Rent increase for fixed-term tenancy?

Susanna asks:
(updated on Friday, October 12th 2012)

One of our tenants signed a fixed-term tenancy agreement for two years. Is it okay to increase the rent now and give them 60 days notice. Am I breaching the law?

Our Experts Answer:

The Residential Tenancies Act states in section 24(g) that a landlord under a fixed-term tenancy may not increase the rent during the term of the tenancy “unless permitted by the provisions of the tenancy agreement to do so”. So, if your tenancy agreement has a provision explicitly allowing you to raise the rent during the tenancy, you can do so. If not, then you can’t. You may find that waiting until the fixed-term tenancy has ended and then offering renewal of the tenancy at a specified rent (the new amount) is a more consultative and pleasant way of increasing the rent by agreement. If the tenant decides not to renew, you will have time to start advertising for a replacement tenant. In this instance you will have a normal end to a tenancy and none of the stress that comes with a disputed rent increase.

Select Home Loans 4.29
TSB Special 4.34
ICBC 4.39
HSBC Premier 4.39
Heartland Bank - Online 4.40
China Construction Bank Special 4.45
SBS Bank Special 4.55
Kainga Ora 4.57
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 4.75
Kiwibank Special 4.85
AIA 4.85
Select Home Loans 4.86
Heartland Bank - Online 4.90
TSB Special 4.99
ICBC 5.09
HSBC Premier 5.15
SBS Bank Special 5.19
China Construction Bank Special 5.19
Kiwibank Special 5.19
AIA 5.35
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.35
First Credit Union Special 5.45
Select Home Loans 5.20
TSB Special 5.75
Kiwibank Special 5.79
HSBC Premier 5.89
ICBC 5.89
SBS Bank Special 5.95
BNZ - Classic 6.19
Resimac 6.33
China Construction Bank Special 6.35
Westpac Special 6.39
Kainga Ora 6.43
Select Home Loans 4.09
Heartland Bank - Online 4.10
Pepper Money 4.49
TSB Special 4.79
Liberty 4.84
Kiwibank Special 5.00
ICBC 5.25
Kainga Ora 5.43
China Construction Bank 5.50
Kiwibank 5.50
Kiwibank - Offset 5.50