Renting Guide

How much can my landlord increase my rent by?

To help take the stress out of renting we've rounded up a simple guide around rent increases in New Zealand.

Last updated: 31 August 2023

Renting a home in New Zealand is expensive! And that makes dealing with regular rent increases particularly difficult and stressful.

With that said, there are a number of laws that govern how often landlords can increase rent and how they have to communicate these increases with you — the tenant. So it’s important to know your rights. To make sure you’re aware, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about rent increases.

How often can my landlord increase my rent?

Landlords in New Zealand can increase their rent a maximum of once a year in both fixed term and periodic tenancies. Increases must be at least 12 months after the start of the tenancy.

What’s more, if you have a fixed term tenancy your landlord can only increase your rent during the fixed period if the tenancy agreement allows it, so make sure you check yours before signing on the dotted line.

Landlords and tenants can agree to increase rent more often

In some limited cases, landlords and tenants can agree to increase the rent inside this 12 month period if the landlord has:

  • Substantially improved the property to the benefit of the tenant.
  • Changed the tenancy agreement for the tenant (e.g. to allow pets).
  • Incurred unforeseen expenses since the rent was last increased.

If the tenant doesn’t agree to the increase the landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to review the rent. They will make a decision on what they think is reasonable and make an order based on that.

If you feel your landlord's rent increase is not fair there are options.

How much notice does my landlord need to provide when increasing rent?

Most New Zealand landlords need to provide a minimum of 60 days written notice of any rent increases. Boarding house landlords only need to provide 28 days written notice.

The notice must be provided in writing via a mode of communication listed on the tenancy agreement. This could be hand delivered in person, placed in the letterbox or a PO Box, or sent via email.

The 60 day written notice period only begins when the tenant receives the notice. Tenancy law says that:

  • If the notice was handed over in person it is received immediately
  • If it is left in a letter box or at the property it is received in two working days
  • Emails are received on the working day they are sent (if they are sent after 5pm they are received on the following working day).

How much can my landlord increase my rent by?

There are no laws that govern the specific amount that your landlord can increase rent by in New Zealand. However, if you feel that your rent is above what is being charged for similar properties in the area then you, the tenant, can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to review the rent.

You’ll need to supply evidence that the rent is more than similar houses in the area — if the tenancy tribunal rules in your favour they can make an order for your rent to be reduced.

Hot tip: The best way to find out if your landlord is charging you fair market rent is to check Trademe listings in your area, find similar homes and compare their asking rents to what you’re paying.


Ben Tutty
Ben Tutty

Ben Tutty is a regular contributor for Trade Me and he's also contributed to Stuff and the Informed Investor. He's got 10+ years experience as both a journalist and website copywriter, specialising in real estate, finance and tourism. Ben lives in Wānaka with his partner and his best mate (Finnegan the whippet).