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Tips on how to navigate a rent reduction

By  AAMI

Whether you’re facing hard times thanks to the pandemic or you’re simply a long-term occupant with a knack for paying early – as a tenant, you’re well within your rights to ask your landlord for a rent reduction. This can be a permanent reduction, or a temporary one in light of specific circumstances, such as renovations. Either way, here are a few things to include in your request.

Reasons you might consider asking for a rent reduction

Less use of rental


Most tenancy agreements will have a clause stating that the tenant has the ‘right to exclusive use and enjoyment of the described residential property’. This means that if the described residential property, as per the original agreement, is no longer available — for example, if the tenant can no longer use a certain room due to a hazardous leak that has gone unfixed — the tenant may be able to seek a reduction in rent until full use of the property is resumed1.

Property area price change


If, in your area, every other comparably priced rental came fully furnished and well-equipped with a double garage, sauna and treehouse – you might want to to bring this up with your real estate agent. You can use this data in your rent reduction request, as well as make your case as to why a rent reduction might be a viable option.

Don’t forget that each state and territory has varying rules on what is required to be provided in a rental property and what you might be able to consider as a comparative price range for your property – make sure you chat to your tenant advisory service2 if you’re unsure.

Financial hardship


For a range of reasons, financial hardship can occur unexpectedly to anyone. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, you may want to consider reaching out to your landlord to inform them of your situation. In doing so, you can provide your landlord with the reasons, any evidence, and your suggested solution. This is something both you and the real estate agent can discuss. 

 

What might I consider when asking for a rent reduction?

  1. If your request is as a result of financial hardship you might want to describe how your financial situation has changed.
  2. Include any points of interest that could sway the landlord in your favour as a loyal and committed tenant. This could include things like having always paid rent on time or early, having passed each inspection with flying colours, having been there for an extensive period of time and having kept the rental in good condition with minimal complaints.
  3. Don’t forget to include any extra key points, research or data that you think may help your case – like similar rentals in the area with cheaper rent.
  4. Include a specific amount by which you’d like your rent reduced. This may make it easier to negotiate, and provides clearer guidance to your landlord of your expectations. If you don’t specify an amount, you could be more likely to have your reduction rejected.

You might want to think about doing the above in writing. You’ll want to make sure you are clear, concise and polite. Every rental situation is different.

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1The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.
2https://www.rent.com.au/blog/tenancy-support-state

AAMI Fire and Theft Contents Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as AAMI. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. The Target Market Determination (TMD) is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.