When can a landlord increase the rent?

Published: 22/05/2013

With latest figures revealing 41 per cent of landlords have increased their rents over the last year, we have had a number of landlords come to us and ask the million dollar question – Can I increase my tenant’s rent whenever I want?

The short answer is no, a landlord cannot increase the rent during the fixed term of an existing tenancy unless it was agreed in the original tenancy agreement e.g. the rent will increase after a set period of time.

The most common time for a landlord to increase the rent is during the renewal of the tenancy i.e. the fixed term has come to an end and the landlord and tenant wish to enter into a new tenancy rather than a ‘periodic’ tenancy. In this instance a new tenancy agreement detailing the increased rent is required.

A landlord is also able to issue a rent increase during a ‘periodic’ tenancy. However there is a strict legal process to be followed as GW LET solicitor, Rob Denman, explains:

“With demand for rental property continuing to outweigh supply, it is easy to understand why a landlord could be tempted to try and cash in and increase a tenant’s rent. However, rent increases must be executed properly and in line with current legislation.

“To increase a tenant’s rent during a periodic tenancy you must follow the procedure set out in section 13 of the Housing Act 1988. This involves serving a notice on the tenant proposing the new rent and the date upon which it will take effect.

“It is important to note however that there must be a minimum period of time between the date the notice was served and the date the new rent comes into effect. This minimum period is dependent on the nature of the periodic tenancy”

GW LET can help landlords on a wide range of legal issues including rent reviews and increases.

Content correct at time of publication

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