The lease agreement will typically outline the steps that landlords – or letting agencies working on their behalf – must take in order to make a rent increase. However, there are likely to be constraints, and it’s important to know what you can and can’t do.
What Type Of Lease?
You will generally only be permitted implement a rent increase once a year if your renters are on a periodic lease, which rolls from week to week or month to month. You may agree on a new rent with your renters and have all parties sign an agreement to that effect, or you can utilise the government’s ‘landlord’s notice proposing a new rent’ form if there is no procedure for doing so under the lease agreement they signed. If the property has renters, you must give them notice if you plan to visit it, whether to examine the premises or perform repairs, unless there is an emergency.
If your tenants have a fixed-term lease (one that lasts a defined length of time, such as six months or a year), you cannot raise the rent during this time unless your tenants agree. However, after the set period expires, you will be able to make a rent increase. This just entails having your tenants renew their lease agreement with the rent changed.
If your renters pay their rent on a weekly or monthly basis, you must provide them one month’s notice of any rate increases. If their lease is for a year, you must provide six months’ notice.
It is essential to remember that you are only allowed to raise the rent by a fair and reasonable amount, and if your tenants believe that a rent increase is excessive, they may appeal to a rent assessment committee. Alternatively, they might simply decide to look for accommodation elsewhere, at a fairer rate, and you might be left with an empty property.