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Resident says rental rejected because he's "fat"

Koongal resident Joel Adams sits in his doorway pondering his future after his father’s house is sold.
Koongal resident Joel Adams sits in his doorway pondering his future after his father’s house is sold.

KOONGAL'S Joel Adams plonks himself in his doorway to reflect on a Rockhampton real estate agent's decision to deny his rental application "because I am fat".

Joel shakes timidly, not because he's distressed the property agent axed his application but because of pain in his knees.

The Morning Bulletin visited Joel, 53, yesterday at his Pilkington St home, where he expressed his disappointment about what he claimed was poor form.

On Thursday last week a south Rockhampton real estate agent called him, after he went to an open-home inspection in Park Avenue the day before.

He claimed the agent said to him: "I believe and I'm being honest, you'll have trouble getting around cleaning".

Joel retorted with a few colourful words admittedly, because the comment peeved him.

Joel claimed the property manager had escorted him through the unit and offered him an application form, which he duly filled in and submitted to the agent before the long weekend.

The next day he received the agent's phone call.

"He (the agent) also said to me, 'I will have a problem recommending you to the owner to rent this place' and 'I think you will have a lot of problems with other real estate agents in Rockhampton'," he said.

"I always do my cleaning ... sometimes it might take me a bit longer than however long it takes other people. I have a cleaner who comes in every week to do the big cleaning items."

But the principal of the real estate agency that rejected Rockhampton man Joel Adams's rental application has dismissed claims it was because of his physical condition.

The real estate agent said there were set criteria which governed rental applications and these had been followed.

"There were a number of reasons his application (was not approved)," the agent said.

"They had nothing to do with his physical condition."

Asked if Mr Adams was told the reason for the knockback was related to his weight, the real estate agent said if any comment was made about his physical condition it would only ever have been made "in a charitable way".

"We are not doctors and are not qualified to make those decisions," the agent said.

The agent said specified criteria for rentals included things such as rental history and references.

"We have acted entirely appropriately."

Topics:  editors picks fat housing real estate rental rockhampton



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