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 increase.
Chantelle Schmidt, a writer who lives in the Sydney suburb of Redfern, received an email from her landlord in February telling her her rent would increase from $1,900 to $2,600 a fortnight.
Ms. Schmidt has a monthly lease, which means the landlord can increase her rent at any time with no limits.
The frustrated Sydney resident tried to negotiate the “aggressive” nearly 37 percent increase with the landlord and real estate agent, but was told “we’re not going to budge.”
Ms Schmidt shared an update on her rental crisis in a TikTok video on Saturday, telling her followers she would be taking the matter to the NSW Civil and Administrative Court.
Chantelle Schmidt (pictured) received an email from her landlord telling her that her rent would increase from $1,900 to $2,600 per fortnight
“Basically, we tried to negotiate with the owner and the real estate agent and just tried to find a happy middle ground that wasn’t as aggressive as $350 a week,” Ms. Schmidt said.
“Essentially they told us this was non-negotiable. Obviously, as a family, we freak out. We had to sit down and talk about our limited options in this market.
“Because the real estate agent and the owner had said ‘we’re not going to budge on this $350 a week figure’…after much deliberation, we decided we’re going to have to take this to court.”
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal is an independent body that hears and decides disputes between tenants and landlords.
The court can make orders on disputes that include the payment of rent bonds, rent increases, unpaid rent, lease termination, compensation, repairs, and other breaches of the residential lease.
Ms. Schmidt said she was reluctant to take the matter to court, but she feels really confident that it will be resolved.
“Basically, it was very, very stressful at first, like no one wanted to go down this path,” Ms Schmidt said.
“We try not to, but right now we feel very confident and very good about taking this to court. So, fingers crossed.
The writer (pictured), who resides in the southern Sydney suburb of Redfern, is contesting the $350-per-week rent increase with the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Court.
The video has received more than 2,900 comments, with many praising Ms. Schmidt for taking the matter to court.
‘Good on you for fighting the good fight! Give them hell,’ one person wrote.
‘Owner here. You are right. If the landlord can’t get an extra $18,000 a year, how does he expect you to do it? Good luck,’ commented another.
A third chimed in: ‘That’s absolutely insane. Pure greed. This is why we need rental limits in Australia. There is no protection for tenants. Good on you for fighting!
“It’s pretty friendly you take it to court and best of luck,” added a fourth.
In another video, Ms. Schmidt shared a message she received from one of her followers who claimed they were experiencing a rent increase with striking similarities.
The anonymous tenant said that they lived in the same suburb as Ms. Schmidt and that her rent would also be increased to $2,600 a fortnight.
Ms Schmidt said she was “wild” when the couple found out they shared the same property manager.
It comes as Australia is struggling with a rental crisis with national residential vacancy rates holding at a record low of 1 per cent in February, according to SQM Research.
It comes as the nation’s rental vacancy rate stood at a record low of 1 percent during February (pictured, renters line up at an open house)
In the last 28 days to March 12, rent requests in the capital increased another 2.6 percent, with a 12-month increase of 21.4 percent, according to SQM Research.
The national average weekly rent for a dwelling registers at $567 per week, with Sydney registering the highest weekly rent for a house at $936 per week.
The Adelaide units offered the best rental affordability of any capital city at $406 per week.
Weekly rent in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin rose to $561, $600, $594 and $555 respectively.
While the average asking price for a weekly rental in Canberra and Hobart fell to $655 and $522.