A Sydney woman was issued an eviction notice after talking about her $300 rent increase in the media.
Renter Kristina Gram received an eviction notice after an article quoting her was published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Gram, a firefighter, said she received notice her rent would be increasing from $800pw to $1100pw. She countered with $975, but her property manager came back with $1200pw, a 50 per cent increase from her previous rent.
She spoke about the ordeal to the Sydney Morning Herald, saying that she was shocked by the response. The next day, an eviction notice was issued.
“It’s a low blow. I was absolutely gobsmacked to get the email,” she said to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“My reasoning for talking about it was about raising awareness. It’s not just me. It’s a lot of parents, single parents with kids in the same situation. It puts people off from speaking up.”
The agent representing the landlord told the Sydney Morning Herald that they had not read the initial story. They said the landlord’s family was navigating personal health challenges affecting both members that have significantly influenced their decisions.
They also said the rent offer was below market price.
Changes to rental market called for
Although no cause evictions are fully legal in New South Wales, there are calls to change that as the ongoing rental crisis means those evicted struggle to find alternative housing.
NSW Rental Commissioner Trina Jones said she would make recommendations on proposed changes to the state government after further consultation.
“I strongly oppose unfair evictions and for this reason, my priority is on getting this element of the package right,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Renters tell me about the stress they are under, and we are working hard to ensure there are protections in place.”
Sydney has felt the brunt of the country’s rental crisis, with the city containing 10 of Australia’s most expensive suburbs to rent. Nationwide, the vacancy rate for rentals is at its lowest ever, driving up rents and pushing people into share houses.
New South Wales Renters Union CEO Leo Patterson Ross said changes needed to be made to make renting a long term option for people.
“The government has designed a rental system that is unattractive,” he told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
“It’s a flawed model and we can learn from many other countries that have renting as a much more viable system. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Patterson Ross said making rules fairer for renters would ease the market for renters and homeowners alike.