Sunday, 29 Jan 2023

Imperfect match: Australian renters in the dark over use of data by tech company Snug

Imperfect match: Australian renters in the dark over use of data by tech company Snug


Imperfect match: Australian renters in the dark over use of data by tech company Snug

How the score is calculated is mostly invisible to the renter. But one thing that makes it go up substantially is offering a higher rent.

Guardian Australia tested the process for two properties in Victoria. Applying to rent at the advertised price of $490 a week for a two-bedroom townhouse in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick resulted in a Snug Match Score of 74.

But offering an extra $10 a week pushed the score up to 77. Each additional $10 a week offered increased the score by two or three points. It reached a score of 88 when the offer hit $540 a week.

The results were similar for a one-bedroom apartment in Footscray, advertised at $310 a week. An initial Snug Match Score of 72 at the advertised rent increased to 85 when the offer reached $340.

Rental providers and agents who engage in rental bidding in Victoria face penalties of more than $11,000 for a person and more than $55,000 for a company.

She said the Match Score was potentially discriminatory.

In many states, agents and landlords are not allowed to ask renters about attributes such as race, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status, children and religion.

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