26 September 2023

New rules planned to protect renters

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NSW renters are to be better protected under a bill to eliminate secret rent bidding and begin the development of a portable bond scheme.

Introducing the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Rental Fairness) Bill 2023, Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading, Anoulack Chanthivong said the Bill was the first step towards making renting fairer and reducing the stress and pressure on renters across the State.

“Our focus is on getting the balance right by implementing responsible reforms that reduce stress and pressure for renters while also looking at ways to drive new supply into the market,” Mr Chanthivong said.

“Agents are already banned from asking prospective tenants for more rent than what the property is advertised, but landlords and third parties aren’t, so we’re closing that loophole,” he said.

“In the existing system, a renter paying $550 per week faces a bond cost of $2,200 if they want to move, the equivalent of 11 weeks’ of groceries.

“A portable scheme will free up cash and make life easier for renters.”

Mr Chanthivong said the Bill would eliminate secret rent bidding by requiring owners and their agents to notify applicants of other offers from prospective tenants which were higher than the advertised price.

He said Government had commenced the process of appointing a Rental Commissioner to be a voice for renters – with the position currently advertised.

“Work is also underway on reforms to end ‘no grounds’ evictions, make it easier for tenants to have pets, and better protect renters’ personal information,” the Minister said.

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