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Fight over $700 rent increase ends: ‘Absolutely criminal’

After taking the matter to the tenancy tribunal, Chantelle Schmidt’s rent hike fight is over.

A composite image of Chantelle Schmidt and a sign out the front of a property indicating it is for rent.
Chantelle Schmidt took her landlord to tribunal after being hit with a $700 per fortnight rent increase. (Source: TikTok @chantelleschmidt / Getty)

Three months ago, Chantelle Schmidt was hit with a $700-per-fortnight rent increase from her real estate agent and, after taking the matter to tribunal, an outcome has been reached.

Schmidt shared her journey of fighting the rent increase on TikTok, with many users invested in the outcome.

Schmidt was paying $1,900 per fortnight for her home in Sdney’s inner-city suburb of Redfern, when the real estate informed her it would increase to $2,600 per fortnight.

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The tribunal ordered that her rent could not exceed $2,500 per fortnight - $100 less than what the landlord was initially asking.

In addition, the tribunal awarded a $75-per-week rent reduction - back-dated to February, 2022 - and awarded Schmidt $3,900, which could be paid in cash or given as rental credit.

Aussies 'sorry' over outcome

Users were saddened for Schmidt, who had also been dealing with mould and cracks in the home.

“I’m so sorry this was the outcome,” one user commented.

“Wow, this is some serious bs! Why would anyone bother going through with tribunal? The amount of time & energy spent 😭 I’m so sorry,” another said.

“This is absolutely criminal. I’m sorry that you endured this,” another comment read.

Rental market ‘dire’

The Aussie rental market is out of control and, while a single person could find a reasonable property for under $400 a week a few years ago, they are harder to come by now.

In fact, the share of total properties listed for rent below $400 per week on realestate.com.au fell to a new low in April, almost halving to just 16.2 per cent from 30.2 per cent last year, according to the PropTrack Market Insight Report.

“The nation’s rental market is in dire straits, with little sign of meaningful reprieve on the horizon,” Proptrack senior economist Eleanor Creagh said.

“Advertised rents are recording strong price increases, and vacancies are at historic lows amid a shortage of rental supply.”

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