How soon can I increase the rent on my property? How often?
There are two hard and fast rules around frequency of rental increases in Victoria:
1. If you have a fixed-term tenancy, you can’t increase the rent until the end of the lease unless your lease has a clause allowing rent reviews.
2. You must leave at least six months between rent increases.
Here are some points to consider before doing rental reviews:
- You must give 60 days’ written notice of rent increases. You might need to give your less-organised tenants more notice and a reminder or two if you are managing your own properties.
- Consider the balance between your tenants’ interests and your own. Are they likely to be able to absorb a rental increase? How often and how much have you increased the rent in the past? It’s not good business sense (or good for your karma) to ruin your tenants, yet you need to make sure your rental prices make financial sense.
- Consider the timing of your increases. If you have a fixed-term mortgage, when does it come due? That’s a good time to review your financial position and your rents. Try to assess what maintenance tasks are coming up before you assess the rent. It’s also probably best to time your increases so they don’t coincide with Christmas!
- Tenants have the right to request a rent review from Consumer Affairs Victoria if they think the rent is excessive (especially considering market rents and/or any reductions in services or amenities).