No one particularly likes having their rent go up. Price increases, however, are a part of living in an area where property values are climbing as quickly as they are in Canberra.
The law in the ACT is clear about how often rent increases can take place and how much notice tenants must be given about upcoming rises.
What does the law say about rent increases in the ACT?
According to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA), rent increases can only occur once every 12 months. If a rent increase is scheduled, landlords are required to give tenants at least eight weeks notice in writing.
If you think the increase is too high …
Sometimes tenants may believe a rental increase is excessive. In this case, they may apply to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) for rental review. Unless you apply for this formal review before the rent increase date, you will be responsible for paying the new rental rate when it is enacted.
If you aren’t given eight weeks notice …
As a responsible tenant, it’s up to you to notify your landlord if you do not plan to pay your new rent because you are either awaiting the ACAT’s review or you weren’t given sufficient notice before the increase is scheduled to take place.
If you fail to notify your landlord of your intentions in writing – and explain your rationale – your landlord can claim you are in arrears down the line.
The best way to ensure that rental increases are always implemented and executed fairly is to rent property under a property management company that always helps landlords stay on board with the requirements outlined in the RTA.