A property manager has come under fire after appearing to brag about raising the rent in an email to tenants.
Property investment firm Ironfish sent an email to clients last week showing Melbourne’s highest weekly and average rental increase in June.
“June achievement: largest rent increase – $225 per week,” the email said, before adding that the company rented 1,103 properties in the last fiscal year.
The email also includes two references, one from a landlord and one from a renter, suggesting there was no target demographic for the email.
A tenant who received the email posted a screenshot on reddit, with the caption: “My rent just went up $400 a month and the agency emailed me to s ‘brag about it.’
The email is accompanied by a photo of two young children jumping on a bed, having a pillow fight with smiles on their faces.
It caused a stir online, with tenants and landlords disapproving of the email, and many left shocked after reading its contents.
“As an owner and supplier, it’s cringe. If my real estate agent (agent) was bragging like that, I would have walked out,” one user said.
“I got the same email and had the same feeling of disgust, and I own (but not with them),” another said.
“It’s just disgusting. They literally celebrate the scam of desperate people. It’s just deplorable, ”commented a third.
Meanwhile, others have raised concerns about rising rent.
“Can they really make such a big raise? I mean legally? What do they have in your lease on how it’s calculated? Pretty sure Victoria tenants might have a little more to say about it,” one user commented.
“How do you justify a $225 rent increase? another user interviewed. “Heck, even $98 is a lot.”
“So crazy. Ours tried to raise it by $90 a month which I thought was ridiculous and we just said no and they agreed to stay the same if we signed a 12 month lease,” a said another.
News.com.au has contacted Ironfish to comment on the email.
According to Consumer Affairs Victoria, landlords are not allowed to increase rent during a fixed-term contract unless otherwise stated, and must give tenants at least 60 days notice.
The law does not specify by how much a landlord can increase weekly repayments, but this should be changed based on the consumer price index, average rental prices, a fixed percentage or a fixed amount in dollars.
Tenants also have the right to dispute their increase if they feel their repayments were too high.
Despite the steep rise shown in the email, data from CoreLogic suggests Melbourne has the cheapest rental market with a typical home costing a renter $480 per week.
Rising cost of living, low vacancy rates and rising interest rates are some of the reasons landlords are choosing to increase weekly rent repayments.
Originally published as ‘It’s just disgusting’: Real estate investment firm under fire for celebratory email