The rental crisis is impacting many lives. Read some of the experiences of renters below or share your story.
What WA renters told us
The stories below were sent in to highlight the problems renters are facing across Western Australia.
All of my windows have pretty much rusted shut
All of my windows have pretty much rusted shut. The fitting for my bedroom window just fell through the window and hangs like this on my window sill. When it’s windy it gets blown around and is a terrible racket. I’ve been too scared to tell the real estate agent because last year my roof leaked and they made a really big deal out of it. They didn’t want to get the literally waterlogged, stinking carpets replaced, and when they finally relented they told me I was “lucky” they were replacing the carpets “out of the goodness of their hearts”.
Within an hour after sending the breach notice to the landlord, I was issued with a termination notice
I made numerous reports to my property manager of safety maintenance that required attention that were continually ignored. I followed the advice from the regulatory body, to issue a breach notice to get this maintenance repaired for safe living conditions. I was assured that this would not have any impact on my lease. Within an hour after sending the breach notice to the landlord, I was issued with a termination notice – the reason cited was “unsuitable tenant”.
It is cold out here and I really need something to be done for me and my kids to be housed
I am a Noongar woman from Perth. I have been pushed out of the private rental market with my kids due to the rent increases that we are facing. We were evicted by our landlord at the end of a 12 month fixed term tenancy in June this year. I have got myself onto the Priority List for the Department of Housing but I have been on the wait list for two years with no properties being offered. I am currently living out of my car with no other option for myself and my two daughters – wherever you contact it’s always the same outcome – they are full and also have a waiting list.
I have always had a home of my own since I was 17 years of age and to become homeless at 41 years of age is quite embarrassing. It is cold out here and I really need something to be done for me and my kids to be housed. You see all the stories all over the news on how they are supposed to be supporting First Nations people – well, I am one who needs help immediately.
I’m a successful professional with a good reputation and I still can’t find anywhere since being evicted
I was evicted for no reason while I was away overseas earlier this year. I had lived in the home with no issues for three years and then while I was visiting family in Europe we received notice that they wanted to increase our rent. We responded that they would need to carry out some long overdue repairs if they wanted to charge us more – instead, the real estate moved us onto a periodic tenancy and immediately gave us 60 days notice without grounds.
When I got back to Perth I was forced to move into the studio where I work for a few weeks. All my possessions are still stored in the basement under my office. I’ve also been staying with family in the city and down south while I try to figure out what to do next. I’m a successful professional with a good reputation and I still can’t find anywhere since being evicted. I feel like I’m really experiencing the housing and homelessness crisis that I’ve read so much about over the past couple of years.
I was evicted from my public housing property at the end of a fixed term tenancy last year
I was evicted from my public housing property at the end of a fixed term tenancy last year. We tried to fight it in court but ultimately there was no defence because the Department didn’t need to give a reason to evict us. Since then, myself and my children have been homeless and trying to stay with family in Perth – the kids have had to go back to the country at times when the pressure in the city has got too much.
I have two broken ribs and a ruptured spleen, platinum rods in both my arms and legs that make walking difficult, arthritis and Perthes disease. I receive the Disability Support Pension. My baby brother passed away earlier this year – prior to his passing, I had been his live-in carer at his house. Once he died, I applied to Homeswest to take over the tenancy and stay in his home, which had spiritual significance for me because of the time we’d spent there together, but they refused and I was evicted yet again. That’s twice inside a year.
One of my sons had to move out to live with friends – people should be able to keep their families together
As a sole parent with three children I started renting in 2005 and moving around a lot, every couple of years or so. I have a perfect rental history and great references but most of the time the properties were going up for sale. It was always stressful finding the next rental but now it is an absolutely desperate nightmare of an endeavour. Every time we went to look at a rental these days there’s 80 or 90 other people looking for the same place and trying to apply. You can see and feel the desperation. You can’t apply unless you attend the properties. Some presented via property management, are not fit for habitation full of black mould water damage and needing obvious repairs and still asking $450-490 pw. To me this is criminal, they know they can still rent them at top dollar.
