Market Rent Policy

Purpose

The purpose of the Market Rent Policy is to detail Housing ACT 's requirements for the regular review of the market rent it sets for all its properties.

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This policy is consistent with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA) External Link, the Housing Assistance Act 1987 External Link, the Public Rental Housing Assistance Program, and the tenancy agreement. The provisions enable Housing ACT to:

  • charge rent for its properties
  • review the rent it charges for its properties
  • require an amount of rent in advance, but not exceeding an amount equivalent to 1 calendar month's rent

In addition, the provisions require the tenant to pay rent on time.

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Background

Housing ACT sets market rent for all its properties.

The market rent for a Housing ACT property is based on the rent likely to be paid for an equivalent property in the private rental market in a similar location, and of a similar size and amenity. Different Housing ACT properties in the same area may have different market rents because of variations between them in type and amenity.

Housing ACT reviews, at least annually, the rent it charges for its properties in line with movements in the private rental market.

A tenant who cannot afford to pay full market rent can apply for a rental subsidy. This reduces the amount of rent he/she is required to actually pay.

Refer to the Rental Rebate Policy for additional information.

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Entitlement

Maximum Rent Payable

A tenant cannot be charged more than the market rent.

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Increasing the Market Rent

Housing ACT can review and increase a market rent any time during the first year of a tenant's occupancy. Thereafter, increases in rent cannot be made more frequently than once every twelve months.

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Decreasing the Market Rent

If the review results in a decrease in the market rent, the date of effect of the change is the date of authorisation of the decrease.

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Telling Tenants about Changes in Rent

Housing ACT will give a tenant at least eight weeks' notice in writing of its intention to increase the rent. The notice will state the new rent amount and the date of its effect.

If the tenant cannot afford the new market rent he/she can apply for a rental subsidy.

Refer to the Rental Rebate Policy for additional information.

Tenants who currently pay a rebated rent are also advised about changes in the market rent, even though this may not change the amount of rent they actually pay. Where a decrease in market rent results in a reduction in the rental payment (because the tenant is paying market rent) Housing ACT will advise the tenant of the new payment amount and its date of effect.

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Appealing Decisions and Actions

A tenant can apply in writing to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a review if he/she believes that a rent increase is excessive.

The Residential Tenancies Act provides that;

  • unless the tenant satisfies the tribunal otherwise, a rental rate increase is not excessive if it is less than 20% greater than any increase in the Index Number over the period since the last rental rate increase or since the beginning of the lease (whichever is later); and
  • unless the lessor satisfies the tribunal otherwise, a rental rate increase is excessive if it is more than 20% greater than any increase in the Index Number since the last rental rate increase or since the beginning of the lease (whichever is later).
  • The Index Number is means the Consumer Price Index (privately owned dwelling rents) for Canberra published by the Australian Statistician.

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