Rules around rent increases?

Ed asks:
(updated on Friday, March 30th 2012)

Can an agency demand a rent increase above the amount stated by the Department of Building and Housing for the type of house and area? They have also asked for a top up in the bond being four weeks of the increase.

Our Experts Answer:

The information provided by the Department of Building and Housing on market rent is based on information obtained through the collection of bonds. It is not required to be considered by landlords prior to them setting rent levels. If you wanted to get an indication of what the market rent for a particular property may be, you could check with local property management companies in the area to see what properties are available and what similar properties rent for. If a tenant considers that their rent significantly exceeds market rent, they can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order to reduce the rent to an amount which is in line with the market rent. Upon the lawful increase of rent, the landlord may also require the tenant to pay an increased amount of bond relative to the increased weekly rent up to a maximum of four weeks. To discuss your situation further, or for information about market rent, you can visit the Department’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz/market-rent), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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