Challenging a rent increase — these are the rules in every state and territory in Australia
Follow the results as votes in the US midterms are counted
For the latest flood and weather warnings, search on ABC Emergency
Since the onset of COVID-19, rents across Australia have skyrocketed.
But how often and how much they can rise by — and when you can challenge an increase — depends on where you live.
Click below to find out the rules in your state or territory:
If you're a renter or a landlord with a story to share about navigating rental increases, we want to hear from you.
Follow the link to our cost of living callout.
Each state and territory has a full guide to your rental rights on their website.
There is no cap on how much rents can be increased by in New South Wales, but there are regulations around how often it can occur. 
If you've received a rent increase that you believe is excessive, Fair Trading NSW and the NSW Tenants Union both suggest negotiating with your landlord as a first port of call. 
You can also apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal within 30 days of receiving the rent increase.
The tribunal considers a range of factors when making a ruling, including the general state of the market; the state of repair of the property; and when the last rent increase was.
However, the onus is on you to prove the price rise is excessive.
Use our interactive and see how you would tackle some of the scenarios facing Australians — but a word of caution: you'll have to make some difficult decisions.
The guidelines don't stipulate how much rents can go up by in one go, but there are rules around how often it can happen and being able to show how the rise has been calculated.
If you and your landlord are unable to reach an agreement, you can ask Consumer Affairs Victoria to investigate, provided you ask for an assessment within 30 days of receiving notice of a rent increase.
An inspector will come and view the property before a report is prepared for both parties. They'll decide if the increase is too high by working out its market rental value.
If the rent assessment says that the increase is too high, and your landlord won’t agree to lower the rent, you can use the assessment to go to VCAT, which can set a maximum rent. You'll need to do this within 30 days of receiving the report from Consumer Affairs Victoria.
The ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia that puts a cap on rent increases. They are limited to no more than 10 per cent above the Consumer Price Index for Canberra.
If you want to challenge a rent rise, you can apply to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which will organise a conference between both parties.
You can find the relevant forms and information on the ACAT website.
Like many states, Queensland does not have a cap on how much your rent can be increased by at once. But depending on the terms of your agreement, you must have been in the property for at least six months, or six months must have passed since the last increase.
If you feel like a rent increase is excessive and you've been unable to reach an agreement with your landlord, you can apply for a dispute resolution once a new agreement is signed.
If no resolution is reached, you can make an application to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a decision.
For existing agreements, this will need to take place within 30 days of receiving notice, and if you're on a fixed-term, it will need to be before the agreement ends.
For new agreements, you can only apply if you sign it, and this will need to take place within 30 days of entering into the new agreement.
QCAT will consider a range of factors, including (but not limited to) how the rental increase compares to similar properties, the difference between the proposed and current rent and the state of repair of the property.
Inflation is pushing up interest rates. Interest rates are pushing up mortgage costs. There's talk of a rental supply crisis. This means there's a good chance your landlord wants to increase your rent. Where do you stand?
If you live in South Australia, you must be given at least 60 days' written notice of a rent increase, and if your lease began after 2014, it can only go up once every 12 months.
If you believe the rent increase is excessive, you can apply to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for it to be changed. If the Tribunal agrees with you, it can fix a maximum rent for up to one year.
For those in Tasmania, there's no cap on how much your rent can be increased by. But there are rules around how often it can go up, and how much notice you need to be given.
If you believe a rent increase is excessive, you can apply to the Residential Tenancy Commissioner to have the rent increase reviewed.
Tim Seidenspinner had lived in a room at a former backpackers hostel in Hobart for two years when he received an email out of the blue, telling him his rent would be more than doubling. And he's not the only one.
You'll need to supply a copy of:
Your landlord or property manager will be asked for similar details.
If the Commissioner finds in your favour, they can specify a different amount. They look at factors such as the validity of the increase (i.e. whether you were given proper notice), alongside the "reasonableness" of the new amount.
Tasmania's Consumer, Building and Occupational Services notes that if similar properties in your area are charging a comparable amount, it's possible the increase will be found to be reasonable.
The laws around rent increases in WA vary depending on your lease, but it can only be raised once every six months.
Commerce WA notes that "the amount of rent charged at the start of a new tenancy is generally controlled by market forces".
However, if you believe a rent increase is excessive, you can apply to the Magistrates Court to request a reduction, or to argue against a proposed increase.
A range of factors will be considered, including (but not limited to) what similar properties in the area are renting for, the estimated value of the property and the cost of upkeep.
The Northern Territory does not set limits on how much your rent can go up by, but there are regulations around when and how often it can occur. 
If you believe you have grounds to challenge a rent increase, you can apply to the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a declaration. 
They will consider a range of factors like rental rates for similar properties in the area, and the value of any services provided by yourself or your landlord (for example, maintaining the pool or garden).
Consumer Affairs NT notes "such a declaration can be made only under limited circumstances".
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *