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Can a landlord, owner or agent put the rent up whenever they want?

The rules for increasing rent depend on the type of rental agreement in place.

In a short-term lease (up to five years), the landlord cannot increase the rent:

  • before the end date of a fixed-term agreement, unless the terms of the lease allow for an increase 
  • more than once in any six-month period, for leases that started before 19 June 2019
  • more than once in any 12-month period, for leases starting on or after 19 June 2019. 

In a long-term lease (more than five years) using Form 2, the tenant and landlord can schedule the date and amount of the rent increase in the agreement. The increases cannot occur more frequently than every 12 months, and the amount must be based on one of four options:

The landlord must give the tenant at least 60 days’ notice in writing of a rent increase, except where the increase is a fixed dollar amount included in a long-term lease agreement using Form 2. The landlord can notify the tenant using the Notice of rent increase to tenant/s of rented premises (Word, 842KB). Note: an updated form will be available from 19 June 2019.

If a tenant believes the proposed increased rent is too high, taking into account the cost of similar properties in the area, they can ask us to carry out a rent assessment. Download our Request for repairs inspection or rent assessment (Word, 766KB).

The tenant must make the request in writing within 30 days of receiving the Notice of rent increase to tenant/s of rented premises, and include a copy of the notice with their request.

If we think the increased rent is excessive we may try, with the tenant’s permission, to negotiate a smaller increase. If we cannot reach an agreement with the landlord, we will give both parties a copy of our report. The tenant has 30 days from receiving our assessment to ask for a ruling by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Category:
Tenants and Landlords
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