Meet the TikToker exposing most 'horrendous' Aussie rentals: 'A last resort'

Jordie van den Berg knows of tenants who frequently suffer from nosebleeds due to the condition of their rental, and that's not even the worst of it.

Melbourne TikToker Jordie van den Berg approaches the ongoing housing crisis in a truly Aussie way — with humour.

Jordie's videos where he exposes rental property disasters with a deadpan delivery have brought a smile to millions as he stumbles through some of the country's worst homes, but the dark reality which shadows his content is not lost on him.

"It's really a last resort if you turn to some idiot on TikTok who makes fun of your home," he told Yahoo News Australia. "People are really not doing so well."

Jordie van den Berg can be smiling at the camera (left) and in front of a 'horrendous' rentals in Melbourne (right).
TikToker Jordie van den Berg exposes 'horrendous' rentals across the country in his videos. Source: Supplied

What started "as a joke" three years ago, his TikTok channel 'purplepingers' has continued to expose the truly "horrendous" conditions some Aussie renters are living in while also dissecting tenants' rights to help empower those in need.

"It's sadly a universal experience to have had a bad experience with a rental property, whether you're a renter or a landlord."

Australia ranked one of the worst places to rent

A report released in April found Australia to be one of the worst countries to rent in the developed world. An imbalance of housing supply and demand forces renters into homes they have "to put up with", Jordie said.

"Rentals were staying up on realestate and domain for very long periods of time because people weren't renting them, they were quite obviously sh*t," he said, speaking of his observations before the housing crisis. "Now they're not staying up for long ... People are getting even more desperate and they're renting the properties that are quite clearly illegal."

"I've been to a place where tenants are getting nosebleeds regularly ... which is I feel like a sign of the times."

Jordie said he "doesn't even know where to start" when asked for examples of the conditions renters are being exposed to in Australia, but his exhaustive list includes "dodgy" electrical jobs, asbestos, black mould, plumbing issues, 'spy' cameras and a ceiling "about to fall in".

Water leakage under a rental (left) and a garage space with grey insulation being posed as an appropriate living space (right).
Jordie has visited multiple rentals with leaks and severe plumbing issues, as well as 'illegal' spaces being listed as rentals. Source: Supplied
Cracks can be seen on a doorframe (left) and a security camera in the corner of a kitchen (right).
One of the rental properties Jordie visited in Victoria has a security camera in the kitchen, with cracks in the wall a common sight throughout properties. Source: Supplied

What action is needed to improve the rental environment

Jordie believes the state government can make simple yet effective changes to provide relief for renters currently being battered by the housing crisis.

"There needs to be some kind of enforcement by a third party, someone that's independent of the tenant," he said. "For example, in Victoria, we have quite strong regulations with respect to rental properties and their minimum standards. The problem is the enforcement is not very good, because it relies on the renter to take action."

There were over one million vacant properties on census night in August 2021, with many parts of the country in lockdown due to COVID-19, which Jordie argues gives a more accurate representation of the number of properties which are truly empty, opposed to residents simply being on holiday or visiting another household.

"General legislative changes like vacancy taxes would kind of force vacant homes onto the market to address the supply issue... More supply means better standards, cheaper rent, all that kind of stuff."

"Renters need more choice."

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