Brisbane-based real estate agency Place Sunnybank has drawn attention to the risk of landlords overpricing their properties in a post that’s gone viral online.
Director Ping Han sent out an email to the company’s database, which warned landlords against increasing rental prices excessively, Yahoo News reported.
The warning came despite the market’s tight rental vacancy rate and rents growing by more than 20 per cent over the past year.
Ms Han told Yahoo News that her agency had experienced the largest number of break leases in January, compared to previous years.
“I think within two to three weeks we had about six to 10 break leases,” she told Yahoo News.
“It is very unusual to all of a sudden have so many break leases.
“A lot of tenants say, we would love to stay here and we’ve been with you for years but we can’t accept the rent, it’s outside of our capacity.”
In the email, Ms Han argued that if a property has been online for rent for weeks without receiving good applications it could be a sign that the pricing was unsuitable.
“If you have a property online for rent and you have been waiting for weeks and there is no good application coming through, more likely you are overpriced,” she wrote.
She also highlighted the importance of considering the affordability of tenants, a fact lost in the media frenzy about rising rents.
“This is what most landlords don’t like to hear about, but most of the time it is also the brutal truth,” she wrote.
She added that increased rental vacancies were being seen.
Ms Han said that balancing the interests of landlords with the needs of tenants in the current market was a tricky act.
“We have to do everything for the best interest of the client, which is the landlord, but we owe the duty of care to tenants,” she said.
“You’ve got to be fair and landlords have to be cautious that the poor tenants have reached capacity.
“It is very, very hard for them, and we’re seeing increased vacancies because of that.”