Rent Increases and Reductions - Are there any limits on the amount of a rent increase?
Are there any limits on the amount of a rent increase? Not in the first instance, a landlord can propose any increase HOWEVER a tenant can attempt to negotiate a different amount or have the increase reviewed by ACAT. ACAT can reduce or even disallow the increase.
If you receive a notice of a rent increase and you believe the increase is excessive, you should write to the landlord advising him or her that you think the increase is excessive, giving your reasons, and asking that the increase be lowered or withdrawn. If there is no satisfactory response you should apply to ACAT to have the increase reviewed. This application should be made at least 14 days before the increase is due to take effect. ACAT will only hear a late application if there are ‘special circumstances’ - so apply promptly.
At ACAT a formula linked to a CPI figure is applied to determine the onus of proof. If the proposed amount is greater than the calculated figure the landlord must
satisfy the tribunal that the increase is justified. If the increase is less, the onus is on the tenant to satisfy the Tribunal that the increase is unreasonable (s67).
Before you challenge a rent increase you should apply the formula to determine a starting point for negotiations. For more details - the formula, the CPI figures and examples, see Tenancy Factsheet: Rent Increases: Is my increase excessive? Under s68 RTA, in deciding on whether an increase is excessive, the
Tribunal will consider:
(a) The rent before the proposed increase;
(b) Whether it has been increased previously in the tenancy and if so, the amount of that increase, and the period since that increase;
(c) Costs of the landlord in relation to the premises;
(d) Services provided by the landlord to the tenant;
(e) The value of fixtures and goods supplied as part of the tenancy;
(f) The state of repair of the premises;
(g) Rental rates for comparable premises;
(h) The value of any work performed or improvements made by the tenant, with landlord's consent; and
(i) Any other matter the Tribunal considers relevant
NOTE: ACAT may allow an increase that brings the premises in line with rents for comparable premises. However you can still challenge the evidence presented by the landlord, and produce your own evidence about rental rates for comparable premises.
NOTE: If you have valid notice of an increase and don’t pay the increased amount in accordance with that notice you will be in rent arrears. See Tenancy
Factsheet: Rent Arrears.
Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of ACT
Further information and advice for ACT tenants can be sourced from