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How Often Can a Landlord Increase Your Rent?

How Often Can a Landlord Increase Your Rent?

Landlords are entitled to increase rent subject to different requirements around Australia. Read on to see what requirements are in place in your State or Territory.

12th October 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes

How often can a landlord increase your rent?

Across all Australian States and Territories, there are two types of tenancies: a fixed-term tenancy and a periodic tenancy. A fixed-term tenancy is a tenancy for a specified period of time. A periodic tenancy is an agreement where either the fixed term has expired or there was no fixed term specified.The requirements for when a landlord can increase your rent payable under each tenancy type depends on the State or Territory in which you hold a lease. Read on to discover the requirements for your State or Territory.

New South Wales

In New South Wales, residential tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010. The rent may be increased if valid written notice is given at least 60 days before the increase is to take effect.

Valid notice is given if:

  • It is given 60 days before the increase is to take effect; and
  • It states the increased rent amount and the day from which the increase rent applies.

If the notice is not valid, you do not need to pay the increase until issued with a correct notice. You will need to keep paying the current rent rate during that time.

Under a fixed-term tenancy, if the possibility of an increase is provided in the tenancy agreement and valid notice is given, a landlord can increase your rent:

  • Once in any 12-month period if your tenancy term is 2 years or more;
  • If your term is less than 2 years, the rent can be increase only if the agreement sets out the amount of the increase or the method of calculating the increase.

If you have a periodic tenancy, there is no limit to how many times a landlord may increase the rent.

If you believe the rent increase to be excessive, there are two options available to you:

  • Enter negotiations with the landlord to lower or rescind the rent increase; or
  • Apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order the rent is excessive within 30 days of getting increase notice.

Victoria

In Victoria, residential tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2008. The landlord must give you at least 60 days’ notice of any rent increase using the ‘Notice of rent increase to tenants of rented premises’ form.

A landlord can only increase the rent once every 6-month period and may not increase the rent before the end of a fixed-term tenancy unless the terms of the agreement allow.

If you believe the rent increase to be excessive you may request a Rent Assessment from Consumer Affairs Victoria within 30 days of receiving the increase notice. If the Rent Assessment confirms that the increase is excessive, you may apply to the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal to seek a determination within 30 days of receiving the rent assessment outcome.

Queensland

In Queensland, residential tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 and the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009. The landlord must give you 2 months’ written notice of an increase to the rent.

Under a fixed-term tenancy, rent can only be increased if:

  • It is stated in the tenancy agreement that the rent may increase;
  • The agreement specifies the new amount or a method of calculating the new amount;
  • It has been 6 months since the tenancy began or the last increase; and
  • Valid written notice is given to you specifying the increase amount and the day it will take effect.

Under a periodic tenancy, rent can be increased if 2 months’ written notice is given and it has been a minimum of 6 months since the tenancy started or the last increase occurred.

If you believe the increase to be excessive, there are two options available to you:

South Australia

In South Australia, residential tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2010. The landlord must give you at least 60 days written notice of an increase to the rent using the ‘Notice of a rent increase’ form. Rent increases can only occur once every 12 months.

Under a fixed-term tenancy, rent can only be increased:

  • At the time the lease is being extended;
  • If the agreement states that rent may be increased and how it will be calculated; and
  • If the specific amount of increase and the date it will commence is a condition of the agreement.

Under a periodic tenancy, rent can be increased upon serving of valid notice.

If you believe the rent increase to be excessive, you can apply to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have the rent increase challenged.

Tasmania

In Tasmania, residential tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 and the Residential Tenancy Regulations 2015. Landlords must give at least 60 days’ written notice of an increase in rent. The notice must state the new rent amount and the day it takes effect. Rent can only be increased once every 12 months at either the beginning or renewal of a tenancy.

For a fixed-term tenancy, the agreement must contain a clause allowing for rent increases.

If you believe the rent increase to be excessive, you can apply to the Residential Tenancy Commissioner to have the increase reviewed.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, residential tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 2013 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989. The landlord must give you at least 60 days’ written notice of the rent increase using Form 10.

Under a fixed-term tenancy, rent can only be increased at 6-month intervals:

  • If the written agreement specifies how much the increase will be or a method for calculating the increase is provided.

Under a periodic tenancy, rent can be increased after serving valid notice at 6-month intervals.

If you believe the rent increase to be excessive, you can apply to the Magistrates Court to request a reduction.

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, residential tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1999. The landlord must give you 30 days’ written notice of the increase in rent.

For a fixed-term tenancy, a landlord may not increase the rent for the term of the lease unless agreed in writing and stated in the tenancy agreement. This agreement must state the amount of the increase or provide a method for calculating the increase.

Landlords can only increase the rent 6 months after the start of the tenancy and at 6-month intervals after that.

If you believe that the rent increase is excessive, you can apply to the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a declaration that it is excessive.

Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, residential tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 1998. Landlords must give 8 weeks written notice of a rent increase. The notice must contain the amount of the increase and the date on which the increase will take effect.

For both fixed-term and periodic tenancies, rent may only be increased once every 12-month period.

If you believe the rent increase to be excessive, you can apply to the Australia Capital Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a rental rate review.

Conclusion

It is important to be aware of your rights surrounding rental increases to ensure your tenancy is handled in a fair and legal manner. If you have any concerns about your agreement, use LawPath’s lawyer directory to get in contact with a property lawyer for advice.

Need further help? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our lawyer marketplace or any other legal needs.

Author
Ashlee Johnson

Ashlee is a legal intern working in the content team at Lawpath. She is interested in information technology law, and all things innovation. Ashlee is currently completing a Dual Degree of Law/Commerce at the University of New South Wales.