Catherine Yeulet

Are you being ripped off on your rental?

Ever applied for a rental property and wondered if it might be overpriced compared to other homes in the street? Well now you can check before you sign on the dotted line.

The State Government has for the first time freed up access to raw rental bond data for consumers, in turn, giving them a rare insight into the property market.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the data puts consumers first by allowing open, transparent access to useful rental information.

"This untouched data can be analysed by individuals trying to decide where to rent or invest, as well as innovators who could use the data to create apps and other programs to help consumers," Mr Kean said.

"The comprehensive range of data includes postcodes, rent prices, period of tenure, number of bedrooms and types of dwellings."

The data is sourced from Rental Bonds Online - the NSW Government's secure online lodgement system - which currently holds more than 800,000 rental bonds. Registration is compulsory for property agents and self-managing landlords, and the service must be offered as the first option for new tenants for the lodgement of their bond.

Monthly Rental Bond lodgement data - provided by the agent or landlord at the beginning of a tenancy - includes dwelling type, weekly rent amounts and number of bedrooms. Quarterly data indicates the length of the tenancy and proportion of bond refunded at the end of a lease.

Mr Kean said the release of this information is particularly helpful for consumers in today's rapidly changing rental market.

"The applications of this data are wide-ranging; investors can use it to locate new and emerging rental markets; tenants can find the best and cheapest areas to rent in; and, tenants and agents can use it to find areas with long-term residents or families in the community," he said.

Both the monthly and quarterly data will be released on the NSW Fair Trading website.

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