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HomeNewsLandlords claim $50k of damage done to rental in Cairns, Queensland

Landlords claim $50k of damage done to rental in Cairns, Queensland

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A couple in Queensland say they have been left “broken” and face a $50,000 damage bill after tenants allegedly destroyed their house.

Footage of the three-bedroom home in Cairns showed smashed windows, holes in the walls and rubbish and other junk scattered throughout the property.

“Because she had to leave, she killed it, she vandalised it with no respect for anything,” an emotional Sharlyne Smith told 7 News Cairns.

Her husband, Stephen, said they did not have the money to repair the home.

“It’s still your home. You own the home. (When) you’re renting a home, you don’t own that home. It should be respected. Where am I going to get help for this? Our insurance won’t cover it,” he said.

Mrs Smith said the situation had “broken” her.

“It’s absolutely devastated me,” she said.

Local real estate agent Tom Quaid, who is a zone chair for the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, told 7 News Cairns it was an extreme case but served as a reminder for landlords to ensure they are checking on their property through rental inspections.

Other landlords and renters have shared their outrage at the state of the Smith family’s house.

“We have rented homes for 35 years and treated them as our own. This is absolutely 100% a disgrace,” wrote one woman.

“I’m so sorry this has happened to you. My landlady leaves me alone … no wonder why! Need more tenants like me in the rental market. I treat any home I live in like it’s my home with perfection. But then again … that’s how some people live! Disgraceful,” another said.

“This is why there should be a Australia wide black list and can not get off it until you have paid for the damage you have caused or paid the rent you owe,” one person suggested.

The story was a kick in the guts to those struggling to find a home amid Australia’s rental crisis.

“Tenants like this make it hard for people like me with a family of 4 whose trying to find a rental property. I mean literally we are clean neat and tidy couple with 2 children and we keep getting rejected. All I want is to put a roof over my children’s head,” one woman wrote.

“It baffles me how people like this even have a rental property when so many good tenants are being rejected,” said another.

A third added: “This is why landlords aren’t renting out their homes and just letting them sit to gain value instead. Laws need to be tougher on tenants like this.”

The number of rentals available nationally hit its lowest level in almost two decades in September, according to the latest rental report from PropTrack.

The total number of rental properties listed on realestate.com.au declined 20.5 per cent year-on-year.

The same report showed Australia had witnessed the fastest quarterly rise in rental prices on record.

Median weekly advertised rents increased 4.3 per cent. That brought the year-on-year rise to 10.3 per cent, also the largest annual rise on-record.

When the report was released last month, PropTrack director of economic research Cameron Kusher said Australia was experiencing the “tightest rental market we’ve ever seen”.

“It’s a big challenge for renters and ultimately impacts low-income workers and essential workers the most,” he said.

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Story Credit: news.com.au

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