Trials and Tribulations in the Rental Market

We're moving out of our house on Thursday. The only problem is we haven't yet got a home to move to. Things were great with our current house to begin with. We're a short walk away from a park and our house backed on to woods so we could wake up to the sound of Kookaburras in the morning.

Then a few months ago we were suddenly awoken by the sounds of bulldozers. The woods across from our house has now gone and is being replaced by an estate compromising 62 houses. The noise is horrendous from 6:30am every weekday and even some Saturdays. Not only that but we're getting a constant stream of dust coming into the house from the construction site. It's not good.

Our rent came up for renewal so we decided it was time to move again. It's not just the construction site that's the problem. I haven't been able to get ADSL since we've been here so I ended up getting Satellite broadband, which is only any good when we've got clear skies, and it's not cheap. Trying to run an internet business from home with an unreliable internet service is not ideal to say the least. We're also in poor signal area to use 3G broadband. Rachelle has now given up her job and works for our business full-time so it's particularly important that we've got a good connection.

So we made the decision to move out and found a fantastic house in Manly. It's a bit smaller than our current house, only having 2 bedrooms, but it's only 200 metres from the water (Moreton Bay) and close to Cambridge Parade which has a good selection of quality restaurants. We applied, got accepted, lodged a deposit and signed the Tenancy Agreement. All set to move in this Thursday.

On Thursday afternoon we received a phone call from the estate agent to inform us that the owners of the house we are moving to have changed their mind and now want to move into their house. Some story about the husband having an accident in India leaving him paraplegic so they've decided to return home to Brisbane and live in that house. Whether it's true or not I don't know. If it is, I'm truly sorry for being so cynical and I feel for them, but I don't understand why someone who's paraplegic would want to return to a 3 storey townhouse. It all sounds a bit fishy to me.

So begins the nightmare. We've signed a tenancy agreement and given notification to leave our current place, so legally we've got a signed contract that's binding which allows us to live in the Manly house for the next 6 months. We spoke to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) who administer the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act, and who have powers to resolve disputes and issue fines, and they confirmed we’re legally in our rights to take up the residency.

The thing is, the owners have the keys, not the estate agents, and if we did move in they could kick us out again in 6 months time, which being 3 weeks before we get married would not be the best of timing. So we’ve been madly looking for somewhere else. The problem is compounded by the fact we have no option but to move out of our current house on Thursday as since we gave notification to leave, the owners signed a tenancy agreement with someone else.

We crammed in as many viewings as we could this weekend and have found a house we love in Alexandra Hills for which we've lodged an application. Fingers crossed, but with the rental market the way it is at the moment we've got a lot of competition for the house. We've pulled out all the strings to provide the best application we can, including a cover letter selling why we'd make great tenants, great references, more than the 100 points ID, full records of our previous rental payments and good inspection reports, etc. Of course, our competition could have done exactly the same. We should find out tomorrow.

Even if we get the house, it’s not available until the 1st April. Luckily some friends have offered to put us up but we’ll have to move all our stuff into storage for a few days. We’ve told the estate agents of the Manly house that we expect the owners who have messed us about to cover any of our out of pocket expenses, including storage costs and the extra removal costs moving our stuff from storage to the new house.

We're currently up to our necks in boxes packing for the move. This should be an exciting time, moving into a new house. Instead, we're completely demotivated because we have no idea where or when we'll have our own house again.