Will This Really Stop Sydney’s Rental Bidding Wars?

The newly elected Labor government introduced legislation that would ban secret bidding, and it also brought a portable bonds scheme on Wednesday.

It is one of several measures being promised under the Labor government to tackle Sydney’s out-of-control rental market.

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On today’s This Arvo In Sydney, host Sacha Barbour Gatt spoke to the Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading, Anoulack Chanthivong, to find out whether this legislation will stop the practice.

I was pleased to introduce a bill into the parliament which will a) end secret bidding, b) introduce and start the process to implement a portable bond scheme,”

Mr Chanthivong said.

The rental legislation would allow bonds to be transferred from one property to the next and close the loopholes in the existing rental market on rent bidding.

Under the new scheme, owners and agents are required to notify all applicants if they received a higher offer, making the transaction more transparent and fair. 

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However, Mr Chanthivong said that the new legislation would stop “soliciting”, but rent bidding itself would be hard to ban.

You can’t solicit secret bids. That’s the first point, and if a legitimate offer is made, then that offer needs to be disclosed to all applicants who are actually in the running for that property,”

he said.

Other tenants and advocacy groups worried that these changes would drive the prices up as there had been a mismatch in the rental market between supply and demand.

In the past 12 months of New South Wales’s rental market, rent had increased by 3.8 per cent, which adds the median weekly rent at $550.

Hosted by Sacha Barbour, This Arvo in Sydney is a 10 to 12 minute daily news podcast made just for Sydney! Listen now on the Listnr app.