Real estate agent's 'sickening' brag about high rent charged to Aussies

Amid a well-documented housing affordability crisis, Aussies have criticised the agency's appraoch.

A real estate agency is under fire from fed-up renters who have criticised what they said is a "soulless and sickening" email a staff member sent out to clients, seemingly boasting about the business opportunities arising form the nation's crushing housing affordability crisis.

Around the country, particularly in the last 12 months, devastating stories have emerged from every jurisdiction reflecting the true state of the nation's lack of appropriate housing. Aussies report having to live in squalid properties, sharing confined spaces, moving into caravans, and in some cases even tents, just to put a roof over their heads.

In August, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said increasing housing supply and affordability was a “key priority” for his cabinet, in response to skyrocketing rental and home sale prices.

Caporn Young in Perth distributed an email seemingly boasting about the lack of vacant housing in the area. Source: X
Caporn Young in Perth distributed an email seemingly boasting about the lack of vacant housing in the area. Source: X

With this in mind, it's not hard to see why people online took issue with a Western Australian real estate agent, who spoke excitedly about new tenants paying $100 more than the median price for the area — reflective of a "25 per cent increase" on what the vacating occupiers paid.

Real estate agent boasts about above market rent achieved

In the message, shared by renter's advocate Purplepingers on X, the Caporn Young staff member cited the fact that many people were willing to offer "more than advertised" just to get "their keys" to the property.

"With a vacancy rate of just 0.71 per cent, competition for rentals in Perth is fierce," the staffer's email read.

"Prospective tenants are arriving at home opens with their forms filled in and deposits at the ready, prepared to offer more than the advertised rent to get the keys to their dream property.

"To illustrate this point, last week our property managers leased a two-bed, one-bath villa... the home was originally advertised at $480 per week , which was a 25 per cent increase on what the vacating tenant was paying."

A uni student's run down rental in Adelaide.
Earlier this year, Adelaide uni student May Higgins’ rent was hiked by $300 per week in a dilapidated property. Source: Facebook

The agent went on to explain that "in just the first 24 hours of the campaign", the company "fielded more than 100 enquiries for the Tuart Hill property, and welcomed a staggering 70 groups through the first (and only) home open".

"Some offered to pay up to $580 per week to secure the home," the agent went on.

"With so many prospective tenants to choose from, we turned our focus to selecting the best of the bunch, sifting through the most glowing references and detailed applications to find the perfect match.

"The owner is delighted to have quality tenants moving into the villa — a lovely professional couple — and they are thrilled to be receiving $550 per week in rent, which is $100 more than the median rent for Tuart Hill".

Rent the country's biggest inflation driver

When contacted by Yahoo News Australia, a staff member at Caporn Young who answered the phone said the agency did not wish to comment on the matter.

Nationwide, vacancies are at all-time lows and prices are up 30 per cent over three years. Rent is now one of the country's biggest drivers of inflation, which could lead to further interest rate hikes as early as next week.

A rental ad on Facebook just months ago claimed 'no friends' were allowed.
A rental ad on Facebook just months ago claimed 'no friends' were allowed. Source: Facebook.

This would in turn "push up the variable rate mortgages held by most Australian landlords", pressuring them to lift rents further and forcing tenants to make tough decisions.

"We're already seeing people that are in houses move to units and then the next logical step is if a unit gets too expensive, you go into a share house," Cameron Kusher, chief economist at PropTrack, said.

Online, Aussies' reaction to the email were mixed, with some empathising with the agent who they say was "just doing their job", while many others branded the sentiment "gross" and "tone-deaf".

"Anyone else sick of real estate agents celebrating the rental crisis and also acting like it’s their specific agency that’s somehow single-handedly got rents to skyrocket?" Purplepingers wrote when sharing the email on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"Soulless and truly sickening," said another.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.