With the vacancy rate going down to from 1.9% to 1.6% in July, a new report showed that Victoria renters have started offering extra rent to landlords.

According to the Consumer Affairs Victoria’s rental experience report, up to 20% of house seekers have offered to pay more than the advertised rent, with half of them turning out to be successful.

In most instances, the decision to offer higher rent was solely the tenant’s choice. However, 23% of those surveyed said that the idea was suggested by the agent or landlord.

Tenants have started to feel the housing crunch, as demand continues to remain high in select neighbourhoods with much coveted features.

The practice of rental bidding is not illegal in Victoria, but there is opposition to make it part of the law – one of which came from Yaelle Caspi, the spokeswoman of Tenants Union of Victoria.

According to Caspi, rental bidding does not help low-income tenants because of the lack of transparency around the cost and rental process.

“Queensland has strong protections against rental bidding; we believe the same should be introduced here,” said Caspi in an interview with Domain News.

“Up until recently, the practice of rental bidding was limited to higher amenity properties and to periods of low vacancy rates. However, we are seeing the process occur more frequently.”