Rent is the money paid by the tenant for the right to live in a property. 

Although rent is usually money, rent may also include any goods or services charged for the right to live in a property. Rent doesn’t include any money paid or owed as a bond.

Important COVID-19 information on rent increases:

As of Thursday 26 March, there is a freeze on rent increases. This means that landlords can’t increase rent for their rental properties. This will apply for an initial period of six months.

If the landlord issued notice to increase the rent prior to Thursday 26 March, but the increase is not yet in place, the notice has no effect and the rent remains at the original level.

Rent increases that took effect before Thursday 26 March remain in place.

If a landlord increases the rent or tries to increase the rent during this timeframe, they may be liable for exemplary damages of up to $6,500.

Landlords and tenants can agree to lower the rent temporarily. This could be for a specific time period or until a specific event occurs. Once that time is up, the rent returns to the original amount. Returning rent to the original level is not a rent increase, so is not caught by rent increase freeze.

Landlords and tenants should talk to each other, work together and take care of each other wherever possible. Try to come to an arrangement that suits everyone. We need to work together and help each other to fight COVID-19.

More information about this announcement

Questions and answers (Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (external link) )

Visit the central government COVID-19 website (external link)

Tenants and landlords both need to understand how rent is charged and paid.

It’s very important for landlords and tenants to keep accurate records about the tenancy.

Landlords can increase rent of fixed-term tenancies only if the agreement allows this. They must give the correct notice and meet certain conditions. The rent can also be reduced in certain situations.

Tenants and landlords need to know what to do when rent is overdue, and where they can go for help.