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The Melbourne rental agent sparked widespread outrage after mistakenly sending a scathing email meant for a landlord to a tenant. The incident, shared by the tenant on Reddit, highlights the worst aspects of property management and the struggles tenants continue to face in the rental market.

The email from the agent described the tenant as ‘high maintenance’ and suggested that the landlord should ‘exorbitantly’ increase the rent to drive the tenant out:

“In order to play this smooth, I think you should offer to renew the lease but with an exorbitant increase (I’m thinking go from $500 to $950) and attribute it to the current rental market.”

The agent further admitted that $950 wasn’t a realistic price but saw it as an opportunity to either increase rental income or push the tenant to leave. This kind of manipulation and lack of transparency is what has long infuriated tenants and fostered ongoing distrust in real estate professionals.

Image: Daily Mail

Victorian rental laws are clear about the responsibilities of landlords and agents, particularly regarding repairs. Urgent repairs must be addressed immediately, while non-urgent repairs should be completed within two weeks of a written request. The tenant’s repeated complaints about the air conditioning likely fell into the urgent category, especially given the area’s potential for extreme weather which could render the property uninhabitable, as many Redditors were quick to point out…

“If it’s during a very hot or very cold period, the premises could very well be uninhabitable without aircon…”

The agent’s failure to address these issues timely not only breached legal obligations but also showcased a pretty blatant, verging on gleeful disregard for tenant welfare. Many were quick to condemn the agent’s behaviour, with some suggesting that the email alone should be grounds for the agent to lose their license.

Sadly, this incident is not an isolated case… far from it. Similar stories of misconduct by property managers have surfaced across Australia, like the Perth real estate agent who lost her license for making racist remarks in an email to tenants.

I think we can all agree that, whether you happen to be a property owner or a renter, tenants have every right to expect professional and respectful treatment from property managers. Unfortunately, this latest fiasco reinforces the perception that some agents prioritise profit over people, exploiting the current housing crisis to maximize returns at the expense of tenant well-being.

As the rental market continues to tighten, this Melbourne agent’s email nightmare is a timely call to action for greater accountability and transparency in the real estate industry.

Article by Finaly Mead