From a tenants’ point of view, just because your lease is due to be renewed it doesn’t mean that your landlord will necessarily be chasing a rent increase. In fact, the vast majority of landlords prefer a long-term, stable tenant who looks after their property rather than a tenant who can pay the most in rent but only stays for six or 12 months.
When it comes to rent increases, the law is very clear about how this matter must be handled.
Sections 91 and 93 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 deal with rent increases. In simple terms the legislation states that rent cannot be increased during a fixed term agreement unless it is specifically stated.
Even if rent increases are allowed during the agreement, two months’ notice in writing must be given or four weeks in rooming accommodation agreements.
Rent can be increased in a periodic agreement by giving two months’ notice in writing (four weeks in rooming accommodation).
For rent to be increased, it must be at least six months since the last increase. And rent can be increased at the end of a fixed term agreement. For example, at the end of a 12 month agreement the rent can be increased for the next 12 month period. The relevant notice must state the specific amount of the rent increase and the date from when it is payable.
If a tenant feels the rent increase is excessive, they can dispute this once the new agreement is signed using the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) dispute resolution service.
If rent is increased, the bond may be increased if there has been at least 11 months since the last bond increase or start of the tenancy. Any additional bond must be lodged with the RTA. The tenant must pay the increase in bond by the date stated on the notice which must be at least one month after the tenant received the notice.