13 June 2023
No cause evictions would be scrapped, landlords and agents would be prohibited from accepting rental offers above the asking price and there would be a presumption in favour of renting with pets, under a raft of amendments the Greens will move to the Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in State Parliament today.
The Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill would ensure reasonable steps are taken to protect tenant’s personal information and partially prohibit rent bidding by preventing landlords or agents from encouraging offers above the asking price or advertising a price range for rentals. There will be no prohibition on landlords or real estate agents accepting higher offers.
“While any action to strengthen the protections for renters is of course welcome, the Government’s bill does not go far enough. The Government has made much of their pledge to ‘ban rent bidding’ but their plan still leaves the door open to landlords or real estate agents accepting offers above the asking price, a practice which continues to drive up rent prices,” said Greens Housing Spokesperson, Robert Simms MLC.
“During the worst housing crisis in generations, landlords and real estate agents are holding all the cards. We need to see reform of the Residential Tenancies Act with real teeth to redress the structural imbalance between landlords and tenants. Sadly, the Government’s weak reforms miss the mark. The amendments the Greens will move to the Government’s bill today would offer genuine protection to renters. I urge all parties to back these and embrace this opportunity to fix our Residential Tenancies Act,” Mr Simms said.
The Greens amendments include:
- Ending rent bidding in full by preventing agents or landlords from accepting offers above the asking price
- Allowing the Minister to implement rent controls when required by market pressures
- Providing a presumption in favour of renting with pets (requiring landlords to apply not to allow pets on their property)
- Ending no-cause evictions
- Providing for the establishment of an independent advocacy and representation body for tenants
Debate on the bill is expected to begin in the Legislative Council at approximately 3.30pm today.