Wellbeing & Wellness
Rent Increase: Everything You Should Know
Here Is Everything You Need To Know About Rent Increase And Steps To Take If And When It Happens
Once you have moved into your new home, you will have covered everything over with your landlord. Such as who is responsible for repairs, if you are allowed pets, details about refurbishment and how much the rent is et cetera. All things which are on your tenancy agreement. Every tenancy agreement includes a rental agreement. Moreover, there are many different types of tenancy agreements. So, depending on the type of tenancy agreement you have will determine if there is a rent review clause. Many tenants experience rent increases from their landlord. If you have just signed a new tenancy agreement or are finally looking to fly the nest, here is everything you need to know about rent increase.
YOUR LANDLORD MUST FOLLOW RENT INCREASE PROTOCOL
While a landlord can increase your rent, they must do it by following the correct protocol. This includes getting your permission to increase the rent. As well as that, the rent increase must be a realistic amount. By this, we mean the increased amount must still be relevant to the size of the property and/or a similar amount to other properties in the area. Experts say a typical rent increase is around 3-5% annually, due to other costs of maintaining the property going up. Ultimately rent increase is the effect of other contributing factors such as:
- Changing conditions of the rent market
- Tax rising
- Rise of cost of living (Retail Price Index)
- High property maintenance cost
As previously emphasized, your landlord can increase your rent if you are on a statutory periodic tenancy. If a landlord wishes to increase your rent they can do this by:
- Agreement from the tenant in writing
- Section 13 rent increase a form legalised by the Housing Act 1988 (notice of increase in limited circumstances)
- Using Form 6 of the Housing Act 1988 (A formal document served to a tenant from the landlord to notify the tenant of a rent increase proposed by the landlord)
By following these procedures it gives you notice that your rent will increase in the near future. Many tenants often come together with their landlord to negotiate a new rent price suitable for both parties.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK THE RENT INCREASE IS TOO EXCESSIVE
If you think the rent increase is too high, try reaching an agreement with your landlord. For example, if your rent is £1021 and your landlord wants to push it to £1050 a month, you can try to meet at a reasonable sum like £1035. Likely, your landlord does not want to lose you as a tenant; this may result in them accepting your negotiation. Not to mention, the negotiation is more favoured than a withdrawal from the rent increase. If you can’t come to an agreement with your landlord you can challenge your rent increase. This is through an appeal to a tribunal for rent complaints. Here is what you should know when applying to a tribunal:
- You should aim to apply within 30 days of getting a rent-increase notice
- It is the tribunal that will decide if your rent increase is fair
- The tribunal is made up of 2 or 3 professionals (solicitors or surveyors)
- The tribunal tells you how much your rent should be (You’ll then have to pay that amount)
- If the tribunal decides the rent increase isn’t fair, your rent won’t be increased.
We understand that it’s important to familiarise yourself with matters such as these, so you can be prepared in the event of an unfair rent increase. Though hopefully, you’ll never have to fall back on what you’ve learned here at all!
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN THE TRIBUNAL
For the application process, you will need to fill an application form. Legally recognized as Form Rents 1: Application referring a notice proposing a new rent under an Assured Periodic Tenancy or Agricultural Occupancy, to the Tribunal. Fundamentally in this form, you should include details of:
- The address
- Your current rent of pay
- Repairs your landlord is responsible for on your tenancy agreement
- Section 13 notice
- Tenancy agreement
To reiterate it is crucial that you send over your tribunal application before the date of your rent increase. You could be waiting up to 10 weeks for the tribunal’s decision. We advise that while you are waiting for the decision that you save money for the rent in the event of the tribunal favours for a rent increase. The other events to expect while waiting for the tribunal’s decisions are:
- Sending your evidence to the tribunal and to your landlord, such as how much rent other tenants are paying in your local neighbourhood
- Decide the type of hearing you want
- Home inspection from the tribunal
To summarise, understanding your tenancy agreement is crucial once you have moved into your new home. Additionally, it is vital to know essential information such as how much rent you pay, and if your tenancy has a rent review clause. Also to note: if you are on a periodic statutory tenancy, your landlord can only increase your rent if you agree. If you think the rent increase is too high, you can challenge the rent increase by a tribunal appeal. Like we previously stated, a tribunal appeal can take up to 10 weeks, so we advise you to still save up money in the event of the tribunal allowing the rent increase. Finally, we understand that this can be a