Rent Bidding Banned From Today

REIWA

The first set of rental reforms – rent bidding and new provisions for retaliatory action – will come into effect today, Thursday 16 May.

Rent bidding

It will be illegal for agents or owners to ask or encourage tenants to pay more than the advertised price of the home. They face a $10,000 fine if they are found to do so.

Tenants can still voluntarily offer to pay more, which will happen in a highly competitive market, and this is not considered rent bidding.

Properties will also have to be advertised at a fixed amount and will not be able to be advertised using a price range or a ‘from’ price.

Retaliatory action

The reforms include new provisions allowing a tenant to seek remedy or compensation from a court if they believe a landlord has taken retaliatory action against them after exercising their rights as a tenant.

Tenants already have the right to seek remedy or compensation if action has been taken to evict them after exercising their rights.

The new provisions will cover retaliatory actions such as:

  • Breach notices relating to anything other than a failure to pay rent
  • A rent increase
  • Termination of the lease
  • Refusal to renew a lease.

The tenant must believe the landlord’s actions are in response to the tenant exercising their rights, such as:

  • Asking for repairs or maintenance
  • Giving the landlord a notice claiming the lessor has breached the agreement
  • Requiring reimbursement for urgent repairs
  • Applying to a court for an order
  • Complaints to the Commissioner or another government entity
  • A court order being in force.

The tenant may then seek remedy in court for the ‘retaliatory action’ in the form of an order or compensation.

The reforms are going to come into effect in stages. Stage two will include limiting rent increases, pets, minor modifications and changes to the dispute resolution process, and is expected in mid-2024.

We have highlighted the key changes in our Facts of the Act brochure, and developed separate flyers for tenants and landlords to help everyone understand what the new legislation means for them.

/Public Release. View in full here.