What can I do if I don’t agree with my rent increase?
If you think a rent increase is excessive you can apply to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.
You must apply within 30 days of receiving the rent increase notice.
The Tribunal will consider:
• Rents for similar premises in the same area ( market rent)
• The landlords costs associated with the tenancy agreement
• When the last increase occurred
• Any work you have done to the property
• State of repair to the property
While all these factors are important, the main consideration for the Tribunal is the market rent.
If you are thinking about challenging the increase at the Tribunal, contact your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service. They can give you assistance on the type of evidence you will need. Newspaper clippings of other properties for rent will not be enough.
If the Tribunal decides that the rent increase is excessive it can order that the rent not be increased or that it be increased by a smaller amount. It can also set the maximum rent for a period of up to 12 months.
If the rent increase comes into effect before your case is heard by the Tribunal you should pay the increased amount until the Tribunal has made its decision. If the Tribunal decides in your favour it can make an order for a refund.
Applying to the Tribunal is the only way to challenge a rent increase. If you have been given proper notice and you do not pay the increase, you will fall behind with the rent over time. This can lead to you being evicted.
If you are not given proper notice you do not have to pay the increase. If you have already started paying the increase you can ask the landlord to refund the extra payments and apply to the Tribunal if they refuse.
Please give me a call if you need any further information on rent increases.
(02) 9672 6055