A young tenant who was slapped with a $350 a week rent increase is taking her fight to court after her landlord refused to negotiate the price hike.
Chantelle Schmidt, a writer based in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern, received an email from her landlord in February advising her rent would increase from $1,900 to $2,600 a fortnight.
Ms Schmidt is on a monthly contract, meaning the landlord can increase her rent at any point with no limits.
The frustrated Sydneysider tried to negotiate the ‘aggressive’, almost 37 per cent increase with her landlord and real estate agent but was told ‘we’re not budging’.
Ms Schmidt shared an update of her rental crisis in a TikTok video on Saturday and told her followers she was taking the matter to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Chantelle Schmidt (pictured) received an email from her landlord advising her rent would increase from $1,900 to $2,600 a fortnight
‘We basically tried to negotiate with the landlord and real estate agent and just try and find a happy median or middle ground that wasn’t as aggressive as $350 a week,’ Ms Schmidt said.
‘Essentially we were told this was not negotiable. Obviously as a household we freaked out. We had to sit down and talk about our limited options in this market.
‘Because the real estate agent and landlord had said “we’re not budging on this $350 a week figure” … after much deliberation we decide we are going to have to take this to tribunal.’
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal is an independent body that hears and decides on disputes between tenants and landlords.
The tribunal can make orders on disputes including payment of rental bond, rent increases, unpaid rent, termination of tenancy agreement, compensation, repairs and other breaches of the residential tenancy agreement.
Ms Schmidt said she was reluctant to take the matter to tribunal but is feeling really confident it will be resolved.
‘Basically it was really, really stressful in the beginning, like no one wants to go down this path,’ Ms Schmidt said.
‘We tried not to but at this point we are feeling really confident and really good about taking this to tribunal. So, fingers bloody crossed.’
The writer (pictured), who is based in the inner southern Sydney suburb of Redfern, is disputing the $350 a week rental increase with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal
The video has received more than 2,900 comments, with many praising Ms Schmidt for taking the matter to the tribunal.
‘Good on you for fighting the good fight! Give ‘em hell,’ one person wrote.
‘Landlord here. You’re in the right. If the landlord can’t come up with an extra $18K a year how does he expect you to? Good luck,’ another commented.
A third chimed: ‘That’s absolutely insane. Pure greed. This is why we need rental caps in Australia. There’s no protection for renters. Good on you for fighting it!’
‘It’s quite amicable that you are taking it to tribunal and best of luck,’ a fourth added.
In another video, Ms Schmidt shared a message she received from one of her followers claiming they were experiencing a rental increase with striking similarities.
The anonymous renter said they lived in the same suburb as Ms Schmidt and their rent was being increased to $2,600 a fortnight as well.
Ms Schmidt said it was ‘wild’ when the pair discovered they shared the same property manager.
It comes as Australia is struggling with a rental crisis with national residential vacancy rates remaining at an all time low of 1 per cent over February, according to SQM Research.
It comes as the nation’s rental vacancy rate remained at an all time low of 1 per cent over February (pictured, tenants lining up at an open home)
Over the past 28 days to 12 March, capital city asking rents rose by another 2.6 per cent, with the 12-month rise standing at 21.4 per cent, according to SQM Research.
The national median weekly asking rent for a dwelling is recorded at $567 a week, with Sydney recording the highest weekly rent for a house at $936 a week.
Adelaide units offered the best rental affordability of all capital cities at $406 a week.
Weekly rent in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin rose to $561, $600, $594 and $555 respectively.
While the average asking price for weekly rent in Canberra and Hobart fell to $655 and $522.
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