Competition is fierce in Australia’s rental market, and it’s only getting tougher. Rent increases are an expected part of most tenancies, but it’s smart to know your rights when your lease is ending or when you’ve received notice from your agent.

Rent is a major fixed cost in your budget, so an increase isn’t ideal. But how much can your landlord actually raise your rent? Here’s the lowdown.

Different states, different rules

Landlords can usually only increase the rent during your tenancy by agreement or if your lease allows it. In other words, it needs to be in your tenancy agreement.

Keep an eye on the rules, which can vary depending on where you live in Australia and whether you have a lease agreement.

NEW SOUTH WALES

Fixed-term tenancies: For fixed-term tenancies with agreements shorter than two years, rent increases must be stated in advance

Periodic tenancies: Rent can only be increased once every 12 months. Landlords must provide 60 days’ notice before the increase takes effect.

Other: For tenancy agreements lasting more than two years, landlords must give 60 days’ notice before increasing the rent, which can only happen once every 12 months. Check NSW Fair Trading for more info.

VICTORIA

Fixed-term tenancies: For fixed-term tenancies with agreements shorter than five years, rent increases must be stated in advance and can only occur every six months. For agreements lasting more than five years, the rent can only be increased every 12 months. Landlords must provide 60 days’ notice before any increase takes effect. If your agreement was made before 19 July 2019, your rent can be increased every six months if this is stated in advance. If the agreement was made on or after 19 July 2019, the rent can be increased every 12 months if stated in advance.

Periodic tenancies: Your rent can only be increased every 12 months. Your landlord must provide 60 days’ notice.

Other: Check the Victorian Consumer Affairs website for more info.

QUEENSLAND

Fixed-term tenancies: Your rent cannot be increased unless it is stated in the agreement in advance

Periodic tenancies: Your landlord can increase your rent every six months as long as they provide 60 days’ notice.

Other: Check the Queensland Government website for more info.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Fixed-term tenancies: Your rent can’t be increased during a fixed-term agreement unless this is stated upfront.

Periodic tenancies: Your rent can be increased every six months if your landlord gives you 60 days’ notice.

Other: Check the WA Department of Housing website for more info.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Fixed-term tenancies: Your rent can’t be increased during a fixed-term agreement unless this is stated upfront.

Periodic tenancies: Your landlord can increase your rent every six months as long as they provide 60 days’ notice.

Other: Check the SA Government website for more info.

TASMANIA

Rent can only be increased if it is stated in the lease and your landlord provides 60 days’ notice. In most cases, rent cannot be increased during a tenancy agreement.

Other: Check the Tasmanian Government website for more info.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Rent can be increased if you and your landlord agree and it is stated in your lease that rent increases are allowed. Landlords can increase rent every six months as long as they give 30 days’ notice.

Other: Check the NT Consumer Affairs website for more info.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

In the Australian Capital Territory, rent can only be increased by a prescribed amount, which is currently 10% of Canberra’s Consumer Price Index. This increase is only allowed under certain circumstances

Fixed-term tenancies: For fixed-term tenancies, your rent cannot be increased unless it is stated in the agreement in advance.”

Periodic tenancies: For periodic tenancies, your landlord can increase your rent every 12 months as long as they provide 60 days’ notice.

Other: Check the ACAT website for more info.

What is classed as a ‘reasonable’ increase?

There is no national standard for what is considered a “reasonable” rent increase. This amount is usually influenced by local factors such as supply and demand.

When reviewing the rent on a property, agents and landlords may compare it to similar properties within a 5km radius.

They consider factors such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the overall size and property attributes, and tenant-appealing features such as air conditioning, a dishwasher, and modern security.

You might also like:
> Getting ahead: Why can’t I save money?
> Demand is driving rents up. Here’s what to do when faced with a rent increase
> What happens after I apply for a rental property?

If you feel that a rent increase is not justified, there are steps you can take.

First, gather information about comparable properties and present it to your landlord or agent. This approach is often more effective than asking for a rent reduction or simply maintaining the current rent.

You may also want to consider offering to sign a fixed-term lease to give your landlord added security. Rent negotiations are common, and agents expect tenants to negotiate.

Be prepared and armed with facts and knowledge when entering into discussions.

What happens if negotiations break down?

If you believe that your rent increase is illegitimate or unreasonable, you can request a review or file a dispute. The process for doing so varies depending on the state or territory where you live. Here’s where you can go for help.

If you need help or support, contact your local tenancy advice service for support.

For financial help or information:

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1 COMMENT

  1. Would anybody have any resources on landlord laws, regulations, or statutes pertaining to property management in illegal lease forgery agreements or illegal leases, electronic signatures, or a manager/landlord skimming?

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