Can landlords increase rent?

A. In the case of fixed-term tenancies, landlords cannot increase rents unless there is a mutual agreement with the tenant. Alternatively, they must wait until the rental term expires which is why it is so important to have a professionally drawn up contract that lets both parties know where they stand, what their responsibilities are and where they can seek redress.

Landlords are entitled to include a rent review clause in the agreement indicating when the proposed increase will occur and also how much notice will be given. There must also be a clear projection of how the increase will be calculated, based on factors such as inflation, average area prices and property size. All increases must be reasonable and subject to agreement between the landlord and the tenant.

The tenancy agreement may not have such a clause and in this case the landlord may activate something called a Section 13 notice. This procedure can only be used once a year and requires at least one month’s notice which increases to six if the tenancy is for over a year. As always, it pays to carefully read through your tenancy agreement before signing and, if possible, to seek expert advice.

If you are renting through ARLA Propertymark lettings agent, then you will have access to a readily available source of information and your agent will guide you what is a reasonable rent increase. They will also be able to ensure that everything is documented professionally between you and the landlord.

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About the Author

A board director since 2001, Marc oversees the company’s London rentals operation as well as marketing and developing strategies for new business. He has been instrumental in the company’s expansion, working closely with managing director Anita Mehra to develop its core services and frequently co-hosts property seminars for investors in many international locations. Read more about Marc von Grundherr here - Read full profile

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