Housing stories

We're looking for Queensland residents who would like to share their story about housing in Queensland.

Share Your Housing Story!

Are you a renter? Struggling to pay off the mortgage or afford rent? Feel like you can't treat your rental property as a home? We're looking for Queensland residents who would like to share their story about housing in Queensland. 

1 in 5 Queenslanders are facing some level of housing stress - spending 30% or more of their income on rent or mortgages.

Nearly half of the residents of Brisbane are renters, yet we have one of the most expensive and unregulated rental markets in the world. Many renters are facing the stress of short leases, unsafe homes and undue pressure from landlords and real estate agents. Meanwhile, nearly 30,000 people are on the waiting list for social housing.

We need urgent action to improve housing conditions and affordability.

We're looking for renters, homeowners, or people sleeping rough, who would be happy to share their story in a video or by text, which will be used to start to build up a state-wide campaign to improve renters rights and housing affordability. Even if you don't feel comfortable being filmed, share your story below and it will be featured on this page. 

Once you share your story we'll be in touch to see if you'd be comfortable appearing on video to talk about your experience. If not, that's completely fine. Just by putting your experience in text you're helping to raise awareness about the growing housing crisis in Australia. We'll be sharing stories online, and recording videos throughout Brisbane.

Showing 18 reactions

  • commented 2017-11-02 21:23:16 +1000
    Does anyone have any good stories? I’ve been a renter all my life with some terrible agents/landlords but now the table has turned and I’ll be renting my house and would like to use an ethical agent. It would be great if this was made more transparent for landlords.
  • commented 2017-08-19 06:27:21 +1000
    I am a tenant at present but after a long working history in the consutrction game I am not sure more regulation is the answer. These conversations and some lateral thinking may present answers where at present none appear. Do we need rental agencies? Do we need rents to reflect the geographical locality of the property? Is the current system working?
  • commented 2017-08-01 21:54:15 +1000
    I’ve been renting for 15yrs & will never be able to afford my own property due to the low award wage in my industry. I’ve had some of the most awful experiences renting during this time that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.


    The worst was a house in Oxley I lived in alone for a year. The owner took it upon himself to drop in whenever he felt like checking up on what I was doing. He did not inform real estate so there were never any formal entry notices. He would always be sure to leave something behind like a pen or measuring tape so I’d know he’d been there. Sometimes he’d move my shit around to where he wanted it. I was always scared I would come home & find him in the house snooping through my things. It was seriously creepy. Reports of this to real estate got me nowhere.


    My bedroom had a mould problem. Thick, black mould would creep up the walls & in from the roof onto the ceiling. It would come back as soon as I cleaned it away. The owner claims there was no mould problem & no leaks. He never got a professional to come look though. Again, real estate did nothing.
    The place was so draughty & cold I would freeze all night even with multiple blankets & layers of clothes. I would scrunch up into a ball & not move all night & wake up stiff & aching. In the morning there would be a layer of ice on my top blanket. Not even exaggerating.


    In the 2011 floods my street got completely wiped out except for my house & the one next door. I was given a month’s grace from paying rent because I couldn’t get back into the street or house until after the cleanup. I think the government enforced that as a legal requirement after a natural disaster. After a month there was still no hot water in the house due to a supply issue with replacement hot water systems. I had to move back in & live there with no hot water for 2 weeks because the owner refused to give me 2 more weeks rent free.


    The neighbours had warned me that no tenant had ever gotten their bond back when they moved out. I spent an entire week scrubbing that place top to bottom. The owner claimed I left holes punched in the walls & ripped doors off their hinges & refused to refund my bond. He had been watching me so much he could even describe intimate details from my life & tried to use them against me such as the time I looked after a stray pet rabbit (I’m a vet nurse so I was caring for it for a few days until someone could drive it over the border to a rabbit rescue shelter). It was horribly creepy that he’d been looking inside my house that much to know these things. I ended up having to have a telephone conference with real estate & the RTA to get my bond back. Owner wouldn’t budge. I elected to take it to tribunal & prepared myself for court. Owner (coward that he is) backed down when suddenly faced with the prospect of court but not before deducting $70 for the removal of an imaginary washing machine that I supposedly left there.


