Landlords can’t just go round increasing their rents whenever they want to. They do, however, have a right to adjust the rent at certain intervals. The way in which they can go about increasing the rent will depend on whether the tenancy is fixed or periodic.
If the tenancy agreement includes a specific rent review policy, the landlord must stick to it
Fixed term tenancies
Landlords have no right to increase rent during a fixed term – unless the tenant agrees the increase with them in writing. Once the fixed term is over, however, landlords can raise the rent in one of two ways:
- Renew the fixed term, but with a higher rent (provided you give tenants the appropriate notice and they agree to renew, appropriate time 1 month (if paying monthly), however we give our tenants longer than this.
- Or you can let the fixed term run its course and let the tenancy automatically drift into a periodic/rolling tenancy, and then increase the rent
Landlords should notify their tenants 2 months before the fixed term is due to end. If the tenants accept the increase, the tenancy can simply be renewed with the new increased rent amount. If the tenants don’t accept the increase, it leaves the landlord time to serve notice
Landlords have a right to increase rent once a year. However, there are some restrictions to that:
- The increase must be “fair and realistic” i.e. in line with average local rents. We like to provide comparasions – so the tenants gets a good feel for the market.
- You must give your tenant appropriate notice (1 month’s notice if rent is paid weekly/monthly or 6 months if rent is paid annually)
If you want to increase the rent during a periodic/rolling tenancy then you will need to give your tenant a “Landlord’s notice proposing a new rent” form. The NLA have a free template.
Good tenants are worth keeping hold of, so you want them to feel like you are being fair and giving them enough notice.