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 Home    Knowing The Right Time To Increase The Rent

 

Can I increase the rent on my property?

 

One of the best ways for landlords to decide if they should increase the rent for their property is to stay informed of the market and compare the rent on their property with similar properties in the area. After all, your property is your asset and it’s there to make you money, so the best thing you can do is stay informed!

Staying informed is just the first step and once you have established whether you should increase the rent, you’ll need to ensure you are abiding by the laws of your state. 

Most State governments have rules about when a landlord can increase the rent on their investment property. The restrictions only apply where there is an existing tenant in the property, so if you are looking to sign on a new tenant you can just change the asking rent when you advertise.

Generally speaking, if the tenant is on a fixed-term agreement, you can only increase the rent during that period if the terms of the lease agreement specifically allow for it. Otherwise, where the tenant is on a periodic (continuing) lease, in most states you must give them 60 days notice of the increase in writing (ACT and NT have shorter notice periods).

 

We have summarised some of the key points below but please see your relevant State body’s website for more information.


New South Wales (NSW)

Fair Trading

  • Fixed-term Lease (less than 2 years): You cannot increase the rent during the fixed term unless the terms of the lease specifically allow for it and define the amount. No written notice is required. 
  • Fixed-term Lease (2 years or more): Can increase the rent at any time by giving at least 60 days notice in writing however, you cannot increase the rent more than once over a 12 month period. 
  • Periodic (continuing) Lease: You can increase the rent by giving at least 60 days notice in writing and the rent can only be increased once in a 12 month period. 
  • Notice Form: You can either write your own notice or use this form here. If writing your own notice you will need to specify the amount of the new rent, the date from which it is payable and be signed, dated and addressed to the tenant. 
  • Tenant’s Rights: Within 30 days of receiving the notice, the tenant can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal if they think the rent increase is excessive. The tenant can also give 21 days written notice and vacate before the rent increase kicks in.
     

Victoria (VIC)

Consumer Affairs Victoria

  • Fixed-term Lease: You cannot increase the rent during the fixed-term unless the terms of the lease specifically allow for it. If this is the case, the agreement must also state how the increase will be calculated.
  • Periodic (continuing) Lease: You can increase the rent by giving at least 60 days notice in writing but can do so only once in any 6 month period. 
  • Notice Form: The specific forms are found here.
  • Tenant’s Rights: Within 30 days of receiving the notice, the tenant can seek a rent assessment from Consumer Affairs if the tenant thinks the increase is excessive (after considering market rent). 

 

Queensland (QLD)

Residential Tenancies Authority  

  • Fixed-term Lease: You cannot increase the rent during the fixed-term unless the terms of the lease specifically allow for it and define the amount. If this is this case, you will need to give the tenant 2 months written notice. You cannot increase the rent if it has not been at least 6 months since the last rent increase, or since the tenancy started.
  • Periodic (continuing) Lease: The rent can be increased if you give the tenant at least 2 months notice in writing and it has been at least 6 months since the last rent increase, or since the tenancy started.
  • Notice Form: No specific form is required but the notice must be in writing. 
  • Tenant’s Rights: the tenant can apply to QCAT for dispute resolution if they think the rent increase is excessive. 

 

Western Australia (WA)

Consumer Protection

  • Fixed-term lease: You cannot increase the rent during the fixed-term unless the terms of the lease specifically allow for it and define the amount (in this case, the tenant should be given 60 days written notice).
  • If an existing tenant continues to rent the same property on a new fixed-term agreement, a rent increase cannot take effect for the first 30 days of the new agreement. This means that the tenant will continue to pay rent at the old rate for the first 30 days of the new agreement.

    Note: If the rent is calculated by reference to the tenant/s income (e.g. the tenant/s employer provides the rental premises and the rent is set as a percentage of the tenant/s income), a notice of rent increase is only required if the method of calculating the rent is changed.

  • Periodic (continuing) Lease: You can increase the rent by giving at least 60 days notice in writing but can do so only once in any 6 month period and not during the first six months of the tenancy. 
  • Notice Form: you must use Form 10 or Form 11 to give notice.
  • Tenant’s rights: the tenant can apply to the Magistrates Court requesting a reduction or to argue against the proposed increase if they think it is excessive.

 

South Australia (SA)

Consumer and Business Services

  • Fixed-term Lease: Cannot increase the rent during the fixed-term unless the terms of the lease specifically allow for it and define the amount (in this case, give tenant 60 days written notice).
  • Periodic (continuing) Lease: Can increase the rent by giving at least 60 days notice in writing but can do so only once in any 12 month period and not during the first 12 months of tenancy.
  • Notice Form: Use the form found here.
  • Tenant’s Rights: The tenant can apply to South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal if they think the rent increase is excessive.

 

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Tenants’ Union ACT

  • All Standard Tenancy Agreement Leases: You can increase the rent by giving at least 8 weeks notice in writing but can do so only once in any 12 month period and not during the first 12 months of the tenancy.
  • Notice Form: No specific form is required but the notice must be in writing and specify the amount of the rent increase and the date from which it is payable.
  • Tenant’s Rights: The tenant can apply to ACAT for a review of the increase if they think it is excessive.

 

Tasmania (TAS)

Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading

  • All Standard Tenancy Agreement Leases: The rent can only be increased if there is a written lease that allows for rent increases, or the lease is not in writing. The rules around rent increases are designed so that rent cannot be increased mid-tenancy – it can only be increased at the beginning of the lease, or at lease renewal or extension.

    The tenant must be given written notice at least 60 days before the new rent amount is to start.

    For leases longer than 12 months, the rent can be increased 12 months after the start of the lease.

    If the lease is less than 12 months, rent can only be increased at least 12 months after the tenancy started, even after the lease is extended or renewed.

  • Notice Form: No specific form is required but the notice must be in writing and specify the amount of the new rent and the day on which the new rent begins.
  • Tenant’s Rights: The tenant can apply to Residential Tenancy Commissioner if they think the rent increase is unreasonable. 

 

Northern Territory (NT)

Consumer Affairs

  • Fixed-term Lease: You cannot increase the rent during the fixed-term unless the terms of the lease specifically allow for it and define the amount (in this case, give tenant 30 days notice in writing)
  • Periodic (continuing) Lease: You can increase the rent by giving at least 30 days notice in writing but can do so only once in any 6 month period and not during the first 6 months of tenancy.
  • Notice Form: The specific form can be found here.
  • Tenant’s rights: the tenant can apply to the NTCAT for a declaration that rent payable is excessive. 

 

The right time to increase rent

Increasing the rent for your tenant is never an easy process however if you abide by the rules and guidelines set out, and the increase is fair then you shouldn’t have any issues.

Your investment property is your number one asset and staying informed as well as knowing the market and the right time to do handle rent increases will ultimately set you up for success as a landlord! 

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