Rent increases for private tenants

Increases in a periodic tenancy

A periodic tenancy is a rolling tenancy.

You might have a rolling tenancy from the start or when your fixed term ends.

With a rolling tenancy, your rent can go up if:

  • you agree to it

  • your contract has a rent review clause

  • your landlord can use a section 13 notice to increase your rent

Agreeing a rent increase

Your rent does not change if your landlord just tells you it's going up.

You can agree a rent increase by:

  • paying the increase

  • signing a new agreement at a higher rent

  • accepting the increase, for example, by email or text

You could try and negotiate a smaller increase if you cannot afford what the landlord suggests or you think it's too much.

Your landlord might take steps to end your tenancy if you do not agree to a rent increase.

Be aware that once you pay the higher amount it legally becomes your new rent - even if you tell your landlord you are unhappy with the increase.

Rent review clauses

Check your most recent tenancy agreement for a rent review clause.

This is a term in your agreement that says how the rent can be increased. Not all tenancy agreements have them.

The clause might be quite general and say something like: "the landlord will review the rent in April each year and give the tenant 1 month's notice of any increase".

Or it could be more specific and say something like: 'the rent will increase each April in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI)".

A rent review clause will not usually apply if your fixed term has ended.

But it will still apply if the agreement says the tenancy continues as a contractual periodic tenancy after the fixed term.

If you get a section 13 notice

Your landlord can give you a formal notice of rent increase called a section 13 notice.

Your landlord cannot:

  • use this procedure more than once a year

  • increase your rent like this during the first year of your tenancy

  • give you a section 13 notice if your agreement has a rent review clause that still applies

What the section 13 notice needs to say

The notice needs to:

  • be on form 4

  • give at least 1 month's notice of the rent increase

The form tells you the start date for the new rent.

This needs to be the first day of a period of your tenancy.

For example, if your tenancy began on the 5th of the month, the new rent would need to start on the 5th.

If you challenge a section 13 notice at a tribunal, your rent stays the same until the tribunal makes a decision.

Otherwise the rent will increase from the date in your section 13 notice.

Last updated: 17 May 2023

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