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Anthony Albanese responds after serving tenant 'crippling' eviction notice: 'More than fair'

Jim Flanagan is being evicted from the Prime Minister's investment property after living there for four years.

Anthony Albanese has responded after a tenant living in his investment property was served an eviction notice. Despite being a huge fan of the Labor leader, Jim Flanagan has now been caught between a rock and a hard place.

The rental crisis plaguing many across Australia has seen tenants contact Yahoo Finance to express how difficult it is to find something affordable. That's the situation confronting the 45-year-old who's been living in the Prime Minister's three-bedroom townhouse in Dulwich Hill, Sydney for the past four years.

The bar owner was told by the real estate company the landlord could be selling the house soon and he would have to vacate in less than 90 days.

Jim Flanagan and Anthony Albanese
Jim Flanagan has called out Anthony Albanese for evicting him from the Prime Minister's investment property. (Source: Instagram/Getty)

Have you been kicked out by a landlord recently? Email stew.perrie@yahooinc.com

“This will kill me, it’s a crippling blow right now,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

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Flanagan said the country's leader has every right to sell his property, but he felt the need to speak out after seeing the government's near $2 billion announcement of increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance payment for Centrelink recipients in the 2024 Federal Budget.

"It just doesn’t sit well when, on one hand he’s trying to be sympathetic with the majority of Australians who are, like me, finding the current climate extremely challenging," he said.

Flanagan said Albanese has been a good landlord in the time he's been living in the townhouse. He's enjoyed below-market rent since COVID after the Prime Minister lowered the payments to just $680 per week.

By comparison, three-bedroom homes are rented for roughly $800 per week in that area.

But now he said his options are extremely limited in finding something affordable when he moves out as everything in the area seems "horrifically and terrifyingly expensive".

The Prime Minister meanwhile is set for a decent payday if he sells the Dulwich Hill home.

After buying it for $1.175 million back in 2015, Core Logic data shows it could now be worth as much as $2.2 million.

The Prime Minister has responded to Flanagan's cry for help.

"The person who’s in the property, in his own words, I have been a more than fair owner of that property," the Prime Minister explained on ABC Radio National.

The Labor leader also said the tenant isn't engaging in options that are available to him and has instead gone to the media.

"Well, he’s refused to have discussions with the real estate agent," he said. "That’s a matter for him. I wish him well. He has been well looked after for a long period of time.

"I am entitled to make decisions in my personal life including selling a property that I own because I wish to move on in my personal life in a different direction.

"The property was bought when my personal circumstances were different."

In New South Wales, tenants are usually protected from eviction if a landlord decides to sell as long as they have signed a fixed-term contract.

Unfortunately for Flanagan and his situation, he's been on a month-to-month contract with the Prime Minister's home and, as a result, Albanese is perfectly within his rights to ask the bar owner to leave.

If a tenant is on a periodic lease agreement, then a landlord is permitted to boot them out when the following conditions are met:

  • The homeowner has exchanged a contract for sale with a buyer, and;

  • The contract requires them to give ‘vacant possession’ of the premises to the buyer

If those are met, the landlord can serve a tenant a 30-day termination of their lease agreement.

If the lease isn't terminated, the buyer of the home will become the new landlord and the latter has to honour the fixed-term agreement. Tenants don't have to sign a new agreement just because there's a new landlord as that person simply has to abide by the rules that have been in place.

The emotional toll of being evicted can't be understated, according to Leo Patterson Ross, CEO of the Tenants'​ Union of NSW.

He told Yahoo Finance tenants are sometimes only given a few weeks to pack up their belongings and move out.

"People talk about the anxiety, the worry, that being removed from their home brings them," he said. "But it's also about being removed from their community, their friends, their kids might have to change schools. They're no longer part of the same social groups.

"And so all of this has this very damaging pressure on the person. It's about feeling safe and knowing where they're going to be able to stay."

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