The rent cannot be increased during a fixed-term rental agreement unless a rent-increase term is included in writing in the rental agreement.
If the fixed-term rental agreement allows for the rent to be increased, it cannot be increased more often than the law allows. There are also rules about how you are given notice of the proposed increase [section 44]. See the section headed ‘Notice of proposed increase’ on this page.
From 29 March 2021, if a new fixed-term rental agreement includes a rent-increase term, the agreement must also provide:
- The amount of the increase, and that the rent is not increased by more than that amount, or
- The method by which the increase is to be calculated, and that the rent is not increased more than that calculation method allows [section 44].
Many rental agreements put together by real estate agents include terms about rent increases, so it is important to read the agreement carefully before you sign it. For more information on what terms can and cannot be included see out website page Rental agreements (leases).
If you do not agree to a rent-increase term being included in your agreement you are entitled to negotiate to have it removed or crossed out, particularly as rent-increase terms are not included in the standard prescribed terms for all agreements.
If the rental provider refuses to allow any negotiation of terms that are not standard prescribed terms, your agreement could be seen as being unfair under consumer law.
If you and the rental provider negotiate to cross out a rent-increase term you should all sign next to the change to show everyone has agreed to this.
Note that on this page sections in brackets, such as [section 44], refer to sections in Victoria’s Residential Tenancies Act 1997. See the Resources section at the bottom of this page for links to the laws.
Rent increases that are prohibited in rental agreements
The rental provider, or their agent, cannot include any terms in the rental agreement that make you responsible for paying an increased amount of rent if you breach any of the terms of the rental agreement. These sorts of terms are prohibited, and it is an offence to include a prohibited term in a rental agreement [section 26A]. See our website page Rental agreements (leases).
You can report offences to Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), which can issue an infringement notice on the rental provider or agent if they failed to follow the law.
For periodic rental agreements the rent can be increased, but not more often than the law allows. There are also rules about how you are given notice of the proposed increase [section 44]. See the section headed ‘Notice of proposed increase’ on this page.