Aussie real estate agents

PHOTO: TikToker Jordie van den Berg. THE AUSTRALIAN

It’s a common predicament faced by frustrated renters nationwide in Australia: enthusiastic tenants drawn to a property by appealing online real estate images, only to encounter a disappointing reality that falls short of expectations.

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Issues such as collapsed ceilings, mold-infested walls, and malfunctioning fixtures have become all too familiar for tenants grappling with the challenges of affordability and availability in the rental market. These challenges persist as housing pressures escalate across the country.

However, there may be hope on the horizon in one state, as Consumer Affairs Victoria launches an investigation into rental properties misrepresented in online listings. This marks a positive development for both disillusioned renters and advocates.


This is how you dob on a real estate agency @JellisCraig #shitrentals

♬ original sound – Jordie van den Berg

According to the government agency, real estate agents are prohibited from using misleading photos that inaccurately depict a property. This includes digitally altered images intended to conceal flaws or highlight non-existent features. Additionally, agents cannot accompany photos with misleading comments or images suggesting proximity to amenities like parks or schools.

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Despite these regulations, tenant advocate and lawyer Jordan van den Berg points out that agents have often skirted around them. Van den Berg, known for exposing dubious real estate practices online, emphasizes that misleading advertising is illegal nationwide. Yet, many renters find themselves inspecting properties that bear little resemblance to their online representations.

Pictures from 2016 showing the inside of a Melbourne rental property at Clifton Hill.
A listing for a Clifton Hill property in Victoria used images of the house from 2016 that did not match the current interior of the home. Source: Supplied/Jordan Van den Berg
Pictures of Melbourne rental property showing cracks, mould and old tiles.
The two-bedroom house had what looks like mould, cracks and even a plant growing down one of the walls. Supplied/Jordan Van den Berg

One egregious example highlighted by Van den Berg involved a property in Clifton Hill, Victoria, touted as a “beautiful” two-bedroom house by the listing agent. While the photos depicted a modern, well-maintained interior, the actual condition of the property was far from ideal, with evidence suggesting the images were at least eight years old. Cracked walls, mold, and neglected features were among the discrepancies between the listing and reality, as revealed in images shared with Yahoo News.


Renting in Melbourne #shitrentals #shitrentalsofmelbourne #australia #renting #realestate #landlord

♬ original sound – Jordie van den Berg

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