Retaliatory Eviction - Kerrie

I am a severely disabled single older woman and have been renting a property in Gunnedah NSW for the past 2 years. My 12 month lease expired in April 2017 and I have been on a periodic lease since. Not once have I defaulted on paying the rent and I have taken care of the premises.


When I moved in everything was absolutely filthy, stove and oven didn't work, I couldn't lock the front or back doors, aircon broken, tv connection broken, clothesline broken, dog poop in back yard as well as fleas, mice and cockroach droppings everywhere, mould in the bathroom, couldn't open the windows because they were all painted shut, toilet clogged, laundry tub clogged and so much more.

To say I was in shock is an understatement, I have never seen a house in such a state of disrepair at the beginning of a tenancy. I spent 7 nights without security and had to use a bucket for toileting until I could get a plunger. The laundry tub overflowed the first time I attempted to wash and when I complained I was basically told to "deal with it". I had to apply to the Tribunal for the repairs to be done, and when the orders and a completion date were given to the real estate, they too were ignored. They always had an excuse for not complying, like the handyman is busy or we can't get the plumber until later. The repairs were dragged out for months and even my reimbursement for the aircon repairs weren't paid on time because the landlord didn't have enough money until my next fortnightly rent was paid.

I took photos of everything, including the mice my cat would continually catch and deposit on the coffee table for praise. I was left to clean everything including scraping 1" thick grease from atop the kitchen cupboards with a paint scraper, and when I fell and injured myself, I insisted they send a professional to clean the remainder of the filth. It took a while but they did send a cleaner to finish it off, although I had done the majority.

I've lived here without windows the whole 2 years because the handyman couldn't get all the paint out and showed me how to open them with a block of wood and a hammer, I kid you not! I am physically incapable of doing this, so no fresh air.

The laundry tub has overflowed 3 times now and a fortnight ago the HWS gave out, no hot water. At the same time the kitchen tap literally blew off the wall and flooded everything in the kitchen from ceiling to floor. The cupboards are chipboard so I had to empty them and allow them to dry, especially the drawers. The real estate was not interested but did send a plumber to rectify the hot water and replace the kitchen tap. I was without hot water for 7 days and when the plumber had gone I noticed the relief valve leaking, so another email was sent.

The plumber arrived unannounced at 5pm whilst I was being sponged bathed by my carer in the kitchen. He kept knocking so I was forced to answer the door naked draped in a towel. I refused him access and agreed for him to return the following morning but he didn't turn up. Another email to the RE, the reply was mind boggling and extremely distressing because apparently, even though I'm naked being sponged bathed, I should have allowed him access even without the required 2 days notice, quote: "If you want the work done". So over the next week, after many emails, he came several times, failed each time to do simple repairs and at present I'm unable to wash because of his incompetence.

More emails, calls to Fair Trading for advice, one last ditch email and still nothing. However, the following day I received a notice to terminate my tenancy within 90 days, no reason given. If this isn't retaliatory eviction I don't know what is. So now it's back to the Tribunal again because I'm due to have surgery, don't have the physical capabilities of moving nor the finances as I'm a pensioner. There is so much more I could write, but you get the gist of it, the landlord doesn't want to do the repairs and turfing out a sick disabled old lady is much easier. Looks like my therapy cat and myself will be sharing a cardboard box under a gum tree somewhere.

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