This question is from Coral (paraphrased to suit this format):
I instructed my property manager to renew a fixed-term tenancy and increase rent by $15 a week from the start of the renewal. Unbeknownst to me, the manager and tenant signed the renewal at the same rent. Is there anything I can do to increase the rent?
Absent any rent increase provisions in the fixed-term agreement, rent cannot be increased during the term. Technically (and assuming there is no rent increase provision), rent cannot be increased at renewal given that to renew is to enter into a second contract on exactly the same terms.
So then the question is, did you instruct your manager to renew the fixed term (i.e. rent cannot be increased despite your instructions) or sign a new fixed-term (i.e. rent can be increased and ergo the manager had not acted out your instructions).
Not much can be done now about the rent but if you believe that your property manager had not carried out your instructions correctly then the first port of call is to refer to the dispute resolution/service compliant provisions in the agreement. Depending on the agency’s organisational structure, you may also consider escalating your complaint to the line manager/head office. Finally, you can also make an application to the Dispute Tribunal to have the matter settled.
Do you have any tenancy related questions? Write to us at [email protected] or hit us up on our social channels here and here.