Real estate agents and renters advocates have welcomed a freeze on laws allowing the operation of commercial rental bond guarantors in Canberra.
The government put a 'stay' on legislation on Thursday as part of a suite of housing reforms, having only just recently allowed their operation.
Commercial rental bonds allow tenants to pay a private company premiums to front their bond for them with any claims made at an additional cost to tenants.
But renters rights groups raised the alarm last week about the fees behind these agreements and the lack of consumer protections, while real estate agents were concerned landlords would be left without a bond if renters skipped on their premiums.
The ACT government said more time was needed to look into the "serious concerns" around the products.
"During community consultation, the government identified some issues with the way in which these products interact with the current legislation," a government spokeswoman said.
Renters groups have pointed to other government backed programs, like ACT Housing's Rental Bond Loan Scheme, as an alternative with better consumer protection.
Phd student James Goldie took a no-interest loan from ACT Housing when he and his partner couldn't afford to front their bond.
"I was aware that we were below average wealth wise, but I was certainly surprised. I assumed you would absolutely have to be bottom of the barrel to apply for this," Mr Goldie said.
"I can't even remember how I found out about it. I don't think it's really advertised at all, unless you're poking around the ACT Housing website," Mr Goldie said.
The Real Estate Institute of the ACT's chairman, Craig Bright, said his organisation would be happy to consult with the government as they reassessed the legislation.
His organisation was concerned that if a renter stopped paying premiums to their guarantor whether there would be no bond for their property.
"Also, we believe that there should be a full disclosure to what a commercially guaranteed bond will cost the tenant on an ongoing basis over a number of years," Mr Bright said.
Care Financial chief executive Carmel Franklin welcomed the freeze and said the ACT government could consult with her organisation further.
"Our concern is if the person is going to be worse off in the end," Ms Franklin said.
"It might seem like a good option because it's a small payment rather than a big payment, but it provides far less protection."