Briefing: Bond exit survey


Understanding why tenancies end – exit surveys

As the number of renters in New South Wales continues to grow it is more important than ever that policy decisions made by government are evidence-based. Currently the NSW government, researchers, and industry cannot answer fundamental questions about our private rental market. In the current discussion we are concerned about increasing tenants’ security of tenure, but we cannot answer the questions “how many tenants are evicted each year, and on what grounds?”

The 2016 Census data shows that renters in the private sector are three times more likely to have moved in the previous year than other tenure types such as owner-occupiers (with or without a mortgage) or social housing tenants. However, it is impossible to know from the data whether they moved of their own accord or because they were required to move by the landlord.

There is a simple step that could be taken to answer these questions, which is to implement exit surveys as part of the claim for refund of bond process. By making some small changes to the claims process an exit survey could achieve sufficient response rates as to provide an excellent dataset giving new insights into our private rental market, with minimal impact on the amount of time taken by any of the parties in process a refund of bond claim.

We also recommend the inclusion of a question of weekly rent at the end of the tenancy to give a better understanding of the rental market in NSW. The average increase in rents over other tenancies would give both investors and tenants greater ability to judge what a reasonable increase in their own arrangement might be.