Rent Increases and Reductions - Rent Reductions

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Can you have the rent reduced?
As a tenant you pay full rent in return for full use and enjoyment of the premises you live in. However, there are occasions where through no fault of yours, this
use and enjoyment may be diminished. You should not be paying for something you aren’t getting.

If this occurs, you should write to the landlord/agent, advising them of the problem (eg the need for repairs). Request that it be rectified within an appropriate timeframe and that you be compensated in the form of a rent reduction. Keep a copy of the letter.

See also Tenancy Factsheet: Repairs.

If you don’t receive a satisfactory response you can apply to ACAT for a rent reduction. Under s71 RTA, ACAT may order a reduction if it considers your use or enjoyment of the premises has significantly diminished as a result of:
(a) the loss of any appliance, furniture, facility or service supplied by the landlord as a result of:
(i) withdrawal of the service etc;
(ii) failure to do repairs and maintenance;
(iii) failure to provide/maintain locks and security devices.
(b) the loss of the use of part of or all of the premises; or
(c) interference by the landlord/agent with your quiet enjoyment of the property.

This includes your right to use the property in reasonable peace, comfort and privacy. ACAT may order that the reduction take effect from the day on which your use and enjoyment diminished. The order can be ‘retrospective’, meaning you will receive the difference between the full rent you have already paid, and the reduced amount (s 71(4)). The reduction can remain in force until the problem is
fixed or for up to 12 months (RTA s 71(3)).

There are no rules or formulas to determine how much you should be compensated. As each case is different, you should show how you have calculated your claim, i.e. proportion of rent vs impact of loss.


Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of ACT

Further information and advice for ACT tenants can be sourced from