    Icing on the cake. A couple of weeks after moving out I became very, very ill. It was a flu like thing but so bad I couldn’t go to work, eat, sleep or do anything. I coughed & coughed until I was so sore I could hardly move. I’d had 10 days off work when my housemate decided I needed to go to the ER as I hadn’t moved for days. I was diagnosed with mycoplasma pneumonia. I had fractured 2 ribs from coughing so hard for so long. The pain was unbearable but I couldn’t stop coughing. The doctors said there was a very high probability that it had been caused by the mould. They offered to fill out a report for me but also warned me that they’d filled out many of these reports before & no one ever got investigated & nothing was ever done. I decided not to waste my time. In the end I had almost 3wks off work. I don’t get sick leave. I finally got my bond back 2 months after I moved out. By then I was so financially fucked & it caused so many problems in my new share housing situation because I couldn’t contribute to anything. I was kicked out after 4mths.


    This is only 1 of my rental nightmare stories.
  • commented 2017-08-01 18:51:42 +1000
    A few years ago I and my now partner were living in a share house in Highgate Hill. It was a bit of a shit box to say the least. The carpets were so thin that you could literally sweep them, it had holes in the walls exposing the asbestos underneath, broken windows and peeling paint. But the rent was almost affordable ($600 a week between four of us), the rooms were big and the location was good. We were pretty easy going tenants; we were young and just happy to be living so close to our friends. We asked for very little from our landlord.


    In the space of a few months we had a whole array of issues with the house. In that massive storm in late 2014 a bunch of our windows smashed, one of these was my bedroom window. When it rained, there was no way to stop the water coming in and landing on my desk. Lucky university text books are so cheap….


    A corner of my bedroom was becoming completely unusable because the hole in the roof above it was growing and each time it rained the carpet, and whatever else was under it, got soaked.


    The glass window in our front door broke. Our house was no longer lockable; all you had to do was stick your hand through the big hole and flick the lock.


    The final straw was when we found a report in our letterbox that described our house as ‘structurally unsound’. It was in a letter addressed to the owner that was opened by my housemate by mistake. An easy mistake when the owner of the house had all his mail sent to our house because for ‘tax purposes’ he lived there. He had never lived there.


    We decided that it was going too far, our casual requests were being ignored and it was time we formally asked for repairs to the house. We wrote to the landlord. We tried to be really reasonable. My now partner, then housemate, had a trade background and volunteered to do simple repairs to the windows and the front door for free if the landlord provided the materials. We outlined that all we weren’t asking for anything major, just for the house to be safe, secure and dry. Both myself and another housemate had backgrounds in social work, the letter was carefully, softly worded.


    The landlord flipped out and simply said if we didn’t feel safe then we would have to leave. When questioned further, this then turned to okay you will all have to move out while the structural repairs are being conducted. We had enough, we left and found another rental. More unaffordable and a worse location but the front door locked.


