Landlord rent increases should be part of the tenancy agreement. As a rule it states how and when the landlord will review the rent.
A landlord can usually increase rent once per year for tenants with a periodic tenancy. Periodic tenancy agreements generally roll on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis.
A landlord can only increase the rent for a fixed-term tenancy if the agreement permits it.
This is because fixed-term tenancies run for a set period. So, raising the rent should occur when the fixed term ends.
Note: Special rules apply for landlords increasing regulated tenancy rental payments.
You must adhere to the rules of a fixed-term tenancy agreement. That means you cannot increase the rent during its term unless stated.
Periodic tenancies are different because landlords can:
Note: Any rent increase must be fair and realistic. A guide is being in line with similar reasonable rents on the open market.
Tenants often disagree and think the rent increase is unfair. In this case they can ask the First Tier Property Tribunal to make a decision on a reasonable amount.
Landlords must use special rules for changing rents and terms in regulated tenancies. In most cases they are private tenancies which began before the 15th of January 1989.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) sets the rent for regulated tenancies. Landlords cannot increase fair rents above this amount. You can check the register of rents to determine what the set amount is.
VOA will review the rent every 2 years if you ask them to. They may perform this earlier if something affects the value, to keep the rent fair. But, beware that your rent may increase or decrease after a VOA rent review.
You can download and then fill in a fair rent form to have your rent reviewed. Mail the completed form to the Valuation Office Agency Network Support Office.
VOA Network Support Office
Wycliffe House, Green Lane
Durham DH1 3UW
Fax: 0300 050 1506
If the fair rent increases you must serve a notice of increase of rent on your tenant. Landlords can charge the new rent starting from the date it gets registered. You can get a 'notice of increase' form from legal stationers and send the completed form to your tenant.
Note: You may backdate a notice of rent increase for no more than 4 weeks.
First you need to download and fill in an application form to cancel a registered rent. Then, send the form to the address written on the document. Do this if the tenancy stops getting regulated or you and your tenant both agree to cancel a registered rent. The full process can take up to 6 weeks to complete.
Landlords often settle tenant disputes on rent increases without going to court. Follow these basic steps for settling disputes with tenants:
Your case usually goes to a small claims court if you take legal action to solve the dispute. Small claims cases are those worth less than £5,000 (£1,000 if the case is about making repairs to a property).
Most courts offer a free mediation service for small claims cases. Often, the discussion takes place over the telephone.
Note: Make an online possession claim to get your property back when your tenants owe you rent money.
There are several organisations who offer free advice about disputes or housing problems. Contact your local Citizens Advice or the Shelter group (Shelter Cymru in Wales). A solicitor may charge but they can help.
Note: You can also get free advice on the day of the hearing from the housing duty desk at the court.
Rent Increases and Settling Disputes when Renting Out Your Property