Rent Increases: A Guide for Tenants and Landlords

Rent increases are a natural part of the rental market, but they must be handled carefully to maintain a healthy landlord-tenant relationship. Here's what both parties need to know:

For Tenants:

  1. Notice Period: You will always receive at least 30 days' notice for a rent increase, although it's typically two months.

  2. Mechanisms: The increase can be formalised in two ways:

    • A new tenancy agreement at the time of renewal.

    • Issuing a Section 13 notice if you're on a periodic tenancy.

  3. Disputing an Increase: Tenants have the right to dispute an unreasonable rent increase. Consult your tenancy agreement and local rent control laws for guidance.

For Landlords:

  1. When to Increase: Consider the timing carefully. An increase can be justified by market trends, property improvements, or increased property taxes, among other reasons.

  2. How to Increase:

    • For fixed-term tenancies, the rent can be increased upon renewal.

    • For periodic tenancies, a Section 13 notice can be issued.

  3. Consequences:

    • A significant increase may risk losing a good tenant and incurring void periods.

    • Failure to provide adequate notice or attempting an unreasonable increase can lead to disputes and legal challenges.

  4. Balancing Act: Weigh the benefits of an increase against the value of retaining a reliable tenant. Sometimes, stability is more profitable in the long run.

General Tips:

  • Budgeting: Whether you're a tenant or a landlord, it's crucial to adjust your budget to accommodate the new rent.

  • Communication: Open and honest communication can make the process smoother for both parties. Discuss the increase well in advance and be prepared to negotiate if necessary.

By understanding the mechanics and implications of rent increases, both tenants and landlords can navigate this sensitive issue more effectively.