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Rent Increases

 

In a periodic tenancy, rent may be increased but the tenant must be given at least 60 days notice in writing, with details of the amount of the rise and the day it takes effect. The tenant has to pay the increase only if proper notice has been given.

Rent cannot be increased in the first six months of a periodic tenancy, or less than six months after the previous rise. Rent in a fixed term tenancy cannot be increased during the term of the tenancy unless the agreement says so and it is at least six months since the last increase.

The level of rent charged to a tenant at the commencement of a new tenancy is generally controlled by market forces. Therefore, the amount charged should be consistent with the general rent levels of the area, the estimated value of the property and the amenities provided.

There are some cases where a tenant who believes the rent is too high can apply to the Small Disputes Division for a reduction, or to argue against a proposed increase.

The grounds for taking the issue to court are that:

 * since the tenancy began, there has been a significant reduction in the contents or facilities provided with the premises;

 * or the owner was putting up the rent by big amounts to force the tenant to leave.