Thu. Nov 30th, 2023

The Minns Government has dropped a clause to end secret rent bidding after negotiations with minor parties failed to get support for the measure. 

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. The government says the 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 decision follows engagement with advocacy organisations and crossbench members of the NSW Parliament, that made it clear section 22B would not pass the upper house.

“We have been upfront: the minority Parliament won’t support every bit of every bill, and we’ll be pragmatic working through that,” Premier Chris Minns said.

“This decision means we can get on with the rest of our rental reform agenda, including ending ‘no-grounds’ evictions.”

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.

Minister for Fair Trading and Better Regulation, Anoulack Chanthivong, said that given the rental crisis in NSW, they 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.”

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