The renter’s journey

A consumer-centred approach to understanding the dynamics of Australia’s private rental market
Tenants Housing Private rental Rental housing Rental housing law and legislation Australia

This report considers the lived experience of renters. It suggests a framework for continuing research and policy development in the housing space, and creates a substantial meta-study of the state of the rental housing market in 2019.

The Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) has identified the following key issues in the private rental system:

  • A lack of suitable and affordable supply of rental stock with the features renters need and value, signifying the lack of operation of an effective and efficient rental market. The preferences and needs of renters in turn, have little impact on the provision of housing types, in terms of built form, location, tenure and other features.
  • This lack of supply responsiveness not only limits renter choice, but also the capacity of policymakers and industry to provide the kinds of homes that renters want.
  • A significant information asymmetry with renters lacking access to property and service information to make effective choices.
  • A persistent power imbalance between renters who are constrained in their access to a fundamental service, and those who provide the service.
  • Significant and prohibitive transaction costs associated with moving.
  • Poor access to and awareness of available support and consumer rights. Ongoing distrust in dispute resolution processes also acts as a barrier.
  • An inadequate safety net for marginalised or distressed renters needing support to maintain a private tenancy, with a growing risk of homelessness.
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