Australians are overly concerned about the rights of the individual – almost as much as the Americans and more so than any European I have ever met. In North Queensland people are still upset that you cannot drive drunk, own unregistered weapons, smoke everywhere, build where they want, fish what and where they want and on and on and on. They spew on a government, which wants to control their private matters.
There is one exception though, one that leads me to spew profanities on a regular basis: Real estate agents and rental rights in Queensland.
As you know we had a letter from the real estate agent not long ago, informing us that we were to have an inspection on Friday the 13th; they would arrive between 13.30 and 15.30.
And this is it: in a country where the rights of the individual are so highly regarded, how did it EVER occur to anyone that it is alright for real estate agents to inspect your home – INSPECT YOUR HOME! Read the words carefully. I am 39 years old, my husband 45. The last time anyone inspected my residence was when I was 10 years old and my mother checked my room. What do they think about us? It is our home! Do we look like pigs? Do we look like people who live in filth? Who needs to have their home inspected every three months?
On Friday the 13th I ran home from work, was there at 13.10 to await the agent and found that THEY HAD ALREADY BEEN! The Rental Tenancy Authorities clearly state that: “If the lessor/agent is entering for a general inspection, they must specify a time or 2-hour window and must enter the premises within that time”. I called the office and asked what had happened and was told that the hours were approximate only. SO, not only did they enter when they were not supposed to, they lied!
I cannot begin to describe how this makes me feel. Still now. A stranger has been in my home, has inspected my things, judged me – and in this case, without my presence. It is humiliating, it is degrading, it is violating. Let’s not rest to say that in Europe this practice is illegal. It would be seen as a violation of a person’s rights to privacy – which it is. How the Australians ever agreed to these conditions is WAY beyond me.
My good friend Brigitte wrote the other day: “When the revolution comes, real estate agents will be among the first to be hanged, because there’s nothing worse than being the lackeys of the landlords.” – I wonder about that revolution, but will await its arrival with glee….