    The owner never repaired the place. He left it empty and then six months later new tenants moved in. I still live nearby and have probably walked past the place once a week since I moved out over two years ago. The windows are still broken. More paint has peeled off. The structural and roof repairs were never done. He probably charges even more than $600 a week for the place now.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-08-01 14:13:13 +1000
    1 in 5 Qlders are facing housing stress - spending 30%+ of their income on rent or mortgages. Share your story!
  • commented 2017-08-01 14:11:48 +1000
    There is rental discrimination in Queensland. I’m a white Australian. When I first moved out of home at 18 I was living in an old Queenslander that had been subdivided into small apartments for student accommodation. Most of my neighbors were international students or Ph.D candidates and Australian citizenship with heritage from all over the world. I made friends with my neighbors and though chatting, found out I was paying almost half what they were in rent for the same space. Knowing that strained out friendships and created a real divide between this little makeshift community of students. This wasn’t something any of the residents wanted or thought was fair. This was something a real estate agent imposed on us through their unethical practices.
  • commented 2017-07-31 18:42:18 +1000
    A year and a half ago myself and my brother were effectively evicted (the owner wanted vacant possession) simply because I had a bed in what the owner and real estate agent called “the living room”. After seeking advice via the RTA I was advised they had no right to dictate to me about having a bed or otherwise in the “living room”. Later, in breach of the REIQ code of practice, the real estate agent deliberately withheld our interest in renting the house next door and then in a wholly unprofessional manner wrote a vindictive and false reference, which (if it hadn’t of been for a sympathic agent working for Coronis) would have prevented us getting another rental. Real estate agents and owners can so easily manipulate the system and break the law at the expense of renters, and unfairly dictate how renters live. On the advice of Caxton Legal Service, who acknowledged the real estate agent’s wrong doing, I didn’t take the matter further.
  • commented 2017-07-18 16:05:56 +1000
    As adoptee first homeless at 14..parents dumped me in street outside valley police one night…bought house with 110% mortgage week before I graduated..lost it in divorce..moved to house boat at Brekkie ck…forced off by council 2008..been in public housing since but still stalked by neighbors who violently assaulted me almost 6 years ago while Police and Housing even Premier and local MP refuse to accept the evidence which includes hospital report of injuries, photos and police attending and getting admission at crime scene before transferred by ambulance to Royal Brisbane…have to live in vehicle when stress makes home intolerable.much nicer in West End circa 1987 and 2004+ ..pity bullies are left next to their victims to taunt relentlessly…some times watching others bullied until leaving seems like a strategy to reduce waiting lists as people can’t tolerate relentless bullies..3 fled this before me and I was strangled. Knocked unconscious had head split open and apparently while unconscious the attacker continued to hit my head on concrete until she was physically restrained…no justice for poor..I’ve complained to every supposedly responsible gov dept…total wilful blindness..after I complained re the Detective Inspector who refused to take my complaint to CCC same person came to my residence to see me while Superintendent again refused to accept even a formal complaint I lodged at Stafford Police even existed before again telling me there was no evidence..there is apparently a witness ..the good Samaritan who was residing in unit above attack at the time.
  • commented 2017-07-18 09:08:43 +1000
    I once went without ceiling lights in my flat for an entire week because the owner was in Europe and the real estate could not send an electrician out without her approval. I also had black mould growing in one of the cupboards, something as the result of a leak upstairs (which also caused the lights to short and go out). I informed them about the leak and the mould several times and in response I got given clove oil as a means of cleaning the mould. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work. I even had professional cleaners attack it and it just grew back within a couple of weeks (clearly because the conditions were still damp but the landlord would still not accept that there was clearly a leak coming from upstairs). I also got told to vacate that flat four months before my lease was up as they wanted to raise the rent.
  • commented 2017-07-18 05:23:41 +1000
    Son and daughter in law were told to buy an umbrella when their roof leaked so bad they had a waterfall cutting the house in half plus they had a new baby .
  • commented 2017-07-17 15:11:40 +1000
    Where to start? We’re about to throw in the towel and downsize into a van. I am female and 62, unemployable it goes without saying. Living on Centrelink payments and renting a flat meant regular top ups from meagre savings. (We did the NEIS program and failed so that’s the savings gone.) Fifty percent of our Centrelink payment goes directly to the landlord. We literally cannot live in the burbs leading a middle-class life on the dole. So we must stop being renters. We must stop living a middle-class life.

    Back in 2005 we moved our blended family into a three bed flat in Highgate Hill. Rent was reasonable, (we both had jobs) but it was obvious the flat hadn’t had anything done to it since the seventies. No window coverings of any kind; the windows rattled so badly in one bedroom it was unusable during windy weather. The toilet was so caked with waste it could only be fixed with acid. The lease turned over with $40 a week rent increases. Our income went down – (GFC, Ageing, and more) and the rent kept going up. So we downsized and moved further out. Relationships around us flung to the four winds yet again.

