Mum on the verge of homelessness as Queensland’s rental crisis worsens

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A Brisbane mum is on the verge of becoming homeless after her rental property was withdrawn despite her paying up-front to secure it.

Kait Bruce wanted to leave housing commission for a new home better suited to her daughter who lives with a disability.

The family was approved for a unit in a new-build North Lakes complex in August.

Kait Bruce wanted to leave housing commission for a new home better suited to her daughter who lives with a disability.
Kait Bruce wanted to leave housing commission for a new home better suited to her daughter who lives with a disability. (9News)

Bruce paid her deposit and bond and she was told her lease would start in October.

“They hadn’t given that unit a number yet, so until that was done I could not sign my lease,” she said.

“Everything had been paid for, so to me that was secure.”

Two weeks before the family was due to move in, a phone call changed everything.

“The directors of this company had decided to renege on the application because we’d come from housing commission, was the reason I was told over the phone,” she said.

9News asked the property group why they rejected the family but they did not respond.

Two weeks before the family was due to move in, a phone call changed everything.
Two weeks before the family was due to move in, a phone call changed everything. (9News)

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the family’s situation was “a highly unusual case”.

However it is not illegal because although money had been paid, nothing had been signed.

“This is a really important reminder that you really do need to insist on a signed tenancy agreement,” Mercorella said.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said this “is a highly unusual case”. (9News)

Bruce has her deposit back but she said she is still waiting on her bond.

She is temporarily staying with a friend but needs a home in two weeks.

“(I’m) petrified. There are hundreds of people turning up for one viewing of a property,” she said.

That is the current state of the property market for tenants.

Data from the REIQ shows that across Greater Brisbane, the rental vacancy rate is sitting at 0.7 per cent.

The Gold Coast market is even tighter with vacancy rates sitting at 0.5 per cent.

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