A Sydney tenant has claimed that her landlord has lowered the price of her identical neighbouring rental by 100 bucks after they used it as a comparable property during her tribunal hearing.
ICYMI: PEDESTRIAN.TV writer and viral TikToker Chantelle Schmidt has been documenting her process of taking her landlord to the NSW Civil Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) on TikTok, where she challenged their $350-a-week rent spike alongside a list of issues they had with the property, including mould and pest infestations.
Ultimately, the tribunal outcome was not in Schmidt’s favour. She also made it a note that the hearing used an identical neighbouring rental (which is owned by the same landlord) as a comparable property, as it was listed for $1300.
After Schmidt revealed that she would be leaving the property due to the tribunal outcome, she soon shared another fucked update on her TikTok. Schmidt and her housemates discovered that the neighbouring rental, which was used in the tribunal hearing, was now listed for 100 bucks cheaper.
And that, my folks, is karma.
“We check Realestate.com.au to see the listing online. We don’t see our address but we do see next door. Next door is listed for $1200. Next door was told their rent was gonna go up to $1300 at the exact same time as us,” Schmidt claimed.
She then revealed that the neighbours ultimately did not take the increase to tribunal, and they just vacated the property.
“It’s been vacant for almost two months now. It was on the market for $1300 but they [landlord or property manager] had to bring it down. They brought that price down only after the tribunal hearing we had come and gone,” She said.
“Like it’s actually laughable at this point. Imagine how I feel going through three months of the tribunal process to get $50 off when the property manager (or landlord) has decided that it’s worth $100 off, and look, it might even continue to go down.”
It truly just solidifies that Schmidt was always in the right. We’re literally in a housing crisis and no one is going to be paying that excessive amount for a sharehouse in Redfern.
The landlords, property manager and whoever else was involved will now be losing money. I think Kim Kardashian said it best with her iconic quote:
Sean, who is reportedly the neighbour of Schmidt and was the previous tenant of the $1300 identical neighbouring house, also spoke about their experience with the landlord on their TikTok.
As mentioned earlier, Schmidt’s rental horror story first began when she copped a $350 increase on her share house.
At first, the landlord didn’t want to negotiate the increase amount so Schmidt decided to challenge the increase by taking the case to the NCAT. Along with the rent increase dispute, Schmidt included a list of repairs that she had been following up with the real estate agent.
As a result, the landlord popped in for a visit.
Schmidt took him through the house going through the list of issues she submitted to the NCAT. While it wasn’t the first time she’d made contact about these issues, which included mould and water damage, he said that he was unaware of these problems but was willing to send a painter to cover it up.
He also stated that he’d already fixed the water issues by sending a roofer despite Schmidt not noticing a roofer attending to the property.
But things got a bit awkward when the landlord asked her what she did for work, and whether it paid well.
“I wasn’t really expecting to have any personal chat just based off the way the dynamic was working up until that point,” she said.
Schmidt said she was uncomfortable by the interaction and felt that the questioning was inappropriate.
In the video posted in April, Schmidt detailed what happened when she attempted to take the case to the NCAT.
In the submission, Schmidt alleged that the rent increase is “excessive” and that parts of the property are “unusable”, “uninhabitable” or “destroyed” and require urgent repair.
She then revealed that two days after the tribunal submission was handed in, the house was set to have a routine inspection.
This was planned prior to the submission and wasn’t organised in response to the submission being made.
At the inspection, the real estate agent inspected the property and sussed out all the things needed a good ol’ fixeroo. A handyman also inspected the damages during a separate visit that same week.
At this point, everyone is seemingly aware the property needs a little attention.
Schmidt is then informed that the landlord was suddenly happy to negotiate and was willing to offer a ~whopping~ $50 reduction on the initial increase.
Yep. Just 50 smackers.
$350 per week increase too much? Here, try $300 instead.
So how did this all start?
Back in February, Schmidt posted a letter she received on TikTok informing her that her rent would increase from $1900 to $2600 a fortnight. That’s a jump of $1400 a month. A fucking month!!!
In the letter, they explained that the jump was only to “bring rent in line with what the current market is achieving.”
Sadly, they aren’t wrong about the demand for rental properties being fucked at the moment, but it doesn’t mean landlords should take advantage of desperate people.
It’s so grim out there, that some people are legitimately renting their own balcony for $300 a week.
After going viral for that cooked letter, plenty of people expressed their concerns online and some even provided some good advice. Schmidt took some of that advice on and revealed that she tried to negotiate.
She argued that other three-bedroom rentals in the Sydney suburb of Redfern were less expensive had more desirable qualities, like three bathrooms and no construction on the street.
However, the agent wrote back and said: “I have spoken to the landlord and unfortunately he was very stern about not negotiating the increase.”
“The rent has been cheap for quite some time and we are confident that we could relet the property at the increased amount. Sorry I couldn’t be a bearer of better news,” the agent added.
PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke to Chantelle Schmidt about the disappointing news from her Sydney landlord, and she explained what her next steps might be now that she knows the increase is imminent.
“People have been suggesting that I move out and find another place, but it’s just not as simple as that,” she said. “In fact, it’s incredibly bloody risky given the current supply and demand issue.”
“I’m definitely not the only one going through this — far from it,” she continued.
“Renters are feeling like their hands are tied and they are being backed into a corner. Hopefully sharing the process can assist others who are also copping this at the moment, and fingers crossed we see some limits on rental increases in the near future.”
Schmidt also said that she hasn’t given up just yet, and she’ll be making more moves in the coming weeks.
“The advice I’ve been receiving online has been invaluable to our household, and we’ll be taking them on board and exploring them over the coming weeks. There are decisions that need to be made at an individual and household level; it’s not so clearcut,” Schmidt said.
Last week, Schmidt revealed that she would be going back home to “mother dearest” due to the outcome of the tribunal.
“We’re not stoked that it came to this. I definitely had higher hopes for the tribunal outcome and it’s wild to me that you can still get an increase of over 30 per cent in one go,” Schmidt said.
Many folks who have followed Schmidt’s journey have expressed their support for the TikToker, with one person telling Schmidt: “You should be proud of the way you handled all this. You’re an amazing young woman.”