Apartment rents differ in my block, is this fair?

Question from Juanita updated on 7th August 2008:

My boyfriend has lived in an apartment complex for 12 years. He has been paying $802 per month for almost 2 years. He went to pay his rent and picked up a brochure showing an identical apartment renting for $757. I called the office to asked if this was a special and was told no. There is something not fair about this. We have an appointment with the manager. I just wanted to know how can this be and what can we expect?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

The rent a landlord requests for any particular property often depends on a variety of factors about the property. There may be reasons why a landlord asks for different rent payments for two properties that appear to be similar. You may wish to discuss any similarities and differences between the apartments with the manager. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your discussion with the manager, and you think that the rent for your apartment substantially exceeds market rent, then you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the rent reduced. If the Tenancy Tribunal agrees that the rent is too high, then it may make an order reducing the amount to reflect the market rent. Information about market rents for a variety of properties in different areas is also available on the Department of Building and Housing website (www.dbh.govt.nz).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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