Sunday, October 26th, 2014
At the end of 2013 I split with my partner and had four days to find accommodation. That was a challenge. At a pinch, I approached one of the local hotels for a room and stayed there for two months (before I practically escaped with my sanity). I handed over $150 bond and four weeks rent to get the room key. There was no lease.
This room was above a music venue so my wooden floor would shake until 1.30-2.00 am on most nights. The party in the backpackers hostel would be rowdy until around 3am. My room was next to the shared shower/laundry; one morning at around 4am a Chinese guy ran past my room and locked himself in a shower stall. Two giggling screaming girls followed – knock, knock, giggle, come out… repeat that for five minutes before I went around and pleaded for mercy.
Yes, it was a total shithole of a place to stay. Beautiful kitchen and bathroom facilities, but the noise within and below the accommodation were appalling. People would wander the halls at 2am and think nothing of yelling down their mobile phone to relatives in the Middle East about something I’ll never comprehend as a single language Australian. And to top that bullshit, the owner would enter the room when I was gone and move things (or take things like my wooden spoon).
Eventually I’d had enough. He didn’t like my girlfriend sneaking in. Naughty me. And as I left with bad feelings it seemed appropriate to approach the Tasmanian Tenants Union for advice. After all, this was a rented room with shared cooking and showering facilities. Given that I’d have defined this as a boarding premises under my naive expectation of Tasmania’s new-fangled and widely lauded Residential Tenancy Act 1997 I’d have expected at least some protections.