Despite claims about rent increases occurring around the State following the expiry of the emergency period, I would like to make it clear that, as of today, the Residential Tenancy Commissioner is currently considering just four applications for unreasonable rent increases.

This is consistent with the same period (26 December – 28 February) in 2020.

As I have previously stated, the Residential Tenancy Act includes protections for tenants when rent is increased.This includes protections against unreasonable rent increases, requiring 60 days’ notice for rent to be increased, and to prevent rents from being increased more than once in a 12 month period.

If a tenant believes a rent increase is unreasonable they are able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Commissioner for an Order declaring the rent increase is unreasonable.

When assessing unreasonable rent increase applications the Commissioner already considers issues such as the value of the increase compared to the trend in similar suburbs or regions, the condition of the property and its maintenance by the owner, a property’s location and any other relevant factor which may increase or lower a property’s appeal.

We are continuing to provide significant support to Tasmanian tenants and landlords and, to date, we have paid out more than $3.3 million to tenants and landlords experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19.

In the period since the moratorium ended there have been 204 applications for additional payments under the COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund and the COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund.

We will continue to look at ways to support Tasmanian tenants and landlords, and they can apply for the additional support available under the funds until 31 March 2021.

Elise Archer, Minister for Building and Construction