    We now live in a two bed flat for $300 a week but now we cannot afford even this. Our landlords btw, do not understand what a lease is, they use a real estate agent to sign people up. When we tried to point out that they must give 24 hours notice whenever they plan to come over to do work on the property they prevaricate. We have given up expecting any privacy on the property. It’s a four-unit place anyway, we can’t afford to rent a house. We would like to grow our own vegetables so started a couple of wicking boxes This is because the landlord is reluctant to allow us garden space even though he grows vegetables here himself.

    So, time to give up on the whole middle-class scenario of home, garden, kids, jobs, and visiting the gallery. It’s all going down the gurgler.
  • commented 2017-07-17 12:31:22 +1000
    I am originally from Japan, now a single mother to 12 years old son.

    Owner has not fixed dish washer and air con for 6 months and asking 40 dollers more fom next lease. Rediculous.

    Even had a realestated showing up at the door for inspection ( re-scheduled date was not communicated well amongst people at real estate agency.

    Got even yelled at….


    Was better when we lived in modern apartment, similar rent but at lease the management wasalways atthe front desk,felt secure and they cared about us.


    we love woolloongabba.

    Finally found a house next to the owners families and will probably not use real estate agency.

    We will be ok for about five years and really relieved but generally i am concerned about housing situation for my son’s generation.
  • commented 2017-07-15 12:24:50 +1000
    Renting can incidentally widen you’re skill

    or personal network . I live in the Cairns area and work as a Teacher aid, the place I live in atm is ok so far. I have moved residence many times, as property owners and investors are always “re selling”, with this, renters are merely house sitting, often comprised by visits from perspective buyers. This cycle goes round and round. Maintenance on these properties is poor, as owners manage them from interstate and over seas..affordable housing for service workers is what is needed. Investors reply !! ‘Cairns is a holiday destination’ never to be seen whilst the community mostly renters clean up after our Cyclone seasons. Thank you for reading.
  • commented 2017-07-14 15:05:58 +1000
    I once lived in a house where the front porch had been screened in and a flimsy double door had been installed as the house’s front door. In strong winds this door would blow wide open, even when locked. I’d lock it again and a few minutes later it would blow open again. The lock just wasn’t strong enough. When I raised it with the real estate agent, her response was, “I don’t think the owner will agree to fixing the front door if it’s not obviously broken”. Apparently her default assumption was that I was lying about the problem.
  • commented 2017-07-14 14:37:01 +1000
    My partner and I have been renting together for the past 8 years and have had nothing but trouble with real estate agents. I work for an insurance company and handle disputes and have seen both sides of the table in regards to renting and landlords. We have been breached numerous times, sometimes for being short on rent, once for having bugs in a light shade (mind you the flyscreens were in terrible condition) among many minor issues. We also had a water tank that was not functional for over 75% of our tennancy, yet they had the hide to charge water usage. The tank was identified as the likely cause for my sons Giardia colonisation and even with a medical letter stating this the real estate only got the tank working after they were served with a tribunal notice. They did not sanitize the tank as requested though. Instead they placed us on the Tica register for unpaid water bills.
  • commented 2017-07-14 14:07:46 +1000
    I reported having possums in the roof before Christmas, but they were still plodding around up there in March. By the time someone came to remove them, there was possum urine running down the wall in one room. I don’t actually blame the landlord, I think that’s just how long it took for the real estate to pass on my message.
  • commented 2017-07-14 12:35:45 +1000
    I live next door to my landlord, which means anything we do is constantly scrutinised by him. At one point we had some people around to work on some stuff for a local community event, he came over and demanded to know why we had so many people in the house, as if he had a right to tell us how many friends we can have over. He expressed similar concerns if we have even a few friends over to have dinner on the deck.


    When I rebuffed him, he said he was concerned about the amount of water being used by all these people, ironic when it took him several months to deal with a leaking shower that by the end was basically a constantly running torrent.
  • commented 2017-07-14 12:25:20 +1000
    We moved into a house in Paddington on a 9 month lease under the understanding it was to “sync up” with other leases. While we were there the house was sold and we had to move out at the end of the lease. We never would have moved if we knew it was only going to be a 9 month lease :/