Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Renters Claim 'No One Cares'

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Renters Claim 'No One Cares'

Article excerpt

Byline: Tara Cassidy Tara.Cassidy@dailymercury.com.au

DISTRESSED renters say they're feeling hard done by after their landlords and rental agencies have left them in damaged homes following Cyclone Debbie.

From ripped roofs to leaking walls, broken structures, windows and debris, residents from Mackay through to Bowen are claiming they aren't being given any help, some not even a phone call to check whether they're okay or their home still standing.

One Mackay tenant, who wished to remain anonymous as she feared being kicked out of her home, said her place was left with extensive damage and her landlord seemed to "simply not care".

"There are obviously many people whose living situations are much worse than mine but that doesn't mean I or anyone else should be totally forgotten about," she said.

"My home has got broken windows, leaking roof, flood-damaged rooms, some to the point that those areas aren't liveable.

"I went to the landlord and said I understand in due course these things would be fixed but in the meantime perhaps a rent reduction would be possible as the place is now in a terrible state. They just said 'no way' and didn't offer any other options or assistance."

Proserpine tenant Courtney Cheshire said she was in a similar predicament and claims she was told she "wasn't a priority" for her real estate agency, despite them not having visited her property to assess the damage.

"We luckily still have our roof on but because of the cyclone there's a big gap in our lounge room area and all the water has run through the ceiling," Ms Cheshire said.

"I've emailed our real estate three times and rang them.

"They said we're 'not a priority because we still have our roof', even though we said we couldn't live in the place for two weeks and we didn't think the roof could stand it much longer. …

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