Latrobe City Council has ordered the closure of residential dwellings at the site of the former Presentation College senior campus in Moe two months after it found the property had maintenance issues.
The Express can reveal
The move comes after a June article by The Express highlighted the run-down conditions tenants were living in, with the landlord charging $320 a week for a seven-bedroom dwelling at the site which had holes in the floor and ceiling.
Council inspected the property in June but did not issue an order under the Building Act, saying at the time it considered the problem to be “between the owner and the tenant and subject to their agreement”.
On Thursday, council told The Express details of the order were confidential but confirmed the owner had 30 days to comply with the order, appeal it or seek an amendment.
“There is no requirement for the property to be closed permanently at this point in time,
St Vincent de Paul Society Latrobe and Baw Baw regional director Ian Hardy was happy to hear about the
“It was for the welfare of the people who come to seek our help,”
Eddie Williams, one of the two landlords at the property, said the order was to vacate the property and secure it against illegal entry.
“It was not ordered closed, it’s just some paperwork issues,”
Mother of two Jessica O’Keefe, a tenant at the property since July, said she and other occupants were not informed of council’s order to vacate the area.
“They can’t just put me
She said there was a total of seven people, including three children, who currently leased the Hawker Street property’s two units.
The site operated as a school until the early 2000s when it was sold to private owners.
Steven Bover-Groen, whose family used to occupy the same unit as
“With the council acting upon this it’s a big relief, it’s allowing better housing,” he said.
His family successfully had its lease at the site terminated by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal due to conditions at the property.
Photos published in The Express revealed missing floorboards and holes in the floor and ceiling.
State Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Sing urged the tenants to seek assistance for emergency accommodation adding that she was currently working with people advocating
“There are a number of examples of private rental properties that don’t meet the minimum standard and we want to make sure that people are not forced to stay there because they don’t have a choice,” she said.