Housing storm as rental prices sky-rocket in paradise – Australia News


THE Whitsundays is in the grip of an accommodation crisis, with an industry source claiming some landlords are taking advantage of increased demand for rentals from tradespeople post-Cyclone Debbie at the expense of locals.

“From what I can see there is a culture of injustice,” the real estate insider said.

“We had a tropical cyclone rip through and then what we have is an influx of tradespeople and now their families are moving here to either buy or rent our properties.

“There is local people, single mums and families… (who) are not being looked after by our own professional people in the real estate industry.”

Dealing with the housing crisis first hand is Whitsunday Neighbour Centre executive officer Rebecca Woods.

She had witnessed tenants being evicted on the grounds their rental properties were “unliveable” in the immediate wake of Cyclone Debbie.

Ms Woods said five months on leases were allowed to expire and tenants were given the option to sign a new lease and accept a rental increase or vacate the property.

“People are just taking the higher rate because they feel they have no other option,” she said.

“Ultimately the landlord gets their rental increase and they get the tenants as well.

“At the end of the day it is their property and the law is always going to back them.”

Ms Woods said the Whitsunday Housing Company and the Department of Housing has no stock in the Whitsundays.

“They are literally waiting for someone to move out in order to move someone else in,” she said.

“But in Bowen they do have stock and in Mackay they do have stock, a lot of families are having to move to those areas if they want to live in affordable housing.

“Or they can couch…

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