Brisbane Solidarity Network

Tenant Action against slumlord this Saturday 25th 2:30pm

Posted in Events by Kapi Pulka on February 20, 2012

Brisbane Solidarity Network were contacted by Ricky-Lee, who requested support around her organising attempts at a boarding house in Annerley. Ricky-Lee had already been involved politically at the boarding house, having organised a petition signed by over half the tenants regarding the conditions at the property.

We met with over 10 tenants still living at the property, who were quick to rage about the conditions, ridiculous rules (Including ‘Do not talk about Any Sexual Topic’) and harassment from the caretaker. The boarding house is comprised mainly of people who have experienced severe financial difficulty and hardship, and tenants often require financial assistance from community organisations to secure a room. Most tenants are also forced to endure the conditions for lack of other options, lack of rental history, TICA blacklist listing etc. Some of the grievances include false advertising (A sign on the front says rooms are serviced and include Wi-Fi and foxtel), constant video-surveillance and arbitrary threats with eviction. Ricky reports that when she complained that her room had no lock, she was told to padlock it from the inside and climb out the window.

We also met with Colin, another ex-tenant who left because he could no longer tolerate the conditions he and his young son were living in. Ricky-Lee and Colin are lucky enough to have had other options. Upon their leaving, they were denied their deposits, which were instead pocketed by the owner who cited that since they were assisted by a community organisation to secure the proprety, they are no longer entitled to any refunds. We have confirmed with Brisbane Youth Service and Micah Projects (the community organisations in question) that this is not the case and that any money paid by them is the same status as borrowing money from a friend (ie – it goes back to the tenant).

Ricky-Lee and Colin want to go ahead with a mass demand letter delivery to get their deposits back, with plans for further action from here depending on the outcome. Other tenants still at the property who don’t want to get heat for raising their voices are hoping that this action will have a knock on effect and show the owner that they are no longer isolated and outside public scrutiny.

We are requesting that people who have time and energy to support this meet at 2:30 down chester street off  Ipswich Road Annerley (Across the road from the KFC). It’s pretty easy to get their by getting off at Fairfield station and walking, or catching a bus to Ipswich Road.

< Fbook link >     < What is the formal eviction process for boarding houses? >


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