Being a landlord in the UK comes with responsibilities and, at times, the need to raise the rent on your private rented property. However, it's important to understand that you can't just increase the rent whenever you want or by any amount you wish. There are specific rules and regulations to follow, depending on the situation. In this guide, we will break down how to raise the rent on your property while staying within the boundaries of UK private rented law.
1. Mid-Tenancy Rent Increases:
Can you increase the rent during an ongoing tenancy? Yes, you can, but there are rules to follow.
Notice Period: You must provide your tenants with at least one month's notice before the new rent takes effect. Make sure to serve this notice in writing and include details of the new rent amount.
Notice Form: Use a Section 13 Notice to inform your tenant of the rent increase. This is a standard form provided by the UK government, and you can find it on the government's official website or from legal stationery shops. The form will outline the reasons for the rent increase and the new rent amount.
Frequency: You can only increase the rent once every 12 months. This means if you've recently raised the rent, you may need to wait until the 12-month period has passed.
Just and Fair: Your rent increase must be just and fair. It cannot be arbitrary or excessive. Research local market rents to ensure your increase is in line with the current rental market.
Written Communication: Always provide written notice to your tenants using the Section 13 Notice.
2. Rent Increases After a Tenancy Term:
Renewal: When your current tenancy agreement is about to end, and you wish to renew it with a higher rent, you can do so. You will need to negotiate this with your tenant.
Negotiation: Discuss the proposed rent increase with your tenant and come to an agreement. Make sure both parties understand and agree to the new terms.
New Agreement: Once you and your tenant agree to the new terms, draft a new tenancy agreement that includes the updated rent amount and any other changes. Both parties should sign this agreement.
3. Legal Considerations:
Tenancy Deposit Protection: Ensure that your tenant's deposit is properly protected in a government-approved scheme. This is a legal requirement and failure to do so can lead to penalties.
Discrimination: Be aware that you cannot raise the rent based on discriminatory reasons, such as a tenant's race, gender, or disability. This is against the law.
Retaliatory Eviction: You cannot increase the rent in response to a request from your tenant for necessary repairs or maintenance. This is considered retaliatory eviction and is illegal.
Raising the rent on your private rented property in the UK is possible, but it must be done within the boundaries of the law. Always communicate openly with your tenants, provide adequate notice using the Section 13 Notice, and ensure the increase is just and fair. Violating rental laws can lead to disputes and legal complications, so it's essential to be aware of your responsibilities as a landlord.
Lastly, it's advisable to seek legal advice or consult with a professional property management company if you're unsure about any aspect of rent increases or tenancy agreements to ensure you're in compliance with UK private rented law.