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Tenants who took on their landlords and won

It’s been a tough year for tenants, with a lock of supply and rising rents and it’s meant they’ve started to push back against landlords’ excessive demands.

According to, a number of tenants headed to the tribunal against their landlords in 2023 and won.

Here’s just a snapshot of cases:

Evicted after brain surgery

A single mum with a brain tumour was awarded $5500 in compensation after her landlords illegally evicted her from her rental home.

A New Zealand tribunal heard the mother was given notice to vacate the South Island property because the landlord was looking to renovate, but two days after she left, the property was relisted for more than she had been paying.

At the time, the mother was still recovering from brain surgery and went to the hearing with the help of a carer.

The tribunal found the property was relisted for $130 per week more than the mother was paying and no renovations had taken place.

A mouldy home making tenants sick

A NSW rental property with mould that caused the tenants to become unwell, has seen the landlord forced to compensate the tenants nearly $15,000.

The landlord was required to reimburse the tenants almost $10,000 for the “excessive” rental price and they also won more than $5000 in compensation for the problems they suffered in the property, including a disease which a GP suggested stemmed from fungus sprouting in the damp, and damage to their possessions.

A tribunal ruled that the landlord should not have received the level of rent she did because of water inundation, mould and the repairs needed.

The tribunal heard the renters were unable to use the living and dining room, kitchen, stairs and hallway due to excessive moisture.

Tenant wins against rent increase

A Victorian tenant took on his landlord over an excessive rent increase but had already vacated the property before the decision was handed down.

The renter was facing a $ 480-a-week rent increase and challenged the validity of the hike after an industry watchdog found that the price increase was “not excessive”.

The tribunal found in favour of the tenant, in part due to a lack of comparative properties provided at the time.

However, the tenant had already left the property a week before they won the case at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after being told it was to be sold and given a notice to vacate.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.