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When can a landlord increase your rent?


When can a landlord increase your rent?

Can a landlord increase my rent? Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no. The rules about rent price increases are fairly simple and straight-forward, but as is the case with a lot of ...

Can a landlord increase my rent? Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no. The rules about rent price increases are fairly simple and straight-forward, but as is the case with a lot of people renting, most people won’t know there rights and won’t know what owners are and aren’t allowed to do. The main thing you need to know is what kind of tenancy agreement you have, because this is where the rules differ. There are a few things you need to ask and take note of before a tenancy is signed and you begin renting your home: make sure you have the rent amount and date confirmed along with everything that is included in the rent drawn up in the contract, how the rent is going to be paid and most importantly – are there any “rent review” clauses in the contract.

Fixed-term tenancy

If you are a renter with a fixed-term tenancy then the owner cannot increase the rent until the fixed term is over. The exceptions to this case being if you; a) agree to the rise, or b) there is a clause in the contract.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy / Assured tenancy

Owners are entitled to charge the “market rent” which tends to be the average price for rent in that particular area. Owners can only propose a rise in rent after the fixed term has been served, but only if they follow one or more of the following procedures: 1. Follow the terms for a rent increase drawn up in the contract 2. They send renters a written notice of the increase and a change of tenancy agreement 3. Renters and owners agree a rent price which must be signed and put in writing 4. They supply a “landlord’s notice proposing a new rent” form It must also be agreed by the renter and the proposed increase must be fair, realistic and in line with local prices.If all is agreed then a new fixed-term tenancy begins with the increased price. Owners must give a minimum of one month’s notice if rent is paid weekly or monthly, and six month’s notice if renters have a yearly tenancy. Please note that most owners are likely to wait until any type of fixed-term tenancy becomes a periodic tenancy (usually after an initial six-month tenancy) to increase prices. Reason being that if the terms are fair then renters will have to agree and pay to the increase or risk losing their rented house to eviction.

What to do when increases are unfair and unacceptable

In cases where a rent increase is unacceptable, for example; a contract has been broken, incorrect notice has been given or the suggested increase is unfairly high compared to the “market rate”, renters can apply to the “Residential Property Tribunal” to appeal. This must be done before the proposed new rental start date. If renters disagree with the proposed increase, it is advised to continue to pay the original rent amount, if you pay the increased amount then this is seen as an agreement and is legally binding.

If you’re worried about your rights as a renter then please check our article here to find out more about your rights as a renter.

<p>As content manager for Movebubble, it’s my job to be an expert on renting and London. Being a writer (Journalism BA Bournemouth University) with a passion for food and the arts, I definitely have my dream job! I love exploring the city and researching the latest information and news to bring to our readers. I love getting recommendations from readers on their favourite spots in London so if you have one, let us know in the comments!</p>

Comments ( 2 )

  1. ReplyBig Bird
    Hi, I was recently contacted (December 2016) by my Landlords agents to inform me that a rent increase should have been due in May 2016. The confirmed that a letter had been sent but I had not received this. They are now trying to say that I am responsible for the arrears, which I have told them I will not be paying due to me not receiving any notification; I have also asked if they can evidence the letter they apparently sent out and why it has taken so long for them to pick up on the downfall in payment. I am on a month by month lease as my agreement ran out a while ago. Am I responsible for the arrears even though I wasnt aware of the increase? Thank you
    • Adrian Lowdon
      Hi there, it sounds like they might have sent you what's called a "Landlord's notice proposing a new rent", which is used to increase the rent after a fixed period contract has ended. Unfortunately, the way the form works is that it is assumed you agree unless you take action to the contrary, but I think they would have to prove that the notice was received in order to force you to pay the arrears. If you accept the new rent, then it is probably best to say that you will take this latest contact as your formal notice and pay the increased rent from the next period onwards, otherwise refuse to take the increase and look to terminate the contract. You can find more information on rent increases at https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/rent-increases, and if you want to seek further advice you could speak to Citizens Advice or Shelter. I hope you manage to sort it soon!

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