March 25, 2023

A property owner with a staggering 283 rental properties in his portfolio says he can’t afford to ease the burden on tenants despite his immense wealth, prompting social media users to rage and call him “greedy.”

Landlord David called 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Thursday to oppose a political push from the Greens for a two-year rent freeze.

Max Chandler-Mather, a member of the Greens of Queensland, called on the federal government to introduce the emergency measure.

But David definitely disagrees.

“I worked hard for that,” he said. “I bought my first house when I was 17 and my mother had to sign the papers, because at that time you had to be 21.”

One owner with a staggering 283 rental properties said he can’t afford to ease the burden on tenants (photo, homes in Perth)

A nearly speechless Fordham said he didn’t begrudge the man for investing in real estate, but fears the system is broken.

The landlord argued that he is not pushing up rents at every chance, adding that he has put his tenants on a payment freeze during the Covid pandemic.

“What people need to remember, these people who rent and that when you work, you have super,” said David.

‘Super pay is about 9.5 percent. But I don’t have a super. My rental income back to me last year was 3.1 percent, which is what I earned.

“If they want to freeze that, will the local, state and federal governments freeze their income?

“Because the Queensland government has charged me 2.25 percent land tax, so I pay almost $7,000 a year in land tax.”

The landlord’s comments come as rents hit their 14-year high across the country and new home buyers faced with rising interest rates and pressure on the cost of living.

Fordham fears everyday Aussies are being priced out of the real estate market.

“That’s a lot of houses for one person to own,” he said in response to David’s comments.

“That’s the system we have, but you wonder if that’s really in the best interest of anyone in Australia struggling to get into a home.”

Outraged social media commentators agreed with Fordham, criticizing the landlord for being “greedy.”

“There should be limits to housing, all it does is drive up demand and prices, we can’t afford to live,” one person posted on Facebook.

Another said: ‘Yeah, with all those negative gearing tax breaks he has to get while we all pay our butts to subsidize his greed.’

“That’s why people can’t afford to buy and have to pay $500 to $800 in rent for a house they can afford to pay a $300-$400 mortgage on,” wrote a third.

The landlord’s comments come as rents across the country hit their 14-year high and as new home buyers face rising interest rates (stock image)

The exchange was sparked by the proposal by Mr Chandler-Mather and the Greens to introduce a rent freeze to ease housing pressures, leading the current situation of tenants to be called a ‘crisis’.

“Australia housing is in crisis. Australia is seeing its biggest rent increases in 14 years, putting millions of Australians in severe rent stress,” said Mr Chandler-Mather

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“We have families sleeping in their cars, workers who can’t afford a house near where they work, people who are evicted for not being able to afford a 20 percent rent increase.

‘Australia is facing a rental and cost crisis.

“Too many Australians are one rent increase away from eviction or homelessness, and a two-year rent freeze gives people the security they need to move on with their lives.”

What is Green’s rent freeze proposal?

Under the Greens’ plan, the National Cabinet would agree on national rent standards, including an emergency rent freeze for two years.

This would be followed by rolling rent ceilings and an end to evictions without land, minimum standards for rental housing and giving tenants rights to make minor improvements to their homes.

The national cabinet should coordinate a nationwide rent freeze, with each state and territory implementing it through their respective tenancy laws.

Rents will be frozen for all residential rental agreements at the weekly rental amount agreed or advertised on August 1, 2022, for a period of two years from the date of the amendment to the law.

If a new tenant starts a lease on that home after that date, the landlord can only rent the home at or below the August 1, 2022 level.

Source: Max Chandler-Mather