Ken Hallam and Lynda Reynolds had their Wurtulla home broken into and their car and other belongings stolen allegedly by three youths.
Ken Hallam and Lynda Reynolds had their Wurtulla home broken into and their car and other belongings stolen allegedly by three youths.

Problem tenants 'terrorise' residents

Wurtulla residents want the State Government to crack down on social housing after months of being "tormented" with car thefts and break ins a regular occurrence.

The three people were evicted from the Piringa St social housing home last month but neighbours said it should not have taken so long.

Ken Hallam and Lynda Roberts had their home broken into, trashed and their BMW and other items stolen allegedly by three youths.

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Following the event in October last year the couple were fearful of living in the area.

"We put bars across our doors, got a caravan and took off for a few months because we didn't feel safe," Mr Hallam said.

Neighbourhood Watch Wurtulla president Natalie Williams said while the family lived in the Piringa St home nine residents left the area - some selling their homes and others finding rental properties elsewhere.

Others installed CCTV cameras and security fences.

Neighbourhood Watch Secretary and Piringa St resident of 18 years Jenny Allan said before the arrival of residents at two social housing properties the streets were a "quiet haven".

"The Department of Housing has aggravated their responsibility like any landlord to check the backgrounds of their potential tenants," she said.

"They can bring these tenants in with a stroke of the pen … it's like we're all lambs to the slaughter.

"The last straw was they broke into the house behind them … would you believe the arrogance?"

A meeting was held with residents, Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie, police and the department in December and last month the family was evicted.

Time to put victims, not criminals, first! Yesterday in parliament I spoke about the ongoing issue of crime being...

Posted by Jarrod Bleijie MP on Thursday, February 25, 2021

Mr Bleijie criticised the Queensland Government for not acting sooner while the offenders "terrorised" residents for almost a year.

"There is a small minority (of public housing tenants) like the ones in Wurtulla who have been completely terrorising our community - stealing cars, stealing weapons, break and enters," he said.

"I am getting reports now that these crimes are happening at Little Mountain and Meridan Plains as well."

He said one of the offenders had more than 100 offences against his name.

Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said the department assisted some of the most vulnerable in society with social housing and took its responsibility as a landlord seriously.

She said that it was "not reasonable" that neighbours experienced repeated disruptive behaviour and that it was the department's Fair Expectations of Behaviour policy that managed investigations into complaints.

She said it takes time to investigate incidents thoroughly and fairly.

Where complaints are substantiated, formal action is taken under the policy and the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

She said in most cases tenants are assisted to modify behaviours so they can sustain their tenancy but in some cases the department terminates tenancies.

A Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy spokesman said it could not comment on individual cases.

They said there was "zero tolerance" for criminal behaviour or other illegal activity.

"There are strong behaviour management policies in place to ensure tenants meet their obligations to pay rent, look after their properties and be good neighbours," they said.

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