New renting laws make it unlawful for rental providers (landlords) and agents to encourage someone to enter a rental agreement by misleading or deceptive conduct, or by false or misleading statements about certain aspects of a rental.
The following are examples of different types of false or misleading statements that are prohibited.
Location of the rental property
A property is in an area with limited public transport, but the rental provider falsely claims it is a ‘stone’s throw’ from the train station.
Ownership of the rental property
The agent claims a retiree seeking a stable income owns the property. But it is actually owned by a real estate agency who may only be looking to rent it out until they can sell it.
Lawful use of the rental property
The rental provider advertises a ‘warehouse conversion’ as a residential rental property. But the property is zoned for industrial use only.
Characteristics of the rental property
A rental provider claims the property has excellent energy efficiency due to a five-star heating system. But the agent does not mention that the property is an old building with poor insulation.
A property is listed as $600 a week all inclusive. But the rental provider did not mention extra fees for accessing the laundry, gym and communal areas.
The facilities of the rental property
A rental provider suggests that the property has high speed internet connection due to the building’s NBN connection. But they did not disclose that the apartment itself is not connected.
What has changed?
The Australian Consumer Law already prohibited commercial rental providers and commercial agents from doing this – the new laws ensure private rental providers and private agents are also covered.