The unit that we are in currently was not big enough for all of us but we had been unsuccessful applicants for over 5 months and I was exceptionally grateful to be given a 12 month lease. The market is so tight already and a lot we simply can not afford. One of my sons had to move out to live with friends – people should be able to keep their families together. Now the landlord has told us that they’re selling so we’re going to have to find somewhere new to live all over again, which is soul destroying. It’s on my mind 24/7. Everyone’s on edge, we see and hear of those families in tents and cars. It just puts so much more pressure on all of us knowing that we have so little security.
I’ve been trying for private rentals but as a single dad with kids to care for it’s been tough to find anyone who’ll give me a go
I am an Aboriginal single dad with several children in my care, including kids the Department of Communities have placed with me. We were evicted from a private rental in Perth earlier this year in a “no reason” termination, despite the real estate repeatedly telling me I had been a good tenant. The owner wanted to jack up the rent because they owned the whole complex. Since then, me and my kids moved to Canarvon at first to stay with my sister and try to find housing there. But even though I have a priority public housing application I’ve had no more help from the government, and I was unable to secure a private rental in Canarvon and couldn’t stay long at my sister’s due to the overcrowding pressure on her family.
Me and four kids are now living out of my car in Geraldton – the Salvos have given us a tent which we sometimes pitch in the bush nearby while. We’re waiting for crisis accommodation but we’ve been told it will be a long wait. I’ve been trying for private rentals but as a single dad with kids to care for it’s been tough to find anyone who’ll give me a go. I’ve always been a good tenant and looked after the place but right now it’s hard to see what our next option is. It’s been a really tough winter since we were evicted just so they could increase all our rents.
When the market was tough I have seen groups of 40+ looking at properties and people offering 6 months rent up front. I was a single parent with 3 daughters and a cat, so how was I supposed to compete with these people
I am a lucky person who has now found a way to purchase a home for my family, but I’m 47 years old and it has taken a long time to get here. Renting was not a nice position to be in as your life was in someone else’s control and at any time a landlord could make your life difficult and force you to move out. When the availability of properties was low you could find yourself living in your car or couch surfing between friends and family. When the market was tough I have seen groups of 40+ looking at properties and people offering 6 months rent up front. I was a single parent with 3 daughters and a cat, so how was I supposed to compete with these people. I can tell you it was humiliating and distressing at times and we were treated extremely poorly by the real estate agents.
When my daughter was very young and suffered asthma, the paint was peeling off the walls and the dust was causing issues with her breathing. We had repeatedly asked permission to repaint her room and were denied each time. I finally asked for these repairs to be made in an email and listed all the problems to be repaired and noted many of them were safety issues and breached the Residential Tenancy Act. The next week we received a 60 day notice to vacate the premises. I checked the Residential Tenancy Act and found that this was illegal, that a landlord cannot issue a 60 days vacate order when a tenant has asked for repairs. I took this matter to court and we won, the judge was disgusted at the way we were treated. But here is the kick in the backside – it took so many weeks to have the matter heard in court that we were forced out of the premises three days before the case.
…I know what it is like to be both a renter and a landlord. The rental system in WA is far worse than anywhere else I have experienced
I have rented a number of homes in Perth in recent years – at the same time I also own property in Victoria and Europe, so I know what it is like to be both a renter and a landlord. The rental system in WA is far worse than anywhere else I have experienced. We have had repeat experiences with real estate and landlords who don’t do their job and refuse to grant us basic rights as renters.
We move into properties where the amenities are broken, spend our own money repairing them because the maintenance is never done when we ask, and then the real estate try to penalise us when we move out. When we left our last house they complained about a fingerprint left on a mirror! We have also experienced real estate lying to us in a bid to evict us from a property when they said the owner was planning to sell – in fact they had no plans to do that but the real estate forged an email. All in all, the situation in Western Australia is geared so heavily against people renting compared to other jurisdictions we have experienced.
