A Qld Real Estate Agency Told Landlords Now Is The Perfect Time For A 20% Rent Hike

Brisbane real estate agent tells Queensland landlords now is the perfect time to raise rent. image below is of marge Simpson working with a real estate with the caption "its ok, tenants dont need to eat"

A Brisbane real estate agency has urged landlords to raise the rent of tenants by 20 per cent because now is apparently the perfect time. Someone get me some AJAX so I can eradicate this scum.

Ray White West End sent an email to landlords which asked if their properties were “under-rented”. It then went on to suggest they increase their properties’ rent by more than 20 per cent. FYI, inflation is about 6 per cent. Bit of a discrepancy there.

“Many landlords are not being provided with the information to make an informed decision,” the email read, per Guardian Australia.

It then noted some landlords had been advised to only raise rent by only $5 to $20.

“Our property managers have been reviewing all our lease renewals and on average recommending a 17 per cent rent increase on the leases renewed in October and November this year,” the email said.

“As we are planning December lease renewals, the average lease renewal recommendation is above 20 per cent. This can be as much as $10,000 per year in additional rental income.”

Oh yes, lets increase people’s rent by $10,000 a year! Never mind that wages have stagnated and we are in a cost-of-living crisis. Now is certainly the time to make housing even more unaffordable!

Obviously this is scummy in any timeline, but it’s particularly cooked to suggest raising rents now considering Australia is battling a rental crisis that has only gotten worse.

The Queensland government is literally set to hold a housing summit this week because of rising rats of homelessness — but sure, let’s wring those tenants for all they’re worth!

The email then goes on to suggest that tenants are “agreeable” to rent increases, which they called “fair and reasonable”. I’m pretty sure tenants being forced to pay soaring rents at risk of not having anywhere to live should be considered “extortionate” or “a hostage situation”, not agreeable.

“On average, apartments in West End/Highgate Hill/South Brisbane/Brisbane CBD are renting for one bedroom $480 to $520+ [a week and for] two bedrooms $675 to $850+ [a week],” the email continued.

“If you are not achieving these rents (at a minimum), you should be asking why?”

Jesus fucking Christ. How did we get to a point where landlords are encouraged to self-reflect on why they aren’t making life as difficult as possible for their tenants?

Principal realtor for Ray White West End Luke O’Kelly justified the email and said rental affordability will actually get worse “if investors lose confidence in the Brisbane market”.

“Over the past 12 months, Brisbane has had some of the strongest population growth in the country and this has most clearly shown up in rental growth,” O’Kelly said.

“Right now, Brisbane doesn’t have enough homes for those that want to live here … with rents rising so quickly, Brisbane needs more property investors.”

Just an FYI: one in five empty homes in Australia are actually in Queensland. The state is facing its worst rental crisis in history despite 87,000 homes in the state being empty. So no, it’s not that there aren’t enough houses for the booming population — it’s that they’re being hoarded.

Tenants Queensland chief executive Penny Carr has slammed the email as a display of “opportunistic price-gouging”. It’s honestly reminiscent of when everyone wanted to buy COVID tests so vendors sold them at exorbitant prices. Except this is housing and the consequence of price-gouging is straight up homelessness.

“Rents are unaffordable for people at the moment and tenants are having to absorb increases because of fear of not finding another property or becoming homeless,” she said.

“We should only allow rent increases above CPI if they’re justifiable and there’s been major work to the property or something’s had to be replaced.”

The Greens housing and homelessness spokesperson Max Chandler-Mather also slammed the “flagrant” price-gouging.

“It’s this sort of flagrant price-gouging that demonstrates exactly why we need a national two-year freeze on rent increases,” he told Guardian Australia.

Bring on a national rent freeze so we can squash these landlords like the parasites they are.