Escaping an unsafe and insecure rental nightmare

Published on 11/04/2017

Kellie and her son Elijah, tenants on the Central Coast
Kellie and her son Elijah, tenants on the Central Coast

Kellie and her son Elijah are tenants on the Central Coast. At their previous place the landlord failed to abide by the agreement and renting laws in a number of ways. So Kellie got advice from Central Coast Tenants Advice and wrote to the landlord to assert her rights. She also went to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to seek compensation for the landlord’s failure to do repairs and an illegal lockout. Although she was unsuccessful at the Tribunal, Kellie did manage to get rehoused in a better place.

When I moved in I gave the landlord all the bond, but he didn’t lodge it with the Rental Bond Board.

The place was really unsafe – there were no proper locks. Also, there wasn’t a proper pool fence, which was a real danger for my young son Elijah. The pool was green anyway. There was so much mould it was eating through a wall – I watched a five foot wall gradually collapse!

There was also no privacy. The landlord used to walk around at all hours of the night and look in at the windows. He kept coming in without permission.

When I tried to assert my rights, the landlord gave me an illegal 14-day eviction notice, and also illegally locked me out of the property three times. He’s a real backyard bully: he kept abusing me and made me feel like I was going crazy.

I found the number for the Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service on the internet and spoke to the people at Central Coast TAAS. They were really helpful. Glenda from Central Coast TAAS is a really gutsy woman! She helped me go to the Tribunal and also to find a new place.

My heart is so much lighter and I can sleep at night.