Rent bidding apps - be careful Queensland

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The following information has been sourced from the Property Management Excellence PME manual (which is part of the PME system).

4.2 Rent must be advertised at a fixed amount

The RTRA Act requires that rent be advertised at a fixed amount (section 57). Words such as negotiable and price ranging are prohibited. Tenants may wish to make an ‘offer’ however,  property managers cannot encourage or solicit offers from prospective tenants.

If tenants indicate that they want to offer another price, property managers are encouraged to advise the tenant to ‘put their preferred terms forward’ and as the agent for the owner, the lessor will be provided all applications for consideration. Property managers should not discuss price (other than the listing price) with the tenant or any other party, other than the lessor.

57 Premises must be offered for rent at a fixed amount

 

(1) A lessor or lessor’s agent must not advertise or otherwise offer a residential tenancy for premises unless a fixed amount is stated in the advertisement or offer as the amount of rent for the premises.

Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.

(2) A lessor or lessor’s agent must not accept a rental bond from the tenant of premises if the residential tenancy for the premises was advertised or offered without stating a fixed amount of rent for the premises.

Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.

(3) A person does not contravene this section merely by placing a sign on or near premises advertising or offering a residential tenancy for the premises without stating the amount of rent for the premises on the sign.

Rent auctions – source www.rta.qld.gov.au

Rent auctions (also known as rent bidding) are where prospective tenants are asked to bid on how much rent they will pay. Rent auctions are illegal but could occur in isolated cases.

In Queensland, a property being advertised for rent must advertise a fixed price. A lessor/agent may not advertise a rent range, put a property up for rent auction or ask for offers.

Tenants and lessors are able to negotiate the amount of rent to be paid.

Fast facts

  • Failing to advertise a fixed price is an offence.
  • The agent does not have to display the price on a ‘for rent’ sign at a property.
  • Lessors/agents are not obliged to inform tenants of another tenant’s offer.
  • A tenant who believes a lessor/agent has exhibited deceptive or misleading behaviour may complain to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission  (ACCC) or the RTA.