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Question: Rent Bidding

7 March 2023

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question without notice to the minister representing the Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs on the topic of renters rights.

Leave granted.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: Last month, the Malinauskas government announced their plan to introduce legislation to ban the practice of rent bidding; that is, a practice whereby tenants are encouraged to bid higher than rent offered by other tenants in order to secure a home. According to a story in The Advertiser published on 15 February this year, under the proposed legislation:

Landlords will still be allowed to accept offers above the listed rental price if they are made unsolicited and without encouragement.

Four days later, SBS online published a story that considered the effects of similar bans in other jurisdictions. The article stated that in New South Wales some prospective tenants are still offering more than the asking price, as well as offering to pay rent in advance—sometimes as much as a full year in advance. My question to the Attorney-General therefore is: given that so many South Australians are struggling with housing stress at the moment, is he concerned that the government's bill may not achieve its stated objective of actually banning the practice of rent bidding?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): I thank the honourable member for his question. I will forward that on to the minister to whom he referred, the Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs in the other place, and bring back a reply for him.