Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

‘Landlord brain’: Greens take aim at Anthony Albanese over tenant eviction

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun1,2024
Key Points
  • A tenant renting a property from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been issued with an eviction notice.
  • The tenant, Jim Flanagan, told the Daily Telegraph he did not want to leave, and said it would be “crippling”.
  • Albanese said the eviction was due to changing circumstances and plans to sell the property ahead of his wedding.
The Greens have criticised Anthony Albanese and claimed he has “landlord brain” after it emerged that he had moved to evict a tenant from a rental property he owns.
Jim Flanagan, a small business owner who has lived in the property in the Sydney suburb of Dulwich Hill for four years, told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper on Thursday that he had been issued with a rental termination letter on 8 May but was pleading to stay.
Flanagan, who is on a month-to-month lease, said Albanese was a “great landlord” and explained the prime minister had dropped the rent from $800 to $680 a week during the COVID-19 pandemic and had not raised it since.
He acknowledged that Albanese — who said he is putting the rental on the market due to “changing circumstances” — had a right to sell the property, but described the move as a “crippling blow”.
“He has every right to seek to sell his assets … but it just doesn’t sit well when, on one hand, he’s trying to be sympathetic with the majority of Australians who are, like me, finding the current climate extremely challenging,” Flanagan told the Daily Telegraph.

He said there are limited options in the area, adding that available properties were “horrifically and terrifyingly expensive”.

Greens housing spokesperson Max Chandler-Mather labelled Albanese’s comments that Flanagan was “well looked after” as a “sick joke”.
“The prime minister has landlord brain if he thinks it is ‘more than fair’ to evict a renter who pays $680 a week rent and wants to stay in their home,” Chandler-Mather said in a statement on Thursday.
He said Albanese was acting within rental law, which he described as broken.
“Laws created by the Labor Party at federal and state level, that allow for massive tax handouts for property investors, unlimited rent increases, and allow renters to get evicted even when they want to stay when the property investor want to sell,” he said at a press conference.
Rental laws are the responsibility of the states and territories and vary across jurisdictions. But the Greens have repeatedly called on governments to agree to changes through National Cabinet.
That was the case in October when National Cabinet to once a year, though this rule was already in place across the much of the country.
Chandler-Mather repeated those calls on Thursday, saying , increases capped, and tenants given improved rights to stay in their homes.
The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to a request for comment and instead directed SBS News to interviews Albanese was engaged in on Thursday morning.
He told ABC Radio Melbourne the federal government did not have the power to impose rent caps, which he described as a “slogan” that did not help address problems in the rental market.
Albanese also claimed — which the Greens want limited — would result in less housing being built.
He also told ABC Radio National that he was selling his rental property to partner Jodie Haydon.

“I’ve had changes in my life and because of that decided to sell the property,” he said.

He said he believed he had been a “more than fair” landlord, and had charged his tenant well below market rates.
“I have been a more than fair owner of that property; he has lived there for four years,” Albanese said.
“I have had him in the property with the rent being about half what is the market rent.”
When asked whether he would be prepared to keep Flanagan in the property for longer, Albanese said the tenant had spoken with the property manager.
“He’s refused to have discussions with the real estate agent, that’s a matter for him. I wish him well, he has been well looked after for a long period of time,” Albanese said.
“But I am entitled to make decisions in my personal life including selling a property that I own because I wish to move on in my personal life in a different direction.
“The property was bought when my personal circumstances were different.”
In NSW, a landlord must give someone on a periodic rental agreement 30 days’ notice if they are selling the property and want to end the lease.

Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city for renters, with the median weekly rent rising to $750 for houses and $700 for units in the March quarter, according to PropTrack data.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “‘Landlord brain’: Greens take aim at Anthony Albanese over tenant eviction”
  1. It’s disappointing to see that Anthony Albanese, despite being considered a “great landlord” by his tenant, Jim Flanagan, is facing criticism for evicting him. While it’s within his rights to sell the property, the timing and circumstances do seem insensitive, especially during these challenging times. Let’s hope for a fair resolution for all parties involved.

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