Rent bidding is when a tenant or a real estate agent negotiates the price of a rental property, rather than renting at a fixed price.
Rent bidding can include any of the following:
- a prospective tenant offering more rent than was advertised without being prompted
- an agent requesting that prospective tenants offer more rent than was advertised
- an agent encouraging or seeking competitive bids from applicants
- advertising a property with a rent range, for example $250 to $300 or offers above $250
- advertising a property with no rental price
- holding a rent auction.
What the laws say
Rent bidding is not prohibited or illegal. However, property agents and landlords must not mislead or deceive prospective tenants.
When advertising the rental price, the property agent or landlord must make sure that any representation they make is accurate and not misleading.
Misleading and deceptive conduct
Misleading and deceptive conduct may include:
- listing a property at an unrealistically low price, and asking applicants to offer more money
- listing a property with a misleading rent range, where the landlord would not rent the property at the lower end of the range
- listing a property without a price, and giving applicants unrealistic estimates of what the landlord might accept
- telling a prospective tenant that another applicant had offered a higher rent when this is untrue.
If you have concerns about conduct that you think may be misleading or deceptive you can call NT Consumer Affairs on 1800 019 319.
Whether conduct is misleading or deceptive depends on the circumstances of each case.
Read more about misleading and deceptive conduct.
What you can do
You should know your rights when renting a property.
You should also make sure you do all of the following:
- decide how much you are prepared to pay
- set yourself a maximum limit and stick to it
- be careful about high pressure sales tactics.
Last updated: 26 June 2018