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Keith's story

When we went to Tribunal the landlord said "I’m selling the property." It was a lie, actions speak louder than words. When we moved, he gave the inside of the property a lick of paint, put the rent up $35 and re-leased it.

Keith

I met my wife Pella about 15 years ago and we’ve been renting for the last 14 years. We’ve lived in seven properties in that time. We’ve been evicted six times. We’re sick of moving. In 2008 we got evicted twice within a 12 month period.

The last property we got evicted from was probably the worst. It was a ‘no grounds’ eviction. My mother in law was living with us. She was very frail, in fact she was in hospital when we were forced to move and she has since passed. We got the eviction in February, but we contested it as a retaliatory eviction because we had asked for a hole in the ceiling to be repaired. Vermin had got in and eaten a hole in the ceiling.

When we went to Tribunal the landlord said “I’m selling the property.” It was a lie, actions speak louder than words. When we moved, he gave the inside of the property a lick of paint, put the rent up $35 and re-leased it.

That eviction totally upended our lives. Every time we move it costs about $3,000. Constant moving has put my family in a financial hole.

It puts a strain on your relationship with your partner, puts a strain on the whole family. My daughter who is 11 has lived in six different houses. Each time she changes schools – she has a new teacher, a new class, we need to buy new uniforms, she moves away from friends. We have to rent a truck, redirect the mail. There’s the financial stress, emotional stress, and ongoing anxiety.

It’s the anxiety of going to the letter box and seeing a letter from the managing agent and you cross your fingers and you hope: oh my god I hope it’s just the water bill.

My family is sick of moving.