How often can I raise the rent?

Ask Kiri Barfoot - your property management questions answered

Whether in response to rising costs of property maintenance, heightened demand or keeping up with trends in your area, if you are considering increasing the rent on your property, it's important to know the process to follow.

Barfoot & Thompson tenancy agreements allow for the rent to be increased for both fixed term and periodic tenancies. However, in order to raise the rent, you must meet certain conditions:

  • The Tenancy Agreement must allow for it.
  • Rent cannot be increased within 180 days of the commencement of the tenancy, or within 180 days of the last increase.
  • A landlord must give a tenant no less than 60 days, plus service, notice of a rent increase. The notice must be served in writing, state how much the rent is increasing by, and the date the increased rent will take effect from. A copy of the notice should be kept by the landlord. 

Returning to normal rent after it has been reduced for a period is not considered a rent increase. 

The below infographic illustrates the rent increase process: 

Infographic

There are some situations where a landlord and tenant can agree to an increase in rent outside of the usual 180-day period, such as if a landlord has:

  • Improved the property, which increases its value and benefits the tenant
  • Improved facilities or services provided to the tenant
  • Changed the tenancy agreement to benefit the tenant

While the law does not limit the amount of a rent increase, it's important to note that it does specify what can be done if the tenant does not agree with the new rent amount. 

If a landlord is charging significantly more than for other similar properties, the Tenancy Tribunal could make an order for it to be reduced. The tenant will need to provide evidence that their rent is substantially higher than rent for other houses in the area similar to the one they are renting, and that the increase will cause them financial hardship. 

Keeping in close communication with your tenants to discuss any possible changes to the amount of rent will help to ensure a smooth transition. 

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