Outrage As Tenants Told To Buy Christmas Presents For Landlords Despite Rent Increases

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A Queensland real estate agency has sparked outrage after encouraging tenants to treat their landlords to Christmas gifts, despite weekly rent having reportedly increased by 30% over the course of the last five years.

Kanik & Co, an agency based close to Brisbane, emailed tenants with the offer to facilitate their gift purchasing, alongside any ‘handwritten notes’ addressed to the property owner.

Suggested gifts include a boozy ‘white wine grazing box’ ($50), a ‘festive sweets basket’ ($55), a pampering ‘self care hamper ($70), a posh ‘foodies hamper’ ($99) and a particularly luxurious $115 gift simply named ‘all things golden’. Basically, the sort of gifts you might splash out on for beloved family members and significant others after a tasty bonus, not those who collect your rent every month.

In an email sent out to tenants, shared by Twitter user Sinéad Canning, the agency wrote:

This year has been particularly challenging for both our tenants and property owners alike, and we understand some tenants would like to thank their property owner for everything in 2021. The choice to be involved is 100% optional and you are certainly under no obligation to do so.

This agency is in Logan, where the average weekly rent has increased by 30 per cent in the last 5 years and the vacancy rate is 1 per cent.

Speaking with The Guardian, Kanik & Co director Michael Kanik apologised for any offence given, stating that the agency had ‘just wanted to do a nice thing’.

Kanik also said that a similar email had been sent out to landlords wishing to send presents to their tenants, remarking, ‘not all landlords are the same, some don’t want to increase prices’.

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