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Controversial rental practice banned: ‘We will take action’

A composite image of NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Australian property in the background to represent rental changes.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has outlawed rental bidding practices. (Source: AAP/Getty)

Have you ever applied for a rental property and had an agent tell you if you offer to pay more you’ll likely get the place?

Well the practice of rent bidding will now be outlawed in New South Wales to improve affordability for renters amid high cost-of-living pressures.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said banning rent bidding would help prospective tenants secure housing in a tight rental property market in a fair way.

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“It’s time to put an end to this practice and give more people security and certainty so they can plan for their future,” Perrottet said.

“The search for a rental property is tough enough without it turning into a bidding war that pushes people beyond their comfort level.

“An advertised rental fee should be just that and we will take action to ensure rental bidding is outlawed.”

What is rent bidding?

Solicited rent bidding is the practice where a landlord or agent invites, suggests or asks prospective tenants to increase their offer of rent for a property in order to secure it.

Under the changes, the practice will be outlawed through urgent changes to regulations under the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002.

The new regulations will apply to all new listings from Saturday, December 17, 2022.

Minister for Fair Trading Victor Dominello said the reforms struck the right balance between the interests of renters, landlords and real estate agents.

“It can be very distressing for prospective tenants who have submitted a rental application only to be told to increase their offer to improve their prospects of securing a property,” Dominello said.

“From this weekend, agents will be prohibited from inducing a prospective tenant to offer an amount higher than that advertised for the property.

“Further, real estate agents cannot advertise a property unless it specifies the rent payable for the property.”

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