“What is the process for a rental increase to occur during fixed-term and periodic leases in NSW?” Tenant, NSW
We asked Webbs Real Estate Senior Property Manager, Amy Johnson, for her advice on rent increases.
“During a fixed term agreement, the rent cannot be increased unless the increase amount and date were noted on the lease when it was signed and the tenant was made aware of the upcoming increase at the beginning of the tenancy,” Amy said.
“Once the tenant is in a periodic agreement, the rent can be increased at any stage of the tenancy, provided the tenant is given no less than 60 days written notice.”
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Excessive rent increases
If you think a rent increase is excessive, you can:
- negotiate with your landlord/agent to lower or withdraw the increase, and/or
- apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for an order that the new rent is excessive. You must apply within 30 days of getting a rent-increase notice.
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Negotiating a smaller rent increase
If you wish to negotiate a smaller rent increase, you need to meet with the landlord/agent. You can offer to pay a little extra rent per week or to pay the increase gradually over 6–12 months. If the landlord/agent seems interested, put a proposal in writing.
While negotiating, apply to NCAT within the 30-day time limit in case you cannot come to an agreement.
Applying for an excessive rent order
If NCAT finds that a rent increase excessive, it will make an excessive rent order. The order will specify:
- the amount that the rent must not exceed
- the day from which this maximum rent applies – for a period of up to 12 months.
When deciding if a rent increase is excessive, NCAT will consider:
- rents for similar premises in the same or a similar area (‘general market level of rents’)
- the landlord’s outgoings under the tenancy agreement
- any fittings, appliances or other goods, services or facilities provided with the premises
- the state of repair of the premises
- the accommodation and amenities provided in the premises
- when the last increase was
- any work you have done on the premises
- any other matter it considers relevant.
NCAT will not consider your income or whether you can afford the increase.
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