In recent years, a new industry has emerged in the Australian real estate market – for-profit renting technology businesses ('RentTech'). People who rent are increasingly pressured to use these technologies to apply for properties, make rental payments, request maintenance and communicate with real estate agents or landlords.
This report found four major consumer concerns with RentTech:
- Lack of choice – Renters are increasingly forced to use third-party rental platforms.
- Data insecurity – Third-party rental platforms can collect and store more data, at risk of data breaches, monetisation, and surveillance.
- Added costs – RentTech is being used to force or encourage tenants to pay additional fees.
- Invasive technologies – Advancements in automated decision-making and surveillance can increase discrimination and barriers for renters.
Federal and state reforms would alleviate stress and harm on renters caused by RentTech, namely:
- Reforming the Privacy Act
- A federal inquiry into automated decision-making
- Economy-wide ban on unfair trading
- Modernising State and Territory Residential Tenancies Acts
Download the report (PDF)
- RentTech platforms making renting that much harder
- RentTech platforms: How your data is used against you
- RentTech platforms have your data, whether you like it or not
- Sign the petition for stronger privacy protections
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.