How can I raise the rent while keeping my great tenants?

Ask Kiri

If you have great tenants, it can be difficult to risk losing them when raising the rent. Here are some tips to ensure that the process is smooth for both parties.

Minimise the surprise

While you are under no obligation to notify your tenant when you carry out a rent review (aside from legal requirements around notice periods for rent increases), be mindful of the fact that your tenant will have to absorb the rent increase into their budget. Giving as much advance notice as you can helps tenants make plans to accommodate the raise. 

Be fair

Charging more than comparable properties in your area is an easy way to lose a good tenant or damage trust between you. If a tenant feels they are paying more than market rent, they can take the landlord to the Tenancy Tribunal and ask for a reduction and even a refund. 

At Barfoot & Thompson, our property management staff have access to a comprehensive database of market information across suburbs and time periods, which means that the rent on your property will be in line with current rates. 

Choose the right frequency and amount

There are different schools of thought when it comes to amount and frequency of rental increases. Some opt for smaller, more frequent increases (say twice a year) to minimise impacts on budgets, whereas others go for a larger increase every year to reduce administration for both parties. 

There is no set rule when it comes to rental increases, and every property and tenancy situation needs to be considered individually. At Barfoot & Thompson, we carry out regular rent reviews to ensure you are receiving market rates for your property, and your property manager can advise you on what's best for your particular rental. 

Happy tenants stay longer

Moving can be a major pain, and happy tenants are not likely to uproot their home for a single reason. More likely, a rent increase is usually the final straw that pushes a tenant to give notice. 

At Barfoot & Thompson, we aim to keep tenants happy by being open with communication, managing disputes and issues in a timely and professional manner, and being prompt with maintenance and repair requests. This will help make it more likely that tenants will stay on regardless of the rent increase. 

Maintain a professional distance

One of the most common challenges we face as a property management company is the reviewing of rents to a market standard when receiving new business. Private landlords often struggle to increase rents with their established tenants for fear of things turning awkward, and it is often a major reason for landlords coming to us. 

Having a professional property manager as a go-between means that you are able to maintain a distance between yourself and the tenants, and come to an amicable conclusion on various situations (including rent increases).