PIAC made a submission to the Legislative Assembly Select Committee on the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Rental Fairness) Bill 2023 (NSW) (the Bill).
PIAC commended the NSW Government for initiating rental housing regulation reform early in its term. The submission supports extending the existing ban on solicited rent bidding to landlords and third parties and the creation of a portable bond scheme.
PIAC’s submission outlines concerns that clause 22B of the Bill (which stated that a landlord must give all applicants written notice of a higher offer from another applicant) had the potential to formalise ‘rental auctions’, negatively impacting people vulnerable to homelessness or housing stress by contributing to increasing rents.
We advocated that the NSW Government remove rent bidding altogether by introducing regulation to prohibit landlords, real estate agents and/or third parties from offering, soliciting or accepting a higher rent than the advertised price, as housing is a basic need and essential service that must be regulated as such.
PIAC’s advocacy was highly successful. Following the inquiry, the NSW Parliament passed the Bill after the NSW Government withdrew clause 22B.