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Nightmare on High Street

Hayley Long, with her son Bailey, is concerned about water leaking from the roof and running down the walls near the electrical points in the rental home.
Hayley Long, with her son Bailey, is concerned about water leaking from the roof and running down the walls near the electrical points in the rental home. Mike Knott

EACH time the rain begins to fall in Walkervale, single mother Hayley Long worries the roof of her rented home may collapse on her and her 18-month-old son.

It's a fear she has had since moving into the property in February but her landlord has refused to do anything about it.

"The roof leaks in my bedroom directly above my bed, so I had to move my whole bedroom set into the lounge," Ms Long said.

"It also leaks in the lounge and the water goes straight into a fan which has a light on it."

Ms Long said the water dripped straight on to a power point and phone point and that she had received an electric shock from the power point.

"The owner's solution is to put a tarp over the roof but that's not going to solve the problem," she said.

"The roof is bowing in and I'm scared it could collapse at any time.

"She said she wanted one quote (to fix the damage) and now she wants four - I don't know how much longer this is going to drag on for."

Ms Long said she paid $440 a fortnight for the High St home.

"(Yesterday) it is eight weeks since I requested to have the problem resolved and I'm still waiting," she said.

"It makes the house so cold.

"I touch my son's hands and they feel like they've been in the freezer."

Ms Long said the owner had so far refused to allow her to break her lease despite the damage and that she had received no help from the Residential Tenancies Authority.

"I've had enough," she said.

"I'm packing my things.

"The real estate said they might help me find somewhere else to live."

But she said the thought of leaving made her worry she could receive a rental black listing.

Ms Long said the problem was obviously not a new one because the former tenants visited to drop off spare keys and told her they had the same problem.

"They said they had told the real estate and asked if I had been told but I definitely wasn't warned," she said.

"I don't know why they let me move in the first place."

However, LJ Hooker Bundaberg principal Jonathon Olsen, whose agency manages the property, said he was not aware of any safety issues when Ms Long and her young child moved in.

"If there was a safety concern prior to her renting the property, it would not have been re-rented," Mr Olsen said.

He said everything that could be done was being done to help Ms Long.

"We've given this 100% effort over the past few weeks," he said.

"We are concerned for the tenant."

Mr Olsen confirmed the real estate was trying to help Ms Long find another house.

Topics:  real estate, rental, rental property, walkervale


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