Rent bidding illegal in South Australia from tomorrow

SA Gov

The Malinauskas Labor Government has banned the unfair practice as part of a series of reforms addressing rental affordability and improving rights for tenants.

Adelaide’s median rent is now $540 per week for houses and the vacancy rate is amongst the lowest in the nation at below 1 per cent.

The low vacancy rate has encouraged ‘rent bidding’ where tenants are encouraged to offer above the advertised price to secure the property.

Landlords or agents must now advertise premises at a fixed amount and must not solicit or otherwise invite an offer for higher rent.

This means landlords are no longer able to advertise properties with a rent range, put properties up for rent auction, or solicit offers over the advertised rental price.

Additionally, where a third party is facilitating tenancy applications, any rating or assessment of a prospective tenant must not be based on an offer of higher rent.

A penalty of up to $20,000 will apply.

This significant reform brings South Australia in line with other Australian jurisdictions.

The Malinauskas Government continues to act decisively to address the housing crisis with this ban following our move to raise the bond threshold from $250 to $800 – meaning the majority of tenants only have to pay a four-week bond now instead of six.

Targeted consultation is also underway on a range of amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act including to prevent landlords unreasonably refusing a tenant’s request for a pet. The amendment would allow landlords to set reasonable conditions on the keeping of the pet.

The amendments also include increasing the minimum notice to end a tenancy from 28 days to 60 days and ending ‘no cause’ evictions.

We want tenants to feel more secure in their rental home and have more time to secure a new property and make the necessary arrangements to move when required.

As put by Andrea Michaels

Rent bidding is illegal in South Australia from tomorrow.

Creating a bidding war is completely unfair to tenants who are struggling to secure a rental home and wastes their time.

In the current market, people are going to look at 50 or more homes and they have the right to know that the price that property is advertised for, is the price it will be leased for.

I have heard from so many tenants like Ariba who have experienced this and now anyone subjected to an attempt to solicit rent bidding can report it to Consumer and Business Services.

The Malinauskas Government will continue to act decisively to make the system fairer for tenants.

As put by Ariba Siddiqi, tenant.

Six months ago, I joined Minister Andrea Michaels to announce the intention to ban rent bidding in South Australia and I’m so impressed that they have acted so quickly to bring this law into effect.

I’ve experienced firsthand the frustrations of trying to find a rental in South Australia after moving here with my husband from Victoria in 2021.

I often missed out on securing a property because other tenants were encouraged to offer more rent when they submitted their application. It creates unfair advantage, and wastes tenant’s time, especially when they have to take time out of work hours to visit a place for inspection.

I raised the matter with my local member Lucy Hood and she encouraged me to participate in Minister Michaels’ review of the Residential Tenancies Act. They took my experience seriously and I appreciate the work the Government has done to achieve this much-needed reform.

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