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Partnerships with agents bring certainty for tenants

Kayla working at her desk on computer
Talking to Kayla today, you’d never guess that she was living in her car this time last year.

The 29-year-old, along with her six-year-old daughter, became homeless after failing to pay rent on their private rental in 2017.

“The property had black mould and after a long fight with the real estate agent, I refused to pay rent, they refused to do maintenance, and I ended up being TICA listed. I now know that I didn’t follow the correct procedure in that situation,” Kayla said.

Kayla discovered the Skillsets for Successful Tenancies program, delivered by inCommunity’s Tenancy Skills Institute, funded by the Department of Housing and Public Works.

Free training program

Skillsets for Successful Tenancies is a free, competency-based training program which teaches people the skills they need to successfully find and sustain a tenancy.

The program covers communication, tenant rights and responsibilities, maintaining and cleaning a property, and finances and budgeting.

“We learned different types of cleaning, budgeting, and how to communicate with our landlord and real estate,” Kayla said.

Kayla learned that its often best to communicate early with a landlord or real estate agent if you are having problems paying rent.

“Sometimes life happens. It’s best to contact them as soon as possible and make a plan so you don’t end up in my position of being homeless.”

Real estate partnerships

The program has been developed by inCommunity in consultation with the real estate sector. On completion, graduates receive a certificate which may be recognised by real estate agents, ensuring they’re better placed to secure the property they apply for.

Darren Boettcher, from Boettcher Realty in Ipswich, says the Skillsets for Successful Tenancies program is a great initiative for all involved, particularly real estate agents.

“Every agent should be a part of this. The more agents know about the applicant, the more they can advocate for them with the property owner. I talk to a lot of agents and many seem really invigorated by the program and what it’s trying to achieve.”

Kayla is now living with her daughter and partner in her own rental property.

She said the Skills for Successful Tenancies program has completely changed her approach to being a tenant.

“The way I’m dealing with my current tenancy is completely different to the way I dealt with my tenancy 12 months ago.”

Kayla is now training to be a cleaner and is feeling much more optimistic about her future.

“There is help out there for everyone.”

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Last updated 31 January 2019    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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