What to do when your landlord raises the rent in Australia


The price of everything in Australia is going up including rent – here’s what to do next time your landlord flags another rise

  • Nearly half of all renters in Australia had rent increased in the past 12 months 
  • Average house rent in capital cities has jumped by 16.3 per cent to $657 a week  
  • Right now it’s an owners’ market, but you have some protection from rent rises 
  • That protection varies by which state or territory you live in, details are below

New research by analysts Compare the Market has found 49 per cent of renters in Australia had their rent increased in the past 12 months, leading many to fear how high the next rent rise will be.

The good news is tenants have legislated protections, though they vary depending on which state or territory you live in. 

But it’s an owners’ market at the moment and rent, like everything else, is going up. 

The average house rent in Australia’s state and territory capitals jumped by 16.3 per cent to $657 a week in the past year, according to SQM Research.

Tenants have legislated protections in Australia, though they vary by which state or territory you live in (stock photo)

Tenants have legislated protections in Australia, though they vary by which state or territory you live in (stock photo)

About 41 per cent of all renters said it affected their ability to save, including for a deposit to buy a property of their own. 

Rental increases deemed ‘excessive’ are different in each location, but generally, rental bodies deem increases to be excessive if they are too different from similar market rents, if there’s a sizeable difference compared to the current rent, or if the property has outstanding repairs needed. 

The national vacancy rate for rental properties is just 1.1 per cent of all properties. In regional areas, the vacancy rate is below 1 per cent.

Compare the Market’s Chris Ford said it is a very tough market for struggling renters.

‘Right now, there simply aren’t enough rentals available,’ he said. 

‘Too much demand and not enough supply are among several factors that are pushing prices up, which means low-income renters are the ones who’ll struggle the most.

‘An inability to save puts home ownership further out-of-reach for people who wish to break free of the rental system.’

The national vacancy rate for rental properties is just 1.1 per cent of all properties. In regional areas, the vacancy rate is below 1 per cent. Pictured is a house for lease in Melbourne

The national vacancy rate for rental properties is just 1.1 per cent of all properties. In regional areas, the vacancy rate is below 1 per cent. Pictured is a house for lease in Melbourne

Almost half of renters in Australia had their rent increased in the past 12 months (stock photo)

Almost half of renters in Australia had their rent increased in the past 12 months (stock photo)

Mr Ford said rising costs were a major stress for bill payers struggling to make ends meet.

‘One-in-five Australians feel stressed about money every day, and as many as 65 per cent of renters admitted they would struggle to afford their next rental increase,’ he said.

‘Moving to a cheaper property is one possible solution, however, while the market remains tight, good deals are hard to find and landlords are less likely to negotiate.’

House rent rises in Australia’s capital cities during the past year 

SYDNEY: Up 21.3 per cent to $814.30 a week

MELBOURNE: Up 9.5 per cent to $558.80 a week

BRISBANE: Up 21.8 per cent to $607.60 a week

PERTH: Up 12.4 per cent to $582.20 a week

ADELAIDE: Up 19.1 per cent to $524.20 a week

CANBERRA: Up 8.3 per cent to $771.40 a week

DARWIN: Up 7.9 per cent to $663.60 a week

HOBART: Up 10.4 per cent to $533.40 a week

CAPITAL CITY AVERAGE: Up 16.3 per cent to $657 a week 

Source: SQM Research median weekly house rents data showing annual increases in the year to week ending June 4, 2022

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Mr Ford said while it’s mostly people with a mortgage who will be hit the hardest by rising interest rates, tenants could be hit by landlords recouping costs by increasing their rents.

‘We’re still very much in a landlord’s market at the moment, and we’ve already seen rents on the rise over the past 12 months due to increased competition in tightening markets.

The average house rent in Australia's state and territory capitals jumped by 16.3 per cent to $657 a week in the past year, according to SQM Research (stock photo)

The average house rent in Australia’s state and territory capitals jumped by 16.3 per cent to $657 a week in the past year, according to SQM Research (stock photo)

‘It ultimately comes down to what tenants are prepared to pay for a roof over their head,’ he said. 

Mr Ford said renters need to make sure they’re up to date with the relevant legislation in their state or territory, as there are limits to how often and by how much their landlord can increase rent by.

‘If a landlord has outlined their intention to raise your rent by more than what similar properties in your area are up by, you could successfully claim this as excessive to your relevant tribunal,’ he said. 

State and territory breakdown on advice for renters

 State/territory

 

 

 

NSW 

 

 

 

 

Victoria 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queensland 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WA 

 

 

 

 

 

SA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tasmania 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NT 

How often can landlords increase rent for a periodic lease?

 

Once every 12 months for periodic leases.

 

 

 

Once every 12 months for periodic leases. 

 

 

 

 

 

Once every 6 months. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once every 6 months. 

 

 

 

 

 

Once every 12 months. Rent cannot be increased in the first 12 months of the lease. 

 

 

 

Once every 12 months, after the tenancy agreement began or was renewed.

 

 

 

 Once every 12 months from the date of the last increase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once every 6 months and not within the first six months of the lease. Rents can only be increased if the right to do so has been written into the tenancy agreement. 

 How much notice must they give you?

 

At least 60 days (written notice).

 

 

 

 

At least 60 days (written notice)

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least 2 months (written notice). The notice must include the date and amount of increase.

 

 

 

 

At least 60 days (written notice). 

 

 

 

 

At least 60 days (written notice).

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least 60 days (written notice).

 

 

 

 

 

At least eight weeks written notice. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least 30 days written notice. The notice must state the intention to increase the rent, the amount increase and the date it changes.

 

Source: Each state/territory’s Residential Tenancies Act. 

Rental increases deemed ‘excessive’ are different in each location, but generally, rental bodies deem increases to be excessive if they are too different from similar market rents, if there’s a sizeable difference compared to the current rent, or if the property has outstanding repairs needed.

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