Rent increases for private tenants
Challenge a rent increase
It's a good idea to try and negotiate before starting a legal process, like going to a tribunal.
For example, you could tell your landlord:
that the increase they're asking for is above market rent
that you could agree to a lower rent increase if it's affordable
about your financial situation, especially if you cannot get more local housing allowance
You could use a budget tool to show what rent you can afford.
Charities like National Debtline have budget planner tools.
Negotiation is usually the only way to challenge a rent increase if your landlord has used a rent review clause.
Going to a tribunal
If you and your landlord cannot agree, you could ask a tribunal to decide.
A tribunal can set a new rent for your tenancy.
There's a risk that a tribunal could set a higher rent than your landlord is asking for.
Check if the new rent your landlord is asking for is in line with similar rented properties in your area before going to a tribunal.
When to apply
You can apply to a tribunal if your landlord gives you a section 13 notice.
Check the section 13 notice for the date when the new rent starts.
You have to apply before this date.
How to apply
Download and complete Form Rents 1 from GOV.UK.
Send this to the tribunal for your region with a copy of the section 13 notice.
You can find the address of your tribunal regional office at the end of the form.
How the tribunal decides
The tribunal decides based on the documents they get from you and your landlord.
There will only be a hearing if you or your landlord asks for one.
You can look at previous tribunal decisions on GOV.UK.
Type 'assured shorthold tenancy' into the search to find decisions about your type of tenancy.
Inspections by the tribunal
Normally the tribunal can inspect the property if you or your landlord ask them to.
They can consider the condition of the property. Tell them about any disrepair or bad conditions.
Setting a market rent
The tribunal can decide a new market rent.
They do this by looking at similar properties in the area.
The new rent could be the same, lower or higher than what the landlord asked for.
When you have to pay the new rent
The new rent will normally apply from the date in the section 13 notice.
This may mean you owe the landlord money.
Tell the tribunal if this will cause you financial problems. They may say the new rent will apply from the date of their decision instead.
Appealing a tribunal decision
You could challenge a first tier tribunal decision by appealing to the upper tribunal.
You normally need specialist advice to do this.
If the rent increase notice is not valid
A section 13 notice could not be valid if:
it gives you less than 1 month's notice
the proposed start date for the rent is not the first day of a period of the tenancy
A tribunal cannot decide if a section 13 rent increase notice is valid or not.
Only a court can do this.
You normally need specialist advice to ask the court to decide if a section 13 notice is not valid.
There's a different process for challenging an increase to a fair rent.
Last updated: 17 May 2023