Thu. Sep 21st, 2023
    How to Resist Eviction: Lessons from a Former Brisbane City Councillor

    In an effort to combat the lack of affordable housing and protect tenants from unfair eviction practices, former Brisbane City councillor and mayoral Greens candidate, Jonathan Sriranganathan, is offering workshops on how to resist eviction. The workshops aim to educate tenants on their rights and provide strategies to physically block police from entering a property.

    Mr. Sriranganathan emphasizes that these actions are not desired, but necessary due to the government’s failure to provide sufficient public housing and protect tenants from rent gouging and exploitative landlords. The workshop also includes techniques on appealing to a landlord’s better nature to prevent eviction.

    The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has expressed concern over the legality of such workshops, claiming that they promote illegal activities. However, legal experts argue that the workshops themselves are not illegal. If a tenant refuses to comply with a police order to vacate, it may be considered resisting arrest.

    Mr. Sriranganathan challenges the REIQ’s criticism, accusing them of training real estate agents to make people homeless by providing advice on ending leases and evicting tenants, even when they have done nothing wrong.

    The issue of evictions and tenant rights is complex and multifaceted. While workshops like these present one perspective, it is important to acknowledge that landlords also seek peaceful tenancies and timely rent payments. Queensland’s housing tribunals play a crucial role in resolving disputes between landlords and tenants, with the majority of cases resulting in fair rulings.

    Mr. Sriranganathan’s history of activism includes chaining himself to a flyscreen door to protest a public housing eviction and advocating for low-income earners to steal from supermarkets.

    These workshops serve as a platform for tenants to empower themselves with knowledge, navigate the legal complexities of eviction, and challenge the status quo to fight for their rights.

    – ABC News: Lucas Hill
    – ABC Radio Brisbane: Kenji Sato