Jane Sayner, a 75-year-old resident of St. Albans, Melbourne, Australia, found herself in an unexpected situation when her landlord, multimillionaire John Perrett, passed away in September 2020. Jane had rented a two-bedroom apartment from John for over two decades, paying AUD$250 per week. Despite the longevity of her tenancy, Jane faced a unique turn of events following John’s demise.
John, who never married and had no children, had undergone a kidney transplant thirty years before his death, which significantly extended his life. Grateful for the care he received at the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Nephrology Department, John bequeathed a substantial part of his fortune—approximately AUD$18.6 million—to the hospital.
In an unexpected twist, John left two properties for long-term tenants, and Jane was one of the fortunate recipients. Her two-bedroom apartment was now officially hers, making her a property owner instead of a tenant.
The unexpected gift came to light when John, aware of his impending passing, called Jane to obtain her full name. During the call, he informed her that she would be inheriting the unit. Jane, initially taken aback, had known about John’s charitable intentions throughout their long association.
Despite the sorrow of losing her friend and landlord, Jane must have found solace in the fact that the house was now hers. Her dedication to the property over the years, transforming it into a cozy home with a garden she nurtured, likely contributed to John’s decision.
The relationship between John and Jane went beyond the typical landlord-tenant dynamic; they were friends. John, who was childless and single, occasionally shared personal stories with Jane, and she reciprocated by cooking for him. The bond they shared undoubtedly influenced John’s decision to leave the property to Jane, highlighting the human connection that can develop even in seemingly transactional relationships.