PHOTO: Jane Sayner

  • Jane Sayner was still renting in her 70s when her wealthy landlord shocked her 
  • Multimillionaire told her he was leaving the house she rented to her in his will 
  • Previously feared for her future and thought she’d have to work into her 80s 

Fergs Coffee

A cancer survivor’s life was ‘completely changed’ when her landlord gave her the house she had rented for more than two decades.

Jane Sayner, 75, thought she would have to work into her 80s and feared she would never be able to afford to rent anywhere else when her landlord died as she would have to move out.

The landlord had always said he was leaving everything to charity, so Ms Sayner was certain the property would be sold.

But six months before he died, aged 86, in September 2020, multimillionaire Melbourne pharmacist John Perrett told her he was leaving the property to her.

Luckily, she was sitting down at home in St Albans in Melbourne’s north-west when he called, as she was utterly shocked.

Jane Sayner (pictured) thought she would have to work until her 80s, but then her landlord gave her the house she'd rented for more than two decades

Jane Sayner (pictured) thought she would have to work until her 80s, but then her landlord gave her the house she’d rented for more than two decades

‘For the whole time that he was my landlord, he’d always said that all of his money was going to the Royal Melbourne Hospital,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

Ms Sayner said Mr Perrett had always been a good landlord since she started renting from him in 1998.

‘He had a lot of properties, and if something went wrong or needed fixing, it was done straight away,’ she said.

Ms Sayner was also a good tenant. ‘I always paid the rent on time. He was a very strict businessman. He had lots of shares as well as properties.

‘I treated this place like it was my own. When I first came here there was no garden out the back. Because I was living here, I planted lots of plants and flowers, which are still here today.

‘When he saw what I’d done, he brought over some old, big pots that his father had had that he didn’t use, that I could plant things in.’

Mr Perrett was an old school businessman and the rent was handed over in person.

‘It was wasn’t until 18 months or two years before he died that I talked him into letting me put the money into a bank account.

‘Up until then, when he was able he would come and collect the rent from here once a month.

Jane Sayner is pictured in the house she rented for more than 20 years and which she now owns

Jane Sayner is pictured in the house she rented for more than 20 years and which she now owns

‘And when he got to the stage where he couldn’t do that anymore, he put all the other units, except this one, into the hands of agents.

‘But I would just drop the money off for him once a month until I talked him into doing a bank transfer.’

Ms Sayner used to sit and talk with Mr Perrett, who never married and was an only child, when she was paying the rent.

‘We’d talk for an hour or so because he used to be by himself all the time. We talked about everything. His father, his life as a chemist in St Albans.

‘When he was getting on a bit and was starting to find it hard to cook for himself, I took him to buy a roast, things like that.’

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