SIXTEEN German backpackers claim they were unfairly evicted from their temporary Mildura home yesterday.
The tourists say they were forced to find emergency accommodation after being kicked out of the Eleventh Street property they had been staying at for the past fortnight.
The backpackers claim their landlord, Serdar Donmez – accompanied by police – woke them yesterday morning to evict them, without warning.
They claim Mr Donmez has threatened to keep their wages, as well as a bond – $150 per person – for drinking at and damaging his property. They say he potentially has $5000 belonging to them.
While the backpackers say they did have a few social drinks, they were not unruly and had not damaged property.
The group – aged between 18 and 21 – told Sunraysia Daily yesterday that their encounter with Mr Donmez had ruined their stay in Mildura.
“He will give Mildura a bad name,” one of the backpackers, Moritz, said.
“It’s very bad publicity, Don is the worst publicity you can imagine, I think.
“We expected farm work and to be able to save money, buy a car and then travel.”
Another of the backpackers said: “Everyone wants to leave as soon as possible, we can’t trust anyone.”
During their time with the contractor/landlord they say they were not paid well and that they were sent to pick fruit from trees with little or no fruit on them, making it hard to earn money.
Just last week they witnessed two Italians being evicted for similar reasons.
“You have to tell him seven days before you leave that you are going to leave or else you won’t get your deposit ($150) back,” Moritz said.
“Now he’s got $150 here from everyone, he’s still got it and he won’t give it back to us.
“He said we destroyed something, which isn’t true, and additionally there’s still wages owed to us from our work at the farm.
For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday's Sunraysia Daily 16/11/2012.