NSW Used Housemate's Debit Card - Increasing Rent as Payback?

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24 March 2016
I went into my housemate’s room, looked into one of his closed drawers, found his debit card and used it. Within the hour, I found my own debit card, made him a note, put his card and the same amount of money on the kitchen counter, where he found it.

The next day he sent me a text saying, what I did was a criminal offence and he wants me to start paying double the rent. I talked to him and apologized, and he agreed to keep the rent the normal price.

Just now 2 weeks later, he’s now saying he wants double the rent again because I didn’t clean the bathroom well enough.

How much trouble am I in? Is he allowed to change the rent like that? What should I do?


Hi James,

What is the arrangement there? Is your flat mate either the owner of the house? Or the person whose name is on the lease? If so you are either a tenant or a subtenant and your flat mate is head tenant.

In either case you have the rights and obligations of a tenant in relation to the head-tenant – they are your landlord. Landlords or residential premises cannot arbitrarily change rent. They must adhere to any terms of the lease.

Check out this fact sheet on your tenant rights. Factsheet 04: Rent increases - Tenants NSW