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Had a bad experience renting? Tell your story to the media

An audit of more than 300 random estate agents by NSW Fair Trading has found one-in-five is practising with out-of-date qualifications.

Had five units, purchased over time as I believe in spreading the financial risk. Every cheque received had something taken out for repairs, replacing light globes was very regular one, or some other “charge” Real estate agents are glorified car salesmen or politicians, all talk with a forked tongue. Finally cracked a wobbly and sold the lot and would never contemplate residential properties ever again. Quite happy now collecting regular dividend cheques from a variety of companies and sleep well at night,

Same here, moved interstate - my experience was the tenant didn’t abide by a number of the conditions and were frequently late in paying rent. I gave them a few months notice to leave so the house could be sold, granted an extension when asked - then found the house had been badly treated and didn’t get the rent for the extension that had been granted. They lost their bond, which went a fraction of the way towards repairs. Got a positive judgement from the tribunal but the debt collector couldn’t get the cash - they were living in a nearby town under a different name, I managed to track them down. Later found the tenant had been taken to court for fraud and corporate mismanagement by the federal government - got a fine but essentially got away with it … and millions of dollars missing. Could almost write a novel, but nobody would believe it :slight_smile:

Community legal service Westjustice has highlighted that renters might not be covered by insurance in the event of damage to a landlord’s property:


I had a bad experience when inquiring by online form and phone message about a rental property a Harcourts Caloundra in Queensland that we were very keen to view. A day or so later (actually 2 days) there had been zero response so I put a one star review on Google Review. Well that unleashed a tirade of abuse and insults from the Owner and Principal of the agency (who also happened to be the owner of the property) and he was somehow able to have my Google Review removed. So I put another review of his facebook page that was also removed.

At 8.13pm on 26 September 2019 the Owner emailed the following insults to me to accompany insults he had previously delivered.

“You are a pathetic individual and a bankrupt fool. You have nothing to offer the world other than your aggression and irrational argument you will die a lonely man. That itself is incredible satisfaction”.

I was so annoyed by this behaviour and the management at Harcourts Australia giving me the virtual finger, when they publish such glowing values about themselves, I decided to award this bunch with one of my free websites.

Read all about it at: Harcourts Rentals. or Harcourts Report or Harcourts Caloundra.

No way would we want to rent from this Lunatic Landlord.

Is this departure from published representations about Values and Philosophy, a contravention of the ACL?


Have you tried posting on ProductReview where your post cannot be removed by anyone else.

Whilst there is only one of the 263 reviews for Harcourts which specifically mentions Harcourts Caloundra, some 211 1-star reviews from a total of 263 reviews for Harcourts pretty much leaves little doubt regarding just what sort of organisation they wre.


Yes thanks Fred123, I forgot to mention my post on Product Review

I am progressively linking the remaining couple of hundred 1 star reviews on PR to my website as listed above.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Lunatic landlord

Wow, sounds like it is lucky you didn’t become involved @gordonc. I’ve shared your experience with our campaigns team working on rental issues.


Thanks Brendan, just did a legal opinion at:


It is not just big name/big brand real estate agents who leave a lot to be desired.

A local yokel persisted in leaving a large metal sandwich board on the roundabout at the bottom of our street for the last couple of months.

The board was an Open Home sign with an arrow pointing up the street despite this character not having any such listing other than some residual unsold blocks of land from the subdivision some 20- odd years ago.

I finally complained to our Council a couple of weeks ago about this behaviour of treating the city and residents with contempt, and last week Council lawnmowing staff had to actually move the board so as to mow the roundabout.

I called again today and the sign has been confiscated .

Whilst this “agent” apparently does not seem to need to actually have a website or Facebook page. their Google reviews seem to adquately cover everything, as if one ignores the one questionable 5-star review, it leaves the remaining four 1-star reviews mirroring my impression of this 'business".

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Lunatic landlord, does he contravene the ACL?

As a more general observation on renting.

How significant are the behaviours of the agents in delivering good outcomes for prospective tenants?

The market place consists of three interested parties, Landlords, Agents, and Tenants. There is also a legal and regulated framework typically administered at State level. Effectively a system of regulated contracts.

From a rental agent’s viewpoint whose needs do the agents best serve? Objectively an Agency’s value is in the number of properties it manages. The more the better. The availability of tenants is simply a demand condition, ostensibly one the agent has little control over. Less demand might lower the rents, but for the agents with a portion of income from fees fixed, the risks are less the larger your letting base. Rental agents will always prioritise the interests of the Landlord, to the extent the law permits.

If there are needs for reform and action it is at the level of tenants rights and the state level authorities responsible for their administration. The state regulations and administrations provide for resolution at an individual level, failing which there is always a personal court action.


Overall well posted @mark_m. However the last conclusion - renters are also often more vulnerable from their nous to financial viability. Personal court action is often a pie in the sky option for them in many ways.

An interested, no cost oversight office with enough teeth to enforce rights and issue penalties to slumlords and those landlords who take advantage by overstepping would probably be welcome to even the playing field.

As it is today, make a complaint about your rental and potentialy be evicted and black listed. Personal court action to what real end?


“The good news? A complaint by a landlord or property manager must be presented to you in writing before it’s lodged with a tenancy database.”
And in QLD:

It appears it is not as easy as some tenants fear, for a tenant to be blacklisted.

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As if dodgy landlords do not know how to push the limits, and when one discovers they are on a list or receives notice they will be put on one, the angst and process don’t often clear overnight or even quickly.

Rules and reality often are incongruent, are they not?

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Yes they certainly are, but in the circumstances of being black listed, the tenant will become aware of such an attempt, because the tenant’s side of it must first be obtained.

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Would an agent, keen on letting a property take that into account or would s/he be more inclined to let to the best and brightest and tidiest applicant? No need to answer unless you disagree with how it would work in a practical sense.

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I agree, it is a journey with limited potential for future renting. Certainly no need for any agent to look your name up on a list thereafter.

I was hoping only to draw a comparison with how the ACCC sees it’s role in administering the ACL and the generalisation that the ACCC does not seek action in response to individuals representations. Rental agreements are state managed.

In the state managed systems it is unlikely any dispute between a tenant, agent and landlord will progress to a formal court hearing. It is a progressive approach that is intended to minimise that outcome. Although simply taking an agent on as a tenant may have the same personal consequences as if they had lost with costs in court.

In principal the change referred to by

Is recognition there is a real concern. Whether it delivers a positive change or serves only as window dressing, it will soon be all too apparent?


Long after this topic started, but this one reads like the classic case of a bad landlord and/or terrible management company. Rather than getting a liveable home in return for rent the family could be getting all sorts of problems, the least being a financial hit, being blacklisted, a negative credit report, and potentially having to deal with a suit if they stop paying rent and leave.