Slumlords sub-let for profit

How do you know your tenant isn’t a slumlord secretly sub-leasing a conventional home by the room for profit?

It’s a “new model” of rooming house which has become increasingly common in recent years.

For example, one Melbourne slumlord made $685 a week profit on a four-bedroom property in Reservoir which he rented for $300 a week. The property was home to four adults and six children, with each adult paying $230-260 a week.

The lounge had been converted to a bedroom, so there were no communal areas other than the kitchen and bathroom. But, by illegal rooming house standards, that home wasn’t crowded at all.

In Perth, 29 people were recently found living in one two-bedroom house. And, in Canberra, one slumlord lived in Macquarie alongside 19 others – all sharing just one bathroom.

Warning signs:

  • Mattresses in living areas – or stacked in garages/sheds.
  • Unusually high rates of wear and tear.
  • Plugs leading to an excess of power boards.
  • Tenants reluctant to agree to inspections or requiring long lead times between the request and the inspection.
  • An application to rent a large home from a single individual.
  • Signs that more cars are parked or have been parked at the property than would be expected – for example damage to lawns.
  • Too many toothbrushes in the bathroom – check inside the cupboards, not just on the counter.