The NSW Government is reminding all real estate agents that from today new regulations are in place banning the practice of solicited rent bidding.
Minister for Fair Trade Victor Dominello said reforms to regulations under the Property and Stock Agents Regulation announced earlier this week required real estate agents to advertise a rental property with a fixed price – not with a price range or “by negotiation”.
Real estate agents are now prohibited from inviting, suggesting or inducing a prospective tenant to offer an amount higher than the advertised rent for the property.
“No longer will tenants waste countless hours applying for rental properties they think they can afford only to be told to increase their offer to improve their prospects,” Mr Dominello said.
“I encourage real estate agents to familiarise themselves with the new regulations and ensure they comply with them in their dealings with renters.”
Those who breach the new regulations may be issued an on-the-spot penalty infringement notice of $1,100 for a corporation and $550 for an individual.
The maximum penalties a court can award for non-compliance with the ban on solicited rent bidding are $11,000 for a corporation and $550 for an individual.
“NSW Fair Trading will work with real estate agents to make sure they understand the new regulations” Mr Dominello said.
“While the initial focus of NSW Fair Trading is on educating the industry, there will also be regular compliance campaigns and strict enforcement action.
“Anyone who believes they have been asked by a real estate agent to increase their offer is encouraged to contact NSW Fair Trading.”