Reluctant regulators? Rent regulation in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic

Chris Martin, Alistair Sisson, Sian Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Rents in the Australian private rental sector (PRS) have long been determined by the market, but during the public health and economic crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, state and territory governments implemented emergency measures to prevent evictions and regulate rents. This article reviews the rent measures implemented and their outcomes, using survey data and other quantitative evidence, and interviews with PRS stakeholders. We find the rent measures, which relied on negotiations between individual landlords and tenants, had a modest effect – just 8–16% of tenants got a rent variation – and tenants, landlords and agents struggled in unfamiliar roles. The emergency period holds lessons and prompts questions about future directions in policy-making for rental affordability and PRS relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-803
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Housing Policy
Issue number4
Early online date11 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Publisher 2021. Accepted Author Manuscript Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Australia
  • COVID-19
  • rent
  • regulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Reluctant regulators? Rent regulation in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this