As a tenant, you have rights which are protected by various consumer and property related authorities in your state.
It is a requirement in some states of Australia that landlords or property managers provide you with a copy a ‘Renting guide,’ which outlines the legal implications and general rules of your tenancy.
Negotiating rent increases
Owners are entitled to increase your regular rental payments, subject to the terms of your lease agreement. This is not normally done during the term of a lease, (unless specified how, when and on what basis the increase will occur) but normally at the end of the lease period.
If there is a rental increase, it normally requires a minimum notice period as specified in your lease agreement and must clearly specify the amount of the increase and when it is payable from. In the event that you don’t believe the terms are fair and don’t accept the new terms, it is best that you first discuss and negotiate this with your landlord or property manager to understand why, or find agreement.
There are reasons that they require a rental increase and often it ties into a market rental increase in the area. It’s a good idea to conduct your own research and obtain factual evidence to support in writing why you don’t think the rental increase is fair.
If you cannot reach resolution with the landlord, you can either give notice to leave the premises or challenge the terms via the Tenancy Tribunal (or similar) in your state.
If you do this you will also be required to provide evidence to prove why you think the increase was inappropriate, including evidence of comparably priced properties and conditions.
It is the business of professional property managers to know what market rents are in the area.