Advertisement

As rents keep climbing, there’s one outlet for tenants to vent

Many tenants in Australia face living in sub-standard rental properties while paying exorbitant rents.

Many tenants in Australia face living in sub-standard rental properties while paying exorbitant rents. Photo: Shutterstock

Australian renters are flocking to a new online platform to vent about rentals, landlords and real estate agents as millions struggle with soaring rents.

Social media creator Jordan van den Berg has created a website that allows tenants to publish reviews of their rental properties and agents, shining a light over the horrid living conditions many Australians are suffering amid the rental crisis.

Called sh-trentals.org, the initiative has already drawn more than 1200 reviews from tenants despite only being launched a week ago, giving landlords a blast for their rundown properties.

Van Den Berg said he’s been making TikTok videos reviewing “sh–ty” rentals for three years, but had become so overwhelmed by the volume of submissions that a review platform was needed.

“It’s not right for renters to have to rely on some white dude on TikTok to make a video for their voices to be heard,” Van Den Berg said.

A platform for all

“I wanted to make a platform where everyone can share their experiences.”

Users can submit reviews about both rental properties and real estate agents on the platform, with the website designed to help renters find out about bad rentals before signing a lease.

Some of the reviews already posted to the website include complaints about properties that are infested with mould, are in need of dire repairs and in some cases are even unsafe to occupy.

Renters have praised Van Den Berg’s platform, but landlords and real estate agents aren’t so enthusiastic about their properties and practices being exposed online.

Van Den Berg said “it’s pretty time consuming” dealing with their complaints and threats over reviews posted on the website, but that it’s ultimately worth it because renters need a voice.

“Renters have a right to be heard and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Van Den Berg said.

“I do have dreams for it not just to be a review website, I want it to be somewhere tenants can go to to get resources too.”

Rental pressures

Meanwhile, fresh data shows many tenants across the nation are set to face even higher rents in the coming year.

InvestorKit predicts increases between $2600 and $3990 annually await renters in the hardest-hit areas over the next 12 to 24 months, with 20 regions in particular set to face the biggest rises.

Junge Ma, a research analyst for InvestorKit, said high demand and low supply are the key factors behind ongoing rent increases, which are likely to be between 10 and 15 per cent across Sydney and Melbourne.

“The [increase] is approximately $50 to $70 per week in the next one to two years,” she said.

InvestorKit founder Arjun Paliwal said Australia’s two largest markets will endure acute rental pressures in coming years.

Shortage across Australia

Rents in Sydney and Melbourne have already risen about 9 per cent on average in the past year alone.

“Australia’s capital cities are experiencing a strong bounce back, with strengthening migration, the return of international students, and Australians flocking back to CBDs. We have seen this especially in the Melbourne and Sydney markets,” Paliwal said.

“Internal migration is also an emerging trend this year, with Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia proving popular due to employment opportunities and strong lifestyle factors, but greater market affordability.”

Tenants in Adelaide are also set to be squeezed, with rental returns having risen 11 per cent in the past 12 months.

“Adelaide’s internal migration is quickly turning from negative to positive. Its net overseas migration trend has reached the highest point in over a decade, and risk of oversupply in the market is limited,” Paliwal said.

Other markets set to see rent pressures continue in the next two years include the Upper Hunter region in New South Wales, Townsville in Queensland, and Bunbury in Western Australia.

Advertisement
Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.