Rent increase letter invalid?

My PM is going to the tribunal tomorrow on my behalf as the tenants are disputing me keeping their bond. I gave them 90 days notice to vacate. One of the items we have is rent arrears. The agent has been calculating the rent arrears based on the rent they should've been paying since their last rent increase, for which the tenants have said they never got the letter (they also didn't get a periodic inspection letter, a follow up periodic inspection letter and a notice to vacate letter...). The rent increase letter was sent to the tenant in November last year, of which I have a copy. We changed PMs in April.

The rent increase letter was issued on a date exactly 4 weeks before the rent increase was to take effect. My current PM states that if the tenant claims they didn't receive the rent increase letter and shouldn't have to pay, then the member will agree to this as the rent increase letter is invalid anyway. Her reason for invalidity is because the rent increase should've taken effect 4 weeks and 4 days after sending, not 4 weeks.

She has told me that if the member deems the increase invalid, then I have to pay back the tenant the difference in the rent since January this year.

Is this correct? That the rent increase letter from November 13 is invalid so no rent increase ever had to be paid? While I'm not up on the NSW Tenancy Act, I feel like this is one of those BS moments of being a landlord.
 
My PM is going to the tribunal tomorrow on my behalf as the tenants are disputing me keeping their bond. I gave them 90 days notice to vacate. One of the items we have is rent arrears. The agent has been calculating the rent arrears based on the rent they should've been paying since their last rent increase, for which the tenants have said they never got the letter (they also didn't get a periodic inspection letter, a follow up periodic inspection letter and a notice to vacate letter...). The rent increase letter was sent to the tenant in November last year, of which I have a copy. We changed PMs in April.

The rent increase letter was issued on a date exactly 4 weeks before the rent increase was to take effect. My current PM states that if the tenant claims they didn't receive the rent increase letter and shouldn't have to pay, then the member will agree to this as the rent increase letter is invalid anyway. Her reason for invalidity is because the rent increase should've taken effect 4 weeks and 4 days after sending, not 4 weeks.

She has told me that if the member deems the increase invalid, then I have to pay back the tenant the difference in the rent since January this year.

Is this correct? That the rent increase letter from November 13 is invalid so no rent increase ever had to be paid? While I'm not up on the NSW Tenancy Act, I feel like this is one of those BS moments of being a landlord.

They never got the letters though, so never paid any increase :confused:

Nothing to pay back?

Did the PM charge you for the inspections, or did they also not take place?
 
Shouldn't the PM take some responsibility, and bear the cost (if any) for not allowing the correct time for the notice?
 
The tenants are $870 in arrears but if factoring in the non-rent increase, they would only have $290 in arrears. So I would be paying them as I'd have to return part of their bond.
 
I think the notice issue might be less relevant than if they've been paying it or not, and what you did about it. If they paid the lower rent for a year, and you haven't been telling them they're in arrears and moving to evict the whole time, then you would likely be seen to have accepted the lower rent.
 
Since April, when the new PM came on board, they regularly spoke to the tenants about the rent increase. After changing PMs and the tenant saying they never got a letter from the original PM, I visited the old PM's office asking for a copy. So yes, it has been followed up. But all of this is irrelevant according to the PM as the 4 days posting and receipt period was not granted on the rent increase period.
 
Since April, when the new PM came on board, they regularly spoke to the tenants about the rent increase. After changing PMs and the tenant saying they never got a letter from the original PM, I visited the old PM's office asking for a copy. So yes, it has been followed up. But all of this is irrelevant according to the PM as the 4 days posting and receipt period was not granted on the rent increase period.
They may have "spoken" to the tenants about it, but they should have been issued with arrears notices immediately the first week they were $10 short, then another the second week when they were $20 short, and so on, and should have been evicted for failing to make good on arrears well before a year had expired.
 
Do you think the PM may be trying to make an issue of the notice period because that's attributable to the previous PM, whereas failure to issue arrears notices would fall upon the current PM's shoulders?

Just a cynical thought...
 
The rent increase letter was issued on a date exactly 4 weeks before the rent increase was to take effect. My current PM states that if the tenant claims they didn't receive the rent increase letter and shouldn't have to pay, then the member will agree to this as the rent increase letter is invalid anyway. Her reason for invalidity is because the rent increase should've taken effect 4 weeks and 4 days after sending, not 4 weeks.

She has told me that if the member deems the increase invalid, then I have to pay back the tenant the difference in the rent since January this year.

AFAIK the notice issued by the agent was invalid. See extract below:

In brief, the tenant must be given 60 days notice plus delivery.


Also see the model rent review notice prepared by the OFT: Rent review notice

This mentions the 4 working days for postage (you have to rely on the Act, not the tenancy agreement).
 

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if you lose the rental increase....take the former PM's company to Small Claims court. Do you have emails or text messages to back you up?

You requested they increase the tenant's rent, and you relied on their expertise to make sure it was done properly.

Chances are,all you will need to do is serve them the court papers...they don't want to have a judgement for other LL's to see....you might want to mention that, as you serve them.
 
Thanks for all your responses.

No contact from the PM today. I'm making the assumption it didn't go well. Disappointed to say the least that I haven't heard from her.
 
Jeez. You didn't get an update from your PM after a tribunal hearing???
Lil Skater, you know anybody good in Sydney?

60 days notice, after the change in acts in 2010, No Chance at all the adjudicator will allow the rental increase, no way the landlord is able to say "I didn't know"

have written this on Somersoft many times,

don't let your PM run amok, the landlord is responsible for everything the pm does
read the Act and Regs for your jurisdiction

This controls the business, the penalty unit count against landlords for breach, is huge, 50 penalty units (50 x $110) max per offence, there are at least 2 demonstrated offences.
Damages payable to the tenant on top of penalties; due to landlord error can be substantial

the second pm should have flagged the rent increase as invalid and followed up with proper notice, at least to the landlord for instruction
the landlord, should have known 28 days in invalid

the PM probably does not want to bring news this bad
 
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Well after all that the PM has just called me to say that the tenants didn't show up at tribunal. Could've taken all of 10 secs to SMS me yesterday morning if she was too busy to chat.

Anyway at least I have the bond now. Good lesson in making sure from now on that I receive a copy of the rent increase letter from the PM each time to check for errors.
 
Well after all that the PM has just called me to say that the tenants didn't show up at tribunal. Could've taken all of 10 secs to SMS me yesterday morning if she was too busy to chat.

Anyway at least I have the bond now. Good lesson in making sure from now on that I receive a copy of the rent increase letter from the PM each time to check for errors.

Congratulations...a great outcome for you :)
 
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