Skip to main content
Shelter Logo

Rent increases for private tenants

If you cannot afford a rent increase

It can be difficult to know what to do if the landlord has increased your rent correctly but you cannot afford to pay it.

You do not have to move out straight away

You do not have to move out straight away just because you cannot afford the new rent.

Your landlord must follow a legal process if they want you to leave. They must give you a valid notice and apply to court to end your tenancy. This can take months.

Only court bailiffs can remove you from your home.

It is illegal eviction if your landlord tries to evict you without giving you the right notice and getting a court order.

Apply for homelessness help

You could be classed as legally homeless if you cannot afford the new higher rent.

This means that the council must:

Read our guide to council homeless help if you're a private tenant facing eviction.

If you decide to leave

There are things to consider before you leave your tenancy.

Your tenancy will not end just because you move out. You will still be responsible for rent and you may lose your deposit unless your tenancy is ended properly.

If you ask the council for homelessness help, the council will check if:

  • your landlord increased the rent correctly

  • you can afford to stay there after the increase

If you leave somewhere you can afford to stay, the council may say you're intentionally homeless and refuse to give you long term help. This could happen even if you stay with friends or relatives before you ask the council for help.

Get advice on your options

Your local council should give you free advice about how to find housing in your area.

You do not need to have a notice from your landlord to get council advice on your housing options.

Contact your local council to find out what help you can get.

You could also search for other local advice agencies that may be able to help you look for somewhere more affordable to live.

Use Homeless Link to find advice agencies in your area.

Apply for social housing

You may be able to join the local council's housing waiting list for social housing. Different councils have different rules about who can apply.

Social housing is usually more affordable than renting privately and you could have more rights.

It can take a long time to get social housing, so it's unlikely to be a short term option.

Find out more about how to apply for council housing.

Last updated: 18 May 2023

If you need to talk to someone, we'll do our best to help

Get help