A rental property must be advertised at a fixed price - failing to do so is an offence. The property manager/owner does not have to display the price on a ‘for rent’ sign at the property, but any other advertisement must include a fixed price.
A property manager/owner must also not:
advertise a property with a rent range (e.g. between $420-$460 a week)
put a property up for rent auction
proactively tell rental applicants to offer over the advertised rental price and encourage them to outbid each other.
A prospective tenant can proactively offer more than the advertised rental amount and the property manager/owner may accept their offer.
A prospective tenant can also offer to pay rent in advance and the property manager/owner can accept this. The maximum rent in advance a property manager/owner can ask for from a tenant is two weeks for a periodic agreement, or one month for a fixed-term agreement.
We recommend applicants only offer rent in advance if they can commit to staying in the rental property for the full period they've paid for, to avoid any issues with rent recovery at the end of the tenancy.
A customer who believes that rent bidding has taken place can contact the RTA for advice and request an investigation.
More information about rent bidding and how to navigate a tight rental market can be found in our webinar Your questions answered: searching for a rental, rent and ending a tenancy.