Rent can be decreased under certain circumstances.
When the property manager/owner and tenant agree to reduce the rent, the agreement should be put in writing and signed by everyone. This then forms part of the tenancy agreement.
Rent may be decreased because:
- there is a drop in the standard of the property, room or service
- there is a decrease in services provided, e.g. a stove is not working
- there is a change in rental market conditions (e.g. rents drop in the local area due to a downturn in the mining industry)
- the property is destroyed, or completely or partly unfit to live in (e.g. part of the roof collapses due to storm damage)
- the property can no longer be used lawfully as a residence (e.g. building condemned)
- the property appropriated or acquired compulsorily by an authority (e.g. house acquired by the State Government to make way for road works)
- services, facilities or goods provided to the tenant are no longer available or withdrawn
Rooming accommodation (additional reasons):
- a service provided to the tenant under the agreement is no longer available or is withdrawn (e.g. meals no longer offered)
- standard of the service substantially decreased (e.g. frequency of meals altered)
- the tenant is absent from the property and the following is not provided:
- food service (if the tenant is absent for 2 continuous weeks or longer), or
- a personal care service
Putting it in writing
Any agreement about a decrease in rent should be put in writing and may include:
- how much the rent reduction will be
- when the reduction will begin and end
- any other relevant issues agreed upon.