Reforms to level the playing field and deliver relief for renters
The Minns Labor government will today introduce a bill to NSW Parliament which will deliver on a key election commitment to provide cost of living relief and better protection to NSW renters.
Scheduled to be introduced to the Lower House on Wednesday, this legislation will eliminate the practice of secret rent bidding and begin the development of a portable bond scheme.
This Bill will:
- Close the loopholes in the existing ban on solicited rent bidding to include owners and third parties.
- Eliminate secret rent bidding by requiring owners and their agents to notify applicants of other offers from prospective tenants which are higher than the advertised price.
- Ensure appropriate powers are in place to design and enact a portable bond scheme that reduces the strain on renters.
The government’s rental reforms come in response to the tight rental market in NSW, where low housing supply and rising interest rates are putting huge pressure on families, vulnerable groups, and everyday citizens.
This is the first step in implementing the Government’s rental reform commitments to make renting fairer and reduce the stress and pressure on renters across the state.
The Government has also commenced the process of appointing a Rental Commissioner to be a voice for renters – with the position currently advertised.
Work is also underway on reforms to end ‘no grounds’ evictions, make it easier for tenants to have pets, and better protect renters’ personal information.
Quotes attributable to Premier of New South Wales Chris Minns:
“Anyone who rents in Sydney knows just how anxious and challenging a process it can be to find suitable accommodation, never mind the significant costs associated with moving.
“The Government is getting on with the job of delivering on our election commitments and providing much needed relief for New South Wales renters.
“This is a sensible cost of living measure to help ease the pressure on the over 30% of people in New South Wales currently renting.
“These changes will create a fairer rental regime in this state by providing greater certainty as well as flexibility for both renters and owners.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading Anoulack Chanthivong:
“The message at the last election was clear: renters in NSW didn’t feel their voice was being heard.
“That’s why we’re acting to deliver on our promise to ease the pressure.
“Our focus is on getting the balance right by implementing responsible reforms that reduce stress and pressure for renters while also looking at ways to drive new supply into the market.
“Agents are already banned from asking prospective tenants for more rent than what the property is advertised, but landlords and third parties aren’t, so we’re closing that loophole.
“In the existing system, a renter paying $550 per week faces a bond cost of $2200 if they want to move, the equivalent of 11 weeks’ of groceries.
“A portable scheme will free up cash and make life easier for renters.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson:
"There is a relationship between our unfair rental laws and increases in housing insecurity.
"More and more people are renting – and renting for life. As our housing market changes, we need to update and modernise our laws to ensure we are getting the balance right.
“We know our current rental laws aren’t working, this is a step closer to improving renters’ rights for the people of NSW.”