Australia

Brisbane rentals shortage

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While most of the flood clean-up of Brisbane’s flooded homes is drawing to a close, flood victims unable to return to their ravaged homes, are now facing a rental shortage.

Rentals are ‘like gold’ according to one flood victim forced to pay $800 a week for a four-bedroomed home in Brisbane’s Western suburbs. She considers herself fortunate. If she hadn’t instantly agreed to pay the premium rent, someone else would have snatched it from under her nose.

There are hundreds who are yet to find somewhere to live.

Many families are still staying with friends or relatives but sooner or later, they will need to find some semblance of normality. Agents are inundated.

Traditionally, finding a rental home in Brisbane from December through to January was difficult enough. Locals competed with throngs of interstate or overseas house hunters and university students needing accommodation for the start of a new year. Now they are faced with former property owners entering the rental market too.

Estate agent, Cathy Lammie, a top seller in one of the Western suburbs areas hard hit by flood water says most landlords, while fetching a premium rental, were trying to be fair.

“The biggest problem is that most people don’t know what sort of insurance they’re entitled to as they haven’t been assessed by their insurance companies.”

Many people wishing to sell and leave the area prior to the flooding are agreeing to forgo a panic sale and rent their homes out instead.

“I’ve had people ringing me saying they want to sell and I’ve been suggesting they rent their homes out instead. One client was going back to the UK and I told him now wasn’t the right time to sell – he was happy to rent his home out to a local family who wanted to stay in the area.”