Yes, your landlord can increase the rent, but there are rules and limitations to how much they can increase it by, as set out in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW).
Under the Act, landlords must give tenants at least 60 days written notice before increasing the rent. The notice must include the new rent amount and the date from which it will apply. Additionally, landlords can only increase the rent once every 12 months, unless they have obtained an order from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) allowing them to increase it more frequently.
The amount by which the rent can be increased depends on the type of tenancy agreement you have. If you have a fixed-term tenancy agreement of less than 2 years, the rent can only be increased if the agreement specifically allows for it. If it does, the amount by which the rent can be increased, or the method of calculation, must be specified in the agreement. If there is no specific provision in the agreement, the rent cannot be increased until the agreement expires.
For periodic tenancy agreements (i.e., those that run on a rolling week-to-week or month-to-month basis) or fixed-terms of 2 years or more, the landlord can increase the rent by giving the tenant at least 60 days notice. Though there is no cap on the increase amount, it must be at market rate and justifiable.
It’s important to note that landlords cannot increase the rent to punish a tenant for exercising their legal rights, such as making a complaint or requesting repairs. If you believe your landlord is increasing the rent in retaliation for something you have done, you can seek assistance from the NSW Fair Trading or the NCAT.
In summary, your landlord can increase the rent, but they must give you at least 60 days notice and the increase must comply with the rules and limitations set out in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW). If you believe you have a rental dispute with your landlord or managing agent, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team for assistance.