we hadn’t been lucky enough to find another house.  It’s just too scary,” Janine said.