Tenants fall victim to Mortgage Stress

As landlords fail to meet mortgage obligations and default on loans hundreds of renters are being kicked out of homes. Banks have been accused of breaking eviction laws by forcing some tenants out too soon. Some tenants are not given the minimum notice required by law.

Tenants Union of Victoria spokesman Toby Archer said renters were the forgotten victims of mortgage stress and rising interest rates. “They are caught in the crossfire when a landlord defaults either because they’ve lost their job or entered the property market and taken too much on,” Mr Archer said. The Tenants Union has approached banks and other financial institutions over dozens of alleged illegal eviction notices in the past year.

Some banks claim ignorance stating that they were not aware of their obligations to tenants. “We think this is just the tip of the iceberg as most people don’t understand their rights,” he said. “A financial institution’s sole motivation is to recoup their money but they need to ensure the person least to blame is not treated harshly.”

Under Victorian law, renters must be given at least 28 days notice to leave a property if a landlord has defaulted.  Mr Archer said the time frame was ludicrous, and has appealed to the State Government to extend it to at least 90 days.

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