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Rental agent apologises for 'insensitive' email following backlash

A property management firm has issued an apology following a recent email that received widespread backlash from tenants and homeowners alike.

The newsletter from Ironfish — which has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and China — was shared on Reddit last week by a renter who fumed about the company's celebratory messaging, "bragging" about a rise in rental prices in Melbourne.

Highlighting the company's "achievements" in June, a featured banner read "biggest rent increase $225 per week" while the "average rent increase [is] $98 per week," the email said.

Emails from Ironfish property agents about rental
The property agent Ironfish issued the email last week (left) about rental prices but was forced to apologise in a separate email on Saturday (right). Source: Reddit/Herald Sun

But the newsletter left a bad taste in the mouths of many who revealed the hardship they're currently facing amid soaring rental prices, which is impacting their livelihood.

'No reason to celebrate', company says

Following the criticism, Ironfish issued an apology in another email on Saturday, according to the Herald Sun.

The real estate company admitted the initial email was "insensitive" and acknowledged the "intense stress and financial hardship" many faced during the pandemic, screen grabs shared by the publication show.

"We wish to apologise for our recent email newsletter which highlighted some rental price increases for properties managed in Melbourne’s CBD," the email started.

"We understand a rental crisis is no reason to celebrate and accept that the tone of the update was insensitive."

Melbourne home with For Lease sign
Rental prices in Australia have soared leaving many struggling to find suitable homes. Source: AAP

The company reassured clients its content going forward would be "more carefully considered" before explaining the original email's true intentions.

They said the "brag" was in relation to "an adjustment from a previously Covid discounted rent" which has now "returned to normal and current market rates."

"Again, we apologise for not communicating with more sensitivity," it concluded.

Email from Ironfish property agent
The agent apologised for the newsletter which caused widespread backlash. Source: Ironfish via Herald Sun

Email 'sickens' people online

After seeing the initial newsletter, a renter admitted: "That email sickens me."

Another homeowner, who received the same email, said they had "the same disgusted feeling" after reading it.

Another landlord chimed in to say: "It shouldn’t even be legal to increase the rent that much for the same tenant. Different if new tenants come in but that’s an outrageous amount".

Others described it as "disgusting" and "deplorable".

"They are literally celebrating ripping off desperate people," someone else wrote.

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