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Queensland cracks down on rent bidding

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Changes for Queensland renters have been announced in response to a persisting housing crisis across the state.
Changes for Queensland renters

The Queensland Government has announced increased protections for renters as part of measures to combat rising housing stress.

New measures announced on Sunday include a stricter ban on rent bidding — the illegal practice of agents or landlords asking for rent offers above the advertised price.

While rent bidding was already illegal in the state, prospective tenants will now be banned from volunteering offers above the advertised rent.

Rent bidding in Queensland

Forms of rent bidding have already been banned or will be banned in every state and territory in Australia.

In part, these laws have been in response to limited housing supply and concerns around exploitative practices by property agents.

Vague pricing on listings, such as advertising a property’s rent price as a range rather than a fixed number, is also considered a form of rent bidding. This practice is outlawed in Qld, where over a third of all dwellings are rented.

Changes for Queensland renters

Stricter rules on rent bidding come during a period of prolonged housing stress in Queensland. In the state’s southeast, a lack of housing stock is driving a rise in rental prices.

The state government will also launch initiatives to make it easier for renters to pay a bond deposit when moving.

A portable bond scheme will allow renters to transfer their bonds from one rental property to another. A ‘bridging’ loan scheme will also help renters pay the upfront costs of a new bond while they wait for their old bond to be released.

A new requirement for an agent or landlord to provide two days’ notice before entering was also suggested.

A pre-existing annual limit for rent increases will also be amended to clarify that an increase can only be applied once per year to a property, not between tenancies.

The proposals will likely pass because the Labor government holds a majority of seats in the state’s one house of Parliament.

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