People Are Sharing Their Terrible Renting Experiences In Australia And It's Too Real

"Landlord had installed fake smoke alarms. When we asked about it they accused us of selling the real ones."

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On Wednesday consumer advocate group Choice co-published a report on the "war zone" relationship between tenants and home owners.

A study by CHOICE, @NationalShelter & #NATO has found many renters live in unsafe or unfit homes:… https://t.co/4vxlY34UWR

According to the Unsettled: Life in Australia's Private Rental Market report – co-authored by Choice, the National Association of Tenants' Organisations and peak housing body for low-income earners National Shelter – "thousands of tenants are being discriminated against and live in a climate of fear".

The report argues that rental rights in Australia have fallen far behind other developed countries. It cites "thousands" of tenants who are being discriminated against, as well as "blacklists" for so-called "bad" tenants who have lodged a complaint or tried to exercise their rights.

"It's hard to imagine a product or service this poor in any other sector," said Choice CEO Alan Kirkland. "With renting, consumers have to deal with major quality issues like mould or flooding, and are systematically denied access to a timely remedy."

Shortly after the report was published people started sharing their own rental horror stories with the hashtag #RentInOz. And boy, there are some doozies.

From debating whether asbestos is real:

"Asbestos is a myth" -- My old real estate agent, as he broke up sheets of asbestos from the property and threw them in his car. #RentInOz

To unavoidable charges:

Lease ends on Sunday. Office closed and can't return keys on a Sunday. Charged $98 for not returning keys on Sunday. #RentInOz

And a bunch of other stories:

#RentInOZ Landlord had installed fake smoke alarms. When we asked about it they accused us of selling the real ones.

#RentInOZ having $500 taken off the bond to mow. the. lawn

#RentInOZ asked to leave a property by 23 December, living in a high tourism area. I was 9 months pregnant.

#RentInOZ yellow water coming from all taps. Landlord refuses to fix, claimed lease only states water needs to be connected, not drinkable

When the bathroom fan broke and mould started to appear in the bathroom, they told us to shower w/ door open bc 'you're all girls' #RentinOz

The time a black mass of mold developed inside the shower nozzle and the landlord sent his Portuguese cousin to suck it out #RentinOz

Choice is calling on the federal government to prioritise rental security in Australia, rather than focusing all attention on home buyers. The punters know what time it is.

As you make your way through the #rentinoz hashtag, recall that the priority for our government is increasing the value of those properties.

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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