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If you’re reading this blog post, it’s likely that you or someone you know is worried about (yet another) rent increase by their rental provider (landlord).
So what can you do about it? What are your options?
The answer depends on:
The table below includes some information about when your landlord can raise your rent - depending on the type of rental agreement you have, and the length of your tenancy.
If you are on a fixed-term lease, your landlord can only increase the rent during a fixed term agreement if the agreement says that they can.
If you are on a periodic lease, your landlord can only increase the rent once every 6 months (if the lease started before 19 June 2019) or once every 12 months (if the last started about 19 June 2019).
Note: This blog is for people living in private rental arrangements. Special rules apply for the amount of rent paid by people living in public housing. If this applies to you, visit the Housing Vic website for more information.
Your landlord can’t raise your rent if the only reason they’re doing it is because you’ve broken any part of your rental agreement (lease).
Your landlord also can’t include any terms in your lease to say that they’re allowed to raise your rent as a punishment/penalty for you breaching your lease.
If there’s a term like this in your lease, then you should contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.
When increasing your rent, your landlord must give you a proper written notice with at least 60 days’ notice.
The notice should tell you:
Note: ‘CPI’ is used to measure inflation - that is, how much prices are generally changing in the economy.
Step 1 - Negotiate with your agent / landlord
Step 2 - Ask Consumer Affairs Victoria to do a ‘rent assessment’ (also known as a ‘rent increase investigation’)
If you haven’t been able to successfully negotiate a smaller rent increase with your landlord / agent, then you can reach out to Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) to do a free rent assessment.
When: You have to ask for an assessment within 30 days of your landlord giving you the notice to tell you about the rent increase.
How: If you want a rent assessment, follow the steps set out in the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.
Step 3 - Apply to VCAT
If you have followed Step 1 and 2, and you don’t agree with the rent assessment report, then you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
If VCAT agrees with you that the rent is too high, then they can set a maximum rent.
When: You have to apply to VCAT within 30 days of getting the rent assessment report from Consumer Affairs Victoria.
How: Follow the instructions on the VCAT website.
We last updated this page in July 2023. Please remember that this is only legal information. If you're thinking about taking action, you should chat to a lawyer for advice about your situation first.