Agent's email to landlords delivers the 'brutal truth' of overpriced rents

A real estate agent has reported an 'unusually high' number of break leases and an increase in days on the market before a property is leased.

A real estate agent in Brisbane has left tenants in awe after coming out swinging against landlords who “overprice” their rental properties.

In a market that’s seen many agents across Australia encourage owners to take advantage of the crisis and raise weekly rents, Place Sunnybank in MacGregor has bucked the trend.

In a widespread email to the company’s database, Director Ping Han gave landlords a wake-up call over the temptation to increase rents.

The email from Place Sunnybank.
The email from Place Sunnybank went viral on Reddit after warning landlords against 'overpricing' rents. Source: Reddit

“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.

Ms Ping went on to say that she understands the media has been talking about the vacancy rate, and that rents have increased more than 20 per cent over the last year.

“But there is one point that you might have missed,” she said. “The affordability of tenants.”

“This is what most landlords don’t like to hear about, but most of the time it is also the brutal truth.”

Exterior shots of homes in Queensland.
Director Ping Han said landlords may have missed one very important point - the 'affordability of tenants'. Source: AAP

‘Duty of care to tenants’

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia on Friday afternoon, Ms Ping said she felt a “conflict of interest” to support landlords but protect tenants.

“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 explained.

“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.”

Ms Han also added in her email that the real estate agent 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.”

A real estate agent sign outside a home in Queensland.
The housing crisis is pushing tenants to leave properties, unable to afford the increase in rent. Source: AAP

Social media users praise real estate agent for ‘honest feedback’

The agent’s email has since been shared on Reddit and welcomed among users for its “honest feedback”.

“Finally an REA [real estate agent] talking sense to landlords,” one person wrote. “Good on these guys for seeming slightly less parasitic than the rest,” another said.

“This is not what I expected to see from a real estate company,” a third commented. “Now just need the rest to follow,” someone else said.

“They [real estate agents] can only rip people off so much, eventually it will crack,” one person said. “You know times are tough when property managers tell you the rent is too damn high,” wrote another.

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