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25 November 2021
In this bulletin:
Consumer Protection has recently received a rise in queries about rental increases.
A landlord can increase the rent for a tenancy at their property as long as they follow the rules about how to do so. Those rules are outlined in this bulletin.
A tenancy agreement with specific start and end dates is known as a fixed-term tenancy agreement. Typically, a fixed-term agreement will be for a six or 12-month term.
A landlord cannot seek to increase the rent during a fixed-term tenancy unless there is a clause within the agreement that allows for an increase. An increase can only occur at least six months after either the start of the tenancy or the last rental increase that occurred under a notice, and by providing the correct written notice of the intention to increase the rent.
Tenancy agreements that do not have an end date are known as periodic tenancy agreements. These types of tenancies can either start off as a periodic agreement or occur when a fixed-term agreement expires but the tenancy does not end.
Under a periodic agreement, the rent can increase once every six months from either the start of the tenancy or the last rental increase that occurred under a notice, so long as you provide the correct written notice to the tenant.
You may also increase the rent under a new tenancy agreement with an existing tenant at the same property. The new agreement should state the amount of the new rent or the change in calculation method.
If the previous agreement was a periodic arrangement, the increased rate of rent is payable from the start date of the new agreement.
However, if the previous agreement was for a fixed-term, the tenant is not required to pay the increased rate of rent for the first 30 days after the start date of the new agreement. This applies whether the new agreement is for another fixed-term or a periodic arrangement.
To lawfully cause a rent increase during an active tenancy agreement, you need to:
For a standard rental increase, you will need to provide the tenant with the Form 10 – Notice to tenant of rent increase. If rent is calculated based on the tenant’s income, you need to use the Form 11 – Notice to tenant of rent increase calculated by tenant’s income.
If the increase will occur under a renegotiated tenancy agreement, you do not have to use the above forms to provide the notice. The new tenancy agreement that states the new rent or calculation method will act as the notice.
If a tenant does not receive the correct notice, they can lodge a complaint with Consumer Protection for assistance.
If you have correctly sent the required notice to the tenant and they do not agree with the increase, the tenant may choose to:
Where a tenant is struggling to pay a rent increase, the Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme offers future rent support for eligible tenants who are experiencing financial difficulty now that the emergency period has ended. Applications for assistance close on 31 December 2021.
Our rent increases page can provide you with additional information.
If you have any questions about rent increases, you can contact Consumer Protection’s advice line on 1300 304 054 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the requirement under Western Australia’s Building Regulations that any dwelling being sold, rented or hired must have compliant smoke alarms.
By law, the installation, maintenance and replacement of smoke alarms remains the responsibility of the property owner, and not of the tenants. Property owners must replace all types of smoke alarms every 10 years. Remember, only a licensed electrical contractor can replace the hard-wired smoke alarms.
The next time you are inspecting a rental property, check that:
The joint media release from Building & Energy and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services is available on our website.
Building & Energy’s Smoke alarm laws for existing dwellings fact sheet will provide you with additional information on the requirements.
Information on smoke alarms for rental properties is available on our Smoke alarms and RCDs page.