Property managers Ironfish blasted for email boasting about raising rents by over $200 per week

An Australian property management firm sent an email to tenants which appeared to be bragging about how much they had jacked up their rents. 

Property firm Ironfish sent out the group email titled ‘Melbourne June leasing update’ last week which features two happy children jumping on a bed having a pillow fight. 

Over the image is text reading: ‘Achievement in June: Biggest rent increase – $225 per week’ and ‘Average rent increase $98 per week’.

It is not clear who the intended audience is with the email including both a positive review of Ironfish from a landlord’s perspective and also one from a tenant’s viewpoint. 

A screenshot of the email was shared to Reddit on Saturday by a person claiming to be a renter through Ironfish. 

‘My rent just went up… and the agency sent me an email bragging about it,’ they wrote.

A screenshot of the email received by a renter that was shared to Reddit on Saturday (pictured)

Commenters – including landlords and renters – were largely in agreement that the email was inappropriate.

‘As an owner and provider that’s cringe. If my real estate agency boasted like that I’d be out,’ one person said.

‘I also got the email and I’ve not rented through them for over 6 months. I honestly thought it was a joke email at first,’ another said. 

‘That’s just disgusting,’ a third added.

‘I get the feeling this was supposed to be for owners,’ a fourth said. 

Many readers questioned whether a $98 a week rent increase could be justified, let alone $225.

Renters do have protections against 'excessive' rent increases and should contact relevant state and territory agencies that oversee renters' rights (stock image)

Renters do have protections against ‘excessive’ rent increases and should contact relevant state and territory agencies that oversee renters’ rights (stock image) 

The rules regarding when and by how much rent can increase varies between states and territories.

For example, Consumer Affairs Victoria states that landlords cannot increase rent for existing tenants during an agreed fixed term lease, unless specifically stated in the agreement this is allowed. 

Renters also need to be given at least 60 days notice. 

The average house rent in Australia’s state and territory capitals jumped by 16.3 per cent to $657 a week in the past year, according to data from SQM Research released in June. 

About 41 per cent of all renters said it affected their ability to save, including for a deposit to buy a property of their own. 

Tenants have legislated protections, including against ‘excessive’ rent increases although the definition varies between states.

As a general rule if the increase is too different from similar market rents, if there’s a sizeable difference compared to the current rent, or if the property has outstanding repairs needed, it can be deemed excessive.

Courtesy of surging house and unit prices in recent years leasing remains popular with competition to secure a rental property tough.

The national vacancy rate for rental properties is just 1.1 per cent of all properties. In regional areas, the vacancy rate is below 1 per cent.

‘Right now, there simply aren’t enough rentals available,’ Compare the Market’s Chris Ford said. 

‘Too much demand and not enough supply are among several factors that are pushing prices up, which means low-income renters are the ones who’ll struggle the most.

‘An inability to save puts home ownership further out-of-reach for people who wish to break free of the rental system.’

Rising petrol and grocery prices are already putting renters under pressure with weekly rents on the rise as owners pass on interest rate hikes (stock image)

Rising petrol and grocery prices are already putting renters under pressure with weekly rents on the rise as owners pass on interest rate hikes (stock image) 

With interest rates steadily rising, mortgage increases for investment property owners are being passed to renters already struggling with rising cost-of-living expenses such as petrol and groceries. 

‘Moving to a cheaper property is one possible solution, however, while the market remains tight, good deals are hard to find and landlords are less likely to negotiate,’ Mr Ford said.

‘We’re still very much in a landlord’s market at the moment, and we’ve already seen rents on the rise over the past 12 months due to increased competition in tightening markets.

Each state and territory has an agency to protect the rights of renters, for example the Residential Tenancies Authority in Queensland or Fair Trading in NSW, which should be the first port of call for anyone with questions.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ironfish for comment.

State and territory breakdown on advice for renters

 State/territory

 

 

 

NSW 

 

 

 

 

Victoria 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queensland 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WA 

 

 

 

 

 

SA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tasmania 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NT 

How often can landlords increase rent for a periodic lease?

 

Once every 12 months for periodic leases.

 

 

 

Once every 12 months for periodic leases. 

 

 

 

 

 

Once every 6 months. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once every 6 months. 

 

 

 

 

 

Once every 12 months. Rent cannot be increased in the first 12 months of the lease. 

 

 

 

Once every 12 months, after the tenancy agreement began or was renewed.

 

 

 

 Once every 12 months from the date of the last increase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once every 6 months and not within the first six months of the lease. Rents can only be increased if the right to do so has been written into the tenancy agreement. 

 How much notice must they give you?

 

At least 60 days (written notice).

 

 

 

 

At least 60 days (written notice)

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least 2 months (written notice). The notice must include the date and amount of increase.

 

 

 

 

At least 60 days (written notice). 

 

 

 

 

At least 60 days (written notice).

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least 60 days (written notice).

 

 

 

 

 

At least eight weeks written notice. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least 30 days written notice. The notice must state the intention to increase the rent, the amount increase and the date it changes.

 

Source: Each state/territory’s Residential Tenancies Act. 

Rental increases deemed ‘excessive’ are different in each location, but generally, rental bodies deem increases to be excessive if they are too different from similar market rents, if there’s a sizeable difference compared to the current rent, or if the property has outstanding repairs needed.

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