When the tenants of a dilapidated, waterlogged, mold-infested and asbestos-ridden rental property asked to have the obvious problems fixed in the unsafe home, they were promptly given an eviction notice.
Tenants had been paying $1,600 a month to live in the nearly uninhabitable house on Gordon Street in Maribyrnong, Melbourne’s inner west.
After repeatedly asking for urgent repairs, the landlord’s real estate agent told the tenants they would be charged an additional $50 a week in rent.
The tenants responded with a notice of non-compliance demanding urgent repairs due to security issues at the home, only to be told they had to vacate the premises by July 22 to allow the landlord to renovate the property.
On Thursday, tenant advocate Jordie van den Berg took TikTok viewers on a guided tour of the filthy, dilapidated house as part of his ‘S*** Rentals of Melbourne’ series.
A Melbourne rental property has carpet so sodden that tenants have put up walking planks
“The property is pretty fucked up as it looks shortly,” commented Mr. van den Berg deadpan.
Starting at the main entrance, Mr van den Berg showed a dodgy-looking electrical panel, which he described as “older than me”.
To keep from tripping on the crumbling brick steps, she reached through the gaping holes in the screen door at the property’s entrance.
A water-soaked brown carpet sloshed underfoot, and the tenants laid up wooden planks to keep their feet from getting wet.
The carpet was so wet that small plants were growing.
Van den Berg filmed the dripping shower in the bathroom, which he said never stopped.
“The bathroom is covered in recurring black mold that the tenants keep cleaning and it keeps coming back,” he said.
It was revealed that under the house, the shower drain pipe was disconnected and the water had collected in a large pool amid a sea of mud and debris.
Maribyrnong’s home is riddled with mold, asbestos, and has crumbling walls and a leaky roof.
“It’s also a fun fact that it’s asbestos,” said Mr. van den Berg showing a hole in the plasterboard.
Back in the main house, van den Berg panned over the alarming cracks in the walls.
“This place is literally falling apart,” he said.
Removing the aluminum foil taped to the wall above the non-functioning oven, van den Berg pointed to more asbestos.
“When it rains outside, it also rains inside the kitchen,” he said while filming a giant crack in the ceiling.
He also said that the shed was made entirely of asbestos.
The tenants claim that no municipal permit has been issued for the renovation and have appealed their case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Court.
Tenants of the property have two months to vacate after issuing a notice of default on the condition of the house.
With nowhere to go, renters fear being homeless, especially since rental properties are so hard to come by in Melbourne.
“I have nowhere to go,” a second tenant told the Herald Sun.
“We have requested about 20 rentals and we don’t have any. We go to the houses and there are many other people there.
The agent has confirmed that the tenants have been asked to leave.
“The property is in urgent need of repair and requires a lot of work,” the agent said in a lawyer’s statement.
‘Therefore, the rental provider will renovate the house immediately after the tenant vacates, which is estimated to take up to 14 weeks.
Jordie van den Berg campaigns on behalf of tenants and documents the appalling properties they are forced to live in.
‘These works cannot be carried out while the tenants are living in the property.
“For this reason, the rental provider has directed us to issue the notice to vacate under section 91ZX of the Residential Tenancies Act, giving the required 60-day notice.”
Victoria introduced mandatory minimum standards for rental properties in 2021.
A government spokesperson told the Herald Sun that “we hope all landlords, agents and rental providers follow the law because all Victorians deserve a safe roof over their heads – deterioration of a rental property is not acceptable.” .