PHOTO: Purplepingers –  Jordie van den Berg

Jordie’s quirky videos, where he uncovers the grim reality of rental property disasters, have earned him millions of smiles. However, behind the humor, he is acutely aware of the dark circumstances faced by many.

“I never imagined people would turn to a TikTok user to mock their own homes as a last resort,” he shared with Yahoo News Australia. “The reality is, many people are struggling.” What started as a lighthearted endeavor three years ago has evolved into his TikTok channel ‘purplepingers,’ which not only exposes appalling living conditions but also empowers tenants with knowledge about their rights.


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♬ original sound – Jordie van den Berg

“Unfortunately, bad experiences with rental properties are all too common, whether you’re a renter or a landlord.” A recent report highlighted Australia as one of the worst countries for renters among developed nations. Jordie blames an imbalanced housing supply and demand, forcing renters into subpar homes they must endure.

“Properties used to linger on real estate and domain platforms for ages because no one wanted them, and for a good reason, they were terrible,” he recalled pre-housing crisis. “Now, they are snatched up quickly as people become even more desperate, even if the properties are blatantly illegal.”

“I’ve visited places where tenants suffer regular nosebleeds… that’s the sign of the times we’re in.”

Jordie’s list of appalling rental conditions seems endless, including shoddy electrical work, asbestos, black mold, plumbing nightmares, ‘spy’ cameras, and ceilings on the brink of collapse. When asked about solutions, Jordie believes that the state government could easily bring relief to struggling renters.

“There should be an independent third party responsible for enforcement, not solely relying on the tenant to take action,” he suggested. “In Victoria, we have robust regulations regarding rental property standards, but enforcement is lacking.”


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♬ original sound – Jordie van den Berg

During the 2021 census, over one million properties stood vacant, and Jordie argues that this figure paints a more accurate picture of truly empty homes, rather than just houses temporarily unoccupied due to holidays or visits.

“Legislative changes like vacancy taxes could force vacant homes onto the market, addressing the supply issue… More options mean better standards, affordable rent, and improved conditions.”

Ultimately, Jordie emphasizes the need for renters to have more choices and access to habitable, comfortable homes amid the ongoing housing crisis.


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