Understanding discrimination effects in private rental housing

This report undertaken by researchers from The University of Sydney examines discrimination across age, gender, race and indigeneity in existing policy, law and practice in Australia’s private rental sector, including the impact of informal tenancies and the increasing role of digital technologies.

The research finds there is a growing number of informal and shared tenancies, increasing the potential for discrimination. Informal tenants have few renter’s rights and those in share-housing can also face discrimination by other tenants, including via little-regulated digital technologies.

It also examines the role of digital housing technologies in mediating discrimination across the rental system. At present, they reflect the power imbalance between landlords and tenants, however international examples show they can be used to support tenants.

Key Findings

  • Discrimination in the private rental sector (PRS) occurs throughout the entire rental system, from property procurement and investment prior to the search for a rental property, through to eviction.
  • The growing number of informal and shared tenancies increases the potential for discrimination. Informal tenants have few renter’s rights and those in share-housing can also face discrimination by other tenants, including via little-regulated digital technologies.
  • Digital housing technologies — and their differential use and regulation — mediate discrimination across the rental system. At present, they reflect the power imbalance between landlords and tenants, however international examples show they can be used to support tenants.

Report

Read the web report here.