‘Australia’s Best Landlord’ Has Kept Tenant’s Rent Under $200 a Week for More Than 20 Years

The global housing crisis has left millions grappling with soaring mortgage rates and exorbitant rental prices, forcing many to face the harsh reality of an unattainable housing dream. In the United States alone, the average asking rent has climbed to $1,982, reflecting a 3.3 percent increase from the previous year. However, amidst these challenging times, a heartening story emerges from the quaint town of Mira Mar in Alban, Australia, where a retired farmer, John Webb, has defied the norm, keeping his tenant’s rent unchanged for nearly two decades.

The Remarkable Story of John Webb and Carl Tilney

At 90 years old, John Webb’s commitment to maintaining an unchanged rent for his two-bedroom property over almost two decades stands as a remarkable testament to his exceptional generosity. This unparalleled act of kindness has not only defied the norms of the real estate market but has also significantly impacted the life of his tenant, Carl Tilney.

Consistent Affordability Amidst Rising Housing Costs

In an era where housing costs are skyrocketing globally, John’s decision to keep Carl’s rent at a mere $180 per week is a beacon of consistency and affordability. While rental prices in Mira Mar average around $350 per week, John’s steadfast dedication to providing Carl with affordable housing highlights the extraordinary nature of their landlord-tenant relationship.

The Beneficiary: Carl Tilney’s Story

Carl Tilney, a 60-year-old retiree and former builder, finds himself in a unique and fortunate position due to John’s unwavering support. Health issues stemming from a back injury sustained during his career have left Carl relying on disability support pension as his primary source of income. John’s decision to freeze the rent at an affordable rate has been a lifeline for Carl, preventing him from facing the harsh reality of homelessness.

Beyond Landlord-Tenant: A Genuine Friendship

The narrative between John Webb and Carl Tilney transcends the traditional roles of landlord and tenant. Their unique relationship serves as a heartwarming example of how compassion and community can flourish even in the challenging landscape of the housing crisis.

From Tenant to Friend

Over the course of Carl’s tenancy, a genuine friendship blossoms between these two individuals from different walks of life. John’s act of kindness has fostered a connection that goes beyond the confines of a property agreement. This unexpected bond not only enriches their lives but also underscores the potential for positive human connections to emerge in unexpected places.

Illustrating the Power of Compassion

John and Carl’s story becomes a microcosm of the larger societal challenges surrounding housing. Their unique relationship illustrates the transformative power of compassion in overcoming the adversities posed by the housing crisis. In an age where economic considerations often dictate decisions, this friendship stands as a reminder of the profound impact that acts of kindness can have on individuals and communities alike.

Fostering Community Spirit Through Affordable Housing

John Webb’s decision to maintain Carl’s rent significantly below the average rate not only serves as a personal gesture of kindness but also underscores the vibrant community spirit that thrives in rural areas like Mira Mar.

A Commitment to Community Well-being

In his interview with ABC, John Webb sheds light on the deeply ingrained belief that defines rural living – the commitment to looking out for one another. He emphasizes that in country communities, the act of supporting fellow residents is not just a social responsibility; it’s an integral part of the community’s identity. By keeping Carl’s rent affordable, John actively contributes to the well-being of his community, ensuring that individuals facing financial challenges can still find a stable home.

Preventing Homelessness: A Shared Responsibility

John’s commitment to helping those in need extends beyond individual acts of generosity. By keeping rental rates reasonable, he plays a crucial role in preventing fellow community members from slipping into the grim reality of homelessness. The understanding that affordable housing is not just a personal concern but a shared responsibility within the community reinforces the idea that everyone has a role to play in creating a supportive living environment.

The Impact of Compassion on Tenant and Landlord Relations

Carl Tilney’s experience stands as a testament to the transformative power of compassion in forging connections that go beyond the conventional landlord-tenant dynamic.

From Gratitude to Lifelong Bonds

Carl, deeply appreciative of John’s generosity, acknowledges that without such kindness, he might be left with no option but to live in his car. This sentiment speaks volumes about the profound impact that an understanding landlord can have on an individual’s life. Beyond the financial aspect, John’s compassion has cultivated a sense of gratitude in Carl that has translated into a genuine bond between them. Their relationship becomes an exemplar of how kindness can bridge the gap between landlord and tenant, fostering a connection that extends beyond the property.

Transcending Traditional Roles

The compassion exhibited by John in providing Carl with affordable housing transcends the typical landlord-tenant relationship. It showcases the potential for understanding, empathy, and shared humanity to redefine the dynamics between those who own property and those who reside in it. In a world often characterized by transactional relationships, John and Carl’s story stands out as a reminder that genuine connections can form when empathy takes precedence.

The Unseen Benefits of Affordable Housing in Community Dynamics

John’s decision to keep Carl’s rent at an accessible rate not only benefits the immediate individuals involved but also contributes to the overall health and vitality of the community.

Strengthening Social Fabric

Affordable housing fosters a sense of stability within the community, preventing the destabilizing effects of high turnover rates and potential homelessness. By providing Carl with an affordable living space, John indirectly contributes to the social fabric of Mira Mar. This stability, in turn, has far-reaching effects on the overall well-being of the community, creating an environment where residents can build long-lasting connections and actively participate in community life.

Promoting Inclusivity and Diversity

Affordable housing ensures that a diverse range of individuals can call the community home. John’s commitment to keeping rental rates reasonable encourages socio-economic diversity within Mira Mar, enriching the community with different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. This inclusivity becomes a cornerstone for the development of a thriving, interconnected community that benefits from the collective strengths of its members.

A Shared Commitment to Home Maintenance

John and Carl’s exceptional landlord-tenant relationship transcends the traditional boundaries further, extending into the realm of property maintenance. This unique aspect of their story not only demonstrates their resourcefulness but also highlights the profound impact a collaborative approach can have on both the property itself and the bonds they share.

Hands-On Collaboration: Repairing and Improving Together

Unlike the common practice of hiring external services for property maintenance, John and Carl adopt a hands-on approach. Whenever the need for repairs or improvements arises, they actively collaborate to address the issues. This shared responsibility not only reflects their dedication to the property’s longevity but also showcases a proactive stance toward ensuring a safe and comfortable living environment.

DIY Spirit: A Testament to Resourcefulness

The duo’s decision to tackle maintenance tasks independently speaks to their resourcefulness and self-sufficiency. By embracing a do-it-yourself (DIY) spirit, John and Carl not only save on external expenses but also demonstrate a practical and sustainable way of managing their living space. This hands-on approach contributes to the overall affordability of the property, aligning with John’s commitment to providing Carl with an economically viable housing solution.

Building Bonds Through Repairs

The collaborative efforts in maintaining the property go beyond mere practicality; they become a means of fortifying the bond between John and Carl.

Shared Accomplishments: Strengthening Friendship

Every repaired leak and improved feature becomes a shared accomplishment, reinforcing the sense of achievement and camaraderie between John and Carl. These joint endeavors not only contribute to the physical well-being of the property but also serve as tangible symbols of their friendship. The satisfaction derived from overcoming challenges together fosters a deeper connection that goes beyond the conventional roles of landlord and tenant.

Problem-Solving Dialogues: Communication and Understanding

Engaging in maintenance tasks together creates an ongoing dialogue between John and Carl. As they troubleshoot and strategize, they develop a shared understanding of the property’s intricacies. This problem-solving dynamic not only enhances their practical skills but also facilitates open communication, allowing them to address concerns promptly and collaboratively. The shared responsibility for the property’s well-being fosters a sense of trust and mutual reliance.

A Symbol of Community and Mutual Support

Their collaborative approach to maintaining the home becomes a metaphor for the broader community spirit that defines rural living in Mira Mar.

Community Values in Action

John and Carl’s decision to work hand-in-hand on property maintenance reflects the communal values that define life in rural areas. The willingness to actively contribute to the well-being of the shared living space aligns with the broader ethos of rural communities, where neighbors often come together to address collective needs. Their actions serve as a tangible expression of the community spirit that John so ardently believes in.

Mutual Support Beyond Property Lines

Beyond the physical aspects of property maintenance, the collaboration between John and Carl exemplifies the mutual support ingrained in their relationship. Their joint efforts extend beyond fixing leaks or repairing structures; they become a symbol of the shared responsibility and care that characterize genuine communities. In this way, their commitment to maintaining the home together serves as a living testament to the power of mutual support in fostering a harmonious living environment.

A Legacy of Generosity in the Face of Escalating Rental Prices

In a landscape where rental prices in Australia continue to surge, John Webb’s enduring commitment to maintaining Carl Tilney’s rent at an unchanging rate has not only defied the prevailing trend but has also established him as a paragon of generosity. This remarkable act transcends the conventional landlord-tenant relationship, leaving an indelible mark on the housing narrative.

Defying the Odds: An Extraordinary Gesture

Amidst the relentless ascent of rental prices, John’s steadfast dedication to keeping Carl’s rent unchanged stands out as a beacon of resilience and compassion. The two percent annual increase, as reported by property research firm CoreLogic, paints a stark picture of the challenges faced by renters across the country. John’s decision, in contrast, becomes an extraordinary gesture that challenges the norms of profit-driven real estate and redefines the landlord’s role in ensuring housing stability.

A Counterpoint to Market Trends

The discrepancy between John’s approach and the broader market trends highlights the significance of his gesture. While the housing crisis continues to cast a shadow on the dreams of many, John’s legacy emerges as a counterpoint—a testament to the impact that individual choices can have in fostering a more compassionate and sustainable housing environment.

Becoming a Beacon of Generosity

John Webb’s generosity has not only shaped the lives of those directly involved but has garnered recognition on a larger scale, earning him accolades as one of Australia’s best landlords.

Accolades in an Era of Crisis

In an era where headlines are often dominated by stories of housing struggles and financial hardships, John’s commitment to keeping Carl’s rent unchanged has become a rare source of positivity. His actions defy the stereotypes associated with landlords, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the widespread challenges faced by renters. The accolades bestowed upon him not only celebrate individual generosity but also serve as a reminder that compassionate choices can create a ripple effect, influencing perceptions and inspiring change.

Setting a Standard for Landlords

John’s legacy transcends the boundaries of his personal story, setting a standard for landlords across the nation. His actions challenge others in the real estate sector to reconsider their approach, encouraging a shift towards more tenant-friendly practices. By earning the title of one of Australia’s best landlords, John becomes a symbol of what is possible when empathy and generosity guide housing decisions.

Carl Tilney’s Testimony: A Voice for the Unseen Heroes

Carl Tilney’s reflection on his experience serves as a poignant testimony to the impact of John’s kindness, shedding light on the often overlooked positive stories within the housing crisis.

Acknowledging Unprecedented Kindness

As Carl attests, “I have had a couple of good landlords, but I’ve never had anybody like John.” His words resonate as a heartfelt acknowledgment of the unparalleled kindness and unwavering support he has received from John. In an environment where the struggles of renters are often overshadowed by the broader crisis, Carl’s testimony becomes a voice for the unseen heroes—landlords who go above and beyond to create a positive impact in the lives of their tenants.

Echoing the Power of Genuine Kindness

Carl’s sentiment echoes beyond his personal experience; it reverberates as a reminder of the transformative power of genuine kindness in the realm of housing. John’s exceptional approach becomes a shining example of how individual actions, fueled by empathy and compassion, can alleviate the hardships faced by tenants and redefine the narrative of landlord-tenant relationships.


John Webb’s story serves as a testament to the enduring power of compassion and community in the face of global housing challenges. In a world where headlines often highlight the struggles of those in search of affordable and secure housing, John’s exceptional generosity shines brightly. His actions not only provide a home for Carl but also exemplify the transformative impact that small acts of kindness can have on individuals and communities. As the housing crisis persists, John’s legacy is an inspiring reminder of the difference that people can make when prioritizing compassion and community over financial gain.


The extraordinary nature of their landlord-tenant relationship.

Supporting fellow residents is not just a social responsibility.

Residents can build long-lasting connections and actively participate in community life.

Their actions serve as a tangible expression of the community spirit.

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