We cannot even save to buy a house due to the high cost of renting, so it’s a revolving door of depression and stress
In our last rental (Feb 2021 – Feb 2022) we were paying $410 a week for a TINY 2×1 Apartment, with an excellent agent and good owner. However, they wouldn’t allow us to renew without locking in another 12 months at $450 per week, so we were forced to leave. In our current rental, which is $450 a week for a 3×1 villa, the agent has been very good but owners are reluctant to fix anything. The air con did not work for the first two months of our lease in the peak of summer, there were multiple leaking taps on first day of lease which they were reluctant to fix so my 70 year old dad came over to fix some of them. All the sliding door runners were totally stuffed so we had to replace them (we were too scared to ask), and there was a major ant infestation (which they did address with a pest control company).
The biggest problem we have is these “investors” buy houses and do nothing to them, they just dump people in them paying huge money and then won’t fix anything. We cannot even save to buy a house due to the high cost of renting, so it’s a revolving door of depression and stress.
After living in this property for four years I can get nothing done – some items have been waiting for over two years
After living in this property for four years I can get nothing done – some items have been waiting for over two years. The screen sliding door makes so much noise you cannot open it at night as it may wake the neighbours, while the patio leaks so badly you need an umbrella to go out there. Our front gate was broken due to rust and age, and the fence is the same. The gate eventually got repaired 18 months after reporting it, but we got no deliveries because it could not be opened. The walls in the living room had a bad leak before we moved in, and when I asked for them to be fixed I was told they would be plastered but not painted.
The landlord is not keen to do the repairs but puts the rent up more than we get weekly – because we pay fortnightly we scrape through. It’s not good as we are pensioners with no super and this will be our fifth year in the property. There are numerous problems but, unlike when I was a property manager and landlords fixed the problems as they respected their tenants, now they can treat you as they like and we have no choice as we cannot just move. I would like to remind the real estate owners that their business is valued on their tenanted property list: that is all they have to sell.
I find the overall situation stressful as I feel any minor issue might be used against me to not renew my lease
I received a phone call from our real estate agent at the time exactly 30 days before our lease was due (January 2021), when the eviction moratorium was still in place. The agent told me that the owners will not be renewing the lease, as their financial situation has changed due to Covid-19. A week before this phone call; however, the owners came and inspected the house as they were visiting WA and wanted to inspect the broken dishwasher which we had reported to the agency. During this period, I had a chat with the owners and asked if they were happy to renew the lease, and they said they would want to renew the lease and that they will be following up with the agency for the paperwork, which never happened.
We (the tenants) then went on to look for another house and went to over 15 showings and applied to most of these listings, but with no luck. At the time we were in no position to offer a rent that was higher than what was listed as we were all international students with $30.000 annual income. I think allowing (or encouraging) people to offer a higher rent than what is listed is very unfair and puts those with lower income in a very difficult position. We managed to get a house, only because we were the only applicants to put in an application before a snap lockdown. I find the overall situation stressful as I feel any minor issue might be used against me to not renew my lease.
We were forced to find a new place to live, undergoing the expenditure in time and money, as well as the stressful effects on our physical and mental health
My landlord increased our rent. We agreed in writing, but the landlord and the agency waited over 3 weeks before responding to us. When they did, they increased it again, despite our agreement in writing to the prior increase. We sought advice from Circle Green, who stated the owner and agency were breaching global contract law. Our lease wasn’t renewed on next cycle because we questioned the agent and landlord over the double increase, and the agent even threatened to blacklist us. We were forced to find a new place to live, undergoing the expenditure in time and money, as well as the stressful effects on our physical and mental health that were all completely unnecessary. We moved into a place downstairs, and looked on as the landlord searched for new tenants. Clearly they were in a very good financial position to force us out over what was labelled ‘a misunderstanding’ by the agency and go without rental income for almost 3 months after.
I was about to be kicked out of yet another property until my children stepped in and bought the property to allow me to continue living in it
I’ve always worked, raised kids, a balancing single-mum act. I ALWAYS left the property better than when entering, market value adding and improving gardens etc to leave it in a better condition. Continual financial and emotional and physical costs of moving actually expired some friends, who just gave up wanting to help anymore. Trucks, removalists, trailers, exit fees, entry fees were all wasted money, yet compulsory. Mandated.
The instability of multiple moves – in excess of 20 in 15 years – on my children’s mental health, and social well-being has been impactful in many ways, in spite of trying to keep school changes to a minimum. Not actually possible sometimes.
Anxiety is fuelled by many things. This grim scenario is reflective of the lack of ability to have a home with stability, security and purpose. I was about to be kicked out of yet another property until my children stepped in and bought the property to allow me to continue living in it. After twenty years of moving every time I got evicted I finally had a ceremony where I composted all my cardboard packing boxes in the garden of the home I can now finally consider my own with some security.
In this time of being so unwell I fell behind in rent but came to an agreement of paying $100 a week towards the arrears. They backflipped on this arrangement and issued a termination notice
The thing in this house that is making us so sick is mould the patio and garage flood, I have to wade to my car when it rains the patio floods and then there’s the mouldy down pipe directly outside my bedroom wall that coincidentally has a massive mould patch in. Every room on one side of the house had mould that’s 3x bedrooms 2 bathrooms, toilet, laundry and activity room. There is clearly leaking gutters and/ or downpipes causing these issues. The only action taken to rectify these issues was a handyman who told me to move my sons bed as there was water above the bulkhead and it could collapse, he recommended gutter testing to the landlord but that was too expensive and has never happened.
In this time of being so unwell I fell behind in rent but came to an agreement of paying $100 a week towards the arrears. They backflipped on this arrangement and issued a termination notice. I cleared all arrears prior to the court date but they still want me out so yep I will be evicted very soon. I firmly believe they want me out as they are not willing to fix these issues as they are too expensive and they know I will keep complaining. I first brought these maintenance issues to the real estates attention on 19 April. Nothing had been done to rectify the mould and we have been forced to live through hell because of this and you know what? They are just going to try and rent this place out for a higher rent putting other people into this toxic environment, it’s disgusting
Our lease ends in 6 weeks, and we are just crossing our fingers that something comes up soon or that we are able to stay where we are
When my husband was offered a promotion to a role in Karratha, we put our house in Perth on the market and started looking for a rental. We are in the very fortunate position of my husband’s company paying ¾ of the rent. This gave us a large budget and yet we missed out on lease after lease because mining companies were offering hundreds more than the advertised rent. In the end, we offered an extra $200 a week ($950) out of desperation to secure a property, a somewhat modern 3×2 with no dishwasher, and just a narrow strip of lawn out the back.
We specifically asked if the owner had plans to sell before applying, yet 9 months into the 12-month lease the house was put on the market. We’ve done home opens for the last 5 weeks, causing disruption to our lives and stress to our pets. The agent said if we renew the lease with the current owners or with a buyer who wants to keep us on as tenants, the rent will go up to $1100 a week. So far we’ve only found one rental property that’s suitable for us for $1000 a week with a 6-month lease, and it’s also for sale. So in all likelihood, we’d end up doing this all over again. When we went to apply there was a note from the agent to expect a 20% rent increase in 6 months.
Our lease ends in 6 weeks, and we are just crossing our fingers that something comes up soon or that we are able to stay where we are.
The children have suffered the worst. It is a guilt no parent should ever know. It is a guilt thrust upon us that was entirely beyond our control
Our family was dealt some terrible news again on the 29/09/2021 which has seen us flee our rental of almost 4yrs to face the madness of the current WA Rental Housing Crisis. We know we are not the only ones.
We registered with EntryPoint 10/09 after we foresaw vaguely how our situation was going down beyond our control. Owner wanted to sell – like many others – we didn’t have anywhere to go having tried to leave the last year already however our situation didn’t make things any easier – we paid right up to the end and managed our best to leave the house in as best condition as possible given the time we were very unfairly given to vacate. The children have suffered the worst. It is a guilt no parent should ever know. It is a guilt thrust upon us that was entirely beyond our control – the kids know this from what they personally heard and saw of the whole matter.
We are on the public housing waitlist already which is still backlogged and they are only working off 2017 lists now. Services are inundated and as mentioned before we know we are not the only ones. Lifeline has been on speed-dial and Carers WA helped as much as they could with counsellings. Hats off to all these people on the front and in the backgrounds.
To speak to a Lifeline Crisis Supporter, phone: 13 11 14
Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.