Rent increase at property changeover?

Question from Mani updated on 19th October 2012:

I bought a property earlier this month. Can I increase the rent? The current tenant has been there three months. Or can I ask them to vacate the property? Do I need to give notice in either cases?

Our expert Juliet Robinson responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act is the governing legislation for residential tenancies. Among its provisions are the rules relating to rent increases and termination of tenancies. I read from your question that you are very unfamiliar with both matters. They are both difficult to answer from the information that you have given. For example, your ability to increase the rent depends on whether the Act permits you to do so for the type of tenancy that you have, and start of tenancy or previous rent increase. Also, the type of tenancy will determine whether you can terminate it by giving notice to the tenant. If it’s a fixed term tenancy, you can’t.

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