A single mother has been hit with a huge rent increase after trying to negotiate when her landlord raised the price of her house.
Mother-of-four Kristina Gram from Sydney’s eastern suburbs received notice from her landlord that her rent would increase from $800 a week to $1,100.
When the 45-year-old firefighter offered to pay $975 instead, the agent came back and demanded $1,200 a week.
There is currently no legislation in New South Wales prohibiting this practice.
Sydney mother-of-four Kristina Gram (pictured) has been hit with a huge rent increase from $800 a week to $1,200
“It seems really unfair and it seems ridiculous that they can go one step further and say we’re going to make it even worse,” Gram said. Sydney Morning Herald.
She was trying to cut living expenses amid the country’s cost of living crisis, and her brother moved into her house to help cover rising rent costs.
Mrs. Gram is currently considering moving into a three-bedroom rented apartment and living in the garage.
She called for a cap on the excessive rent increases that Australians are increasingly facing in a historically tight rental market.
“Even if they can reduce it by 25 percent,” she said.
“As a firefighter, we just secured last year’s pay raise, which is only 4.5%, which is not in line with inflation.”
Ms Gram called for a cap on excessive rent increases, which have increased amid the country’s housing crisis
The national rental vacancy rate hit a new record low this month, with new data showing deteriorating rental conditions in Sydney and Melbourne.
According to the latest PropTrack Market Insight Report, the vacancy rate in Australia dropped to 1.02% within a month.
This is a new record compared to the 1.10% level recorded in September and well below 3%, which is seen as a healthy vacancy rate.
Experts warn that rising rents will increase homelessness rates across the country.
Although there is a law that states that a landlord can only increase a tenant’s rent once every 12 months, there is no limit to the amount of the rent increase.
The Minns government has ruled out a rent cap.
“We think this will have an impact on supply and we need to increase supply,” Minns said earlier this year.
“The vast majority of the rental market and new supply in the NSW market must be provided by the private sector.”
Although there is a law that states that a landlord can only increase a tenant’s rent once every 12 months, there is no limit to the amount of the rent increase (illustrative image)
Tenants have the opportunity to challenge excessive rent increases in the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
However, NSW Tenants Association chief executive Leo Patterson Ross said few tenants were taking this option because of the lengthy process.
Patterson Ross said introducing legislation banning excessive rent increases could be part of broader plans to increase supply to address the state’s dire shortage of affordable housing.
Under the bill, rents are capped at the rate of inflation plus 10 percent.
Patterson Ross said any long-term solution involving delivery would not help tenants like Ms Gram in her situation today.
He said there was a need for better regulation of housing, which should be seen as an essential service, not just an investment for buyers.
New South Wales Rent Commissioner Trina Jones said there were rules in place to prevent excessive rent increases through the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
– In the event of a 50% rent increase. this is already above the market standard. I strongly encourage tenants to challenge this decision in the tribunal,” she said.
Ms Jones encouraged tenants to check whether a rent increase is excessive by using the Tenants Union’s rent tracker.