Qld ‘cracking down’ on controversial rent bidding issue

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Queensland is moving to radically overhaul renting laws as it becomes the latest state to ban rental bidding.

It comes as rents continue to skyrocket across Australia.

Rental bidding is the hated practice where an owner or real estate agent “solicits or invites an offer of rent that is higher than the advertised”.

“We’re banning all types of rental bidding in Queensland,” Queensland Premier Steven Miles stated on social media today.

“Renters shouldn’t be played off against each other when trying to secure a home. It should be a level playing field. That’s why we are banning rent bidding.”

He added that the Queensland Government was looking at a “new code of conduct to stop dodgy and unprofessional behaviour by real estate agents”.

“We want to make it fairer for all Queenslanders.”

The new policy is part of a $160 million renter relief package announced by the government in Queensland today as the state tackles a housing crisis.

In a raft of proposed changes, the government said it would tackle the “unfair” practice of rental bidding and provide bridging loans for rental bonds.

Bonds will also be able to be transferred between rental properties, according to exclusive details of the Renters Relief Package obtained by the Sunday Mail.

“A new rental sector Code of Conduct will be explored with all parties to crack down on dodgy and unprofessional practices and ensure better protections for renters,” a government spokesman told the Sunday Mail.

“Rent bidding (where prospective tenants are encouraged to outbid each other for properties) will be banned and penalties will be enforced against agents who engage or encourage these practices.”

Rental bidding has been banned in most states and territories (except Northern Territory) in recent years as state governments attempt to beef-up the rights of tenants in the face of an ongoing national housing crisis.

In most states, tenants are still allowed to offer more than the advertised rental price in an attempt to secure the rental.

Victoria implemented housing reforms targeting the practice in the last half of 2023.

Victorian renter Erin told news.com.au other renters offering to pay more per week than the advertised price was one of the “major challenges” she had while applying for rentals in 2022.

“That was a big problem as a lot of people were getting (rentals) because they were offering like six months rent,” Erin told news.com.au

In 2022 New South Wales banned licensed agents from soliciting rent bidding. From late 2023 this ban was extended to any person, including landlords.

The country is facing a dual housing affordability and rental crisis, with record low capital city vacancy rates of around one per cent and rent increases as high as 50 per cent.

Research from 2023 revealed Australian’s now need to earn more than $300,000 a year to comfortably afford to buy their own home.

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