Getting on with tackling the rental crisis
The Minns government is accelerating the passage of practical reforms to ease the pressure on renters by pressing pause on moves to end secret rent bidding.
The government will amend its legislation before the parliament to remove section 22B, covering secret rent bidding, allowing the other elements passage through the legislative assembly.
This decision clears the path to get on with passing the legislation, which is needed to:
- implement a portable bond scheme that delivers significant financial relief to renters
- close existing loopholes and extend the ban on soliciting rental bids so it applies to third-party platforms and owners, not just real estate agents, and
- empower the NSW Rental Commissioner to gather pricing data from agents, allowing them to advocate for renters and provide quality advice to government.
The government’s decision follows constructive engagement with advocacy organisations and crossbench members of the NSW Parliament.
It has become apparent that section 22B would not pass the upper house in its current form.
Without upper house support, the government could not risk renters being made to wait longer, if the bill was delayed for weeks or months in parliament.
Interviews for the newly-created role of NSW Rental Commissioner are scheduled for this week, and the government has already begun work on the next tranche of rental reform.
The government will charge the rental commissioner with continuing this work to make the market more transparent in close consultation with advocates and the sector.
The rental commissioner will also make it easier for renters to have pets and will end ‘no grounds’ evictions.
Aside from rental reforms, the Minns government is taking steps to increase housing supply across the state and ease pressure on the rental market.
Last week the government passed its First Home Buyer legislation, ensuring more support will go to those who need it most with five in every 6 first home buyers paying no tax or a reduced rate.
The NSW Government has begun an audit into surplus public land that could be rezoned for housing, it has included housing supply in the Sydney Metro review and the government will establish a building commission to make sure NSW is building good quality, affordable homes.
Minister for Fair Trading and Better Regulation Anoulack Chanthivong said:
“With a rental crisis in NSW, we need to provide relief as soon as possible."
“Being an Australian-first reform, we understand there are questions about how a ban on secret rent bidding will be implemented. We can’t let that put a handbrake on areas where there is broad agreement."
“I want to thank the crossbench and renters advocates for their engagement on these reforms.”
Premier Chris Minns said:
“We have been upfront: the minority parliament won’t support every bit of every bill, and we’ll be pragmatic working through that."
“This decision means we can get on with the rest of our rental reform agenda, including ending ‘no-grounds’ evictions.”