In March of this year, David was unable to work because of COVID-19 restrictions. With two young children to care for, David’s priority was keeping a roof over their heads. He asked for a rent reduction, but his request was denied. So instead he gave almost every cent he had to his real estate agent, and caught up on his payments with the small lump sum he received from the government. But despite his best efforts, David felt bullied and targeted for falling behind on his rent in the first place. By April he was issued a notice to leave without grounds.
With the support of a tenant advice service, David lodged a request for dispute resolution with the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA). He knew he met the criteria for protection under the evictions moratorium and had provided that information to his agent. He had nowhere to move to with his young children, and he needed a safe home for them all. He depended on the moratorium to protect his family.
The RTA discussed with David and the agent that he qualified for protection, and could not be evicted during the emergency period unless he damaged the property or the owner needed to move in. Later that same day, David’s agent gave him a new notice to leave, this time stating the owner was moving in.
Considering it unfair for the agent to use the new laws against him, David took his dispute to QCAT.
“I’m not asking for any favours,” says David. “I don’t want a rent reduction, and I’ve caught up on my payments. I just need an extension on this notice to leave until September 30, when the moratorium ends. That will give me time to prepare financially and to find a new house. I met all the criteria, but everything was denied. I have no place to go with my kids if we are evicted.”
Unfortunately David lost his QCAT hearing, where he asked for the Notice to Leave for the owner moving in to be overturned. He’s been left with the distinct feeling that those new grounds to end a tenancy have been used maliciously against him.