Landlords have long held the upper hand in the rental markets of Australia's biggest cities, but there are signs that power is receding in 2016.
Not only are average property prices slipping in many of the country's property markets, but recent figures also show key parts of the rental market are also starting to weaken.
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Rents are at record levels in some cities but a few have moved down over December. Video by Alistair Walsh and Christina Zhou.
And in good news for tenants, analysts predict this trend will have further to run this year, after a boom in home construction that has meant there are many more homes up for rent.
Average rents around the country grew at their slowest pace in 20 years in the December quarter, with a rise of 1.2 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The slowdown is most evident in the apartment market, because that is where there has been a boom in construction, which is lifting the supply of homes up for rent.
Sydney rents for apartments fell during the quarter for the first time since 2012, and were flat year on year, while Canberra and Brisbane unit rents were also flat in the year, according to figures from Fairfax Media-owned Domain.
Rents in resources hot spots Perth and Darwin fell by more than 10 per cent in the year amid deep cuts in spending by resources companies battling much lower commodity prices.
Melbourne bucked the trend, with average apartment rents edging up $10 to $370 in the year, but other analysts are predicting this market too will slow in 2016.
The reason, as this week's graph shows, is because more rental properties are sitting vacant.
The national vacancy rate is at a 10-year high of more than 2.5 per cent. That is not cause for alarm, but it's likely to remain there as more home-building projects are completed.
Population growth is also slowing, which should also take some heat out of the market.
ANZ economists Jo Masters and David Cannington say this combination of softer demand for housing and a relatively high vacancy rate is likely to remain.
"These trends are unlikely to change in the near term, particularly given the strong pipeline of activity in residential construction," they say.
It all adds up to "extremely benign" rent inflation, which they predict will remain very low at just 2 per cent this year.
Commonwealth Bank economist Michael Workman also cites the boom in apartment construction and predicts "oversupply" in some inner suburbs or Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
"Residential rents are likely to reflect the oversupply situations relatively quickly," he says.
While such predictions would be welcome news to anyone paying rent, they are also another reason why many analysts are cautioning property investors that there will be little – if any – growth in property prices this year.