Warrnambool tenant Dave Burgess is among those to welcome the state government’s proposal to abolish the “no reason notice to vacate” provision in tenancy laws.
Mr Burgess was a tenant for 15 years at a Warrnambool house until he was sent an eviction notice last year that gave no reason for his family being asked to leave.
He believes he was evicted because he asked for repairs to be done after he had to pay a $30-a-week increase.
Mr Burgess, a single father with two teenage children, said he had rarely asked previously for repairs because of an agreement with his landlord that rent increases would be kept to a minimum if he “did not cause any waves”.
He said there were a few rent increases during the 15 years but the situation changed dramatically last year when he was hit with two rent increases in a short period of time.
The increases prompted him to ask for repairs such as removing mould from the old house’s ceiling and walls and sealing windows so he could heat rooms efficiently.
“A week later I got an eviction notice,” Mr Burgess said.
“I was given 120 days to get out. There was no reason given.
“They do not tell you anything.”
I was given 120 days to get out. There was no reason given.Dave Burgess
He said he had raised his two children from babies to teenagers in the house and considered it their home.
Mr Burgess said his relationship with the real estate agency handling his tenancy turned bitter as he battled against further charges that were imposed.
Those charges included being asked for extra rent after he had moved out but held on to the keys to give a carpet cleaner access.
He said he searched until the final two days of his 120 days notice for a new home but found the rental market very competitive.
As a last resort, he rented a house that was too large for what he needed and was costing him most of his income.
He welcomed the state government’s move to require landlords to have to give tenants a valid reason for evicting them.
“We did not wreck the house. We did not have parties and there was no one else moving in,” Mr Burgess said.
Real estate agents have expressed concern about the reforms, which are currently before state parliament, saying tenants were getting too many rights at the expense of landlords.