See new renting rules for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Rent increases in short-term leases (up to five years)
The landlord or agent must give the tenant at least 60 days’ notice of any rent increase, using the Notice of rent increase to tenant/s of rented premises (Word, 474KB).
The landlord or agent must not 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.
Rent increases in long-term leases (more than five years)
In a long-term lease using Form 2, the amount and frequency of rent increases are agreed in advance as part of the rental agreement. For more information and to download a copy of Form 2, view Tenancy agreement for rented premises.
If the landlord and tenant agree to rent increases, these cannot occur more frequently than every 12 months. The rent increase must be based on one of the following options:
The landlord and tenant can also schedule the date and amount of the rent increases (or the method used to calculate it) in the long-term lease agreement by completing the relevant table in Clause 6 of Form 2.
The landlord must give the tenant 60 days’ notice in writing before each rent increase, except when it is based on a fixed dollar amount. In this case, the rent will automatically increase on the date stated in the lease.
If you are on a long-term lease using the standard tenancy agreement (Form 1), view Rent increases in short-term leases (above).
Why rent increases
Rent increases are driven by market forces, which in turn are influenced by the supply and demand of particular properties and areas.
Rent increases in rooming houses, caravan parks and under site agreements
If the owner wants to increase the rent, and the resident or site tenant has not asked for additional services, they must be given at least 60 days’ notice.
To give notice, a rooming house owner must use the Notice of rent increase to resident/s of rooming house (Word, 753KB).
Note: A rooming house is a building where one or more rooms are available to rent, and four or more people in total can occupy those rooms.
A caravan park owner must give notice using the Notice of rent/hiring charge increase to resident/s of caravan park (Word, 761KB).
A site owner must give notice using the Notice of rent increase to site tenant (Word, 784KB).
All notices must inform the resident or site tenant of their rights and the actions they can take if they think the increased rent is too high. The notice can include only one rent increase and an owner can increase the rent only once in any six-month period.
What a tenant or resident can do if they believe the rent is too high
A tenant or resident can request a rent assessment from us if the landlord or owner has:
- given notice of an increased rent that the tenant or resident thinks is excessive (after considering market rent)
- reduced or withdrawn services, facilities or other items that the tenant or resident was getting previously as part of the rental agreement.
A rooming house resident may also ask for a rent assessment if the owner:
- increases the number of people in the resident's room and reduces the rent, but the resident still thinks it is too high.
The tenant or resident must request a rent assessment in writing within 30 days of receiving a notice advising of a rent increase or other change.
Download the Request for repairs inspection or rent assessment (Word, 115KB).
If the rent assessment finds the increased rent is excessive, a tenant or resident can use the assessment report to seek a ruling at VCAT. The tenant or resident has 30 days from receiving the rent assessment report to apply to VCAT for a hearing. VCAT may set a maximum rent, which usually stays in force for:
- 12 months for tenancies
- six months for rooming houses, caravan parks and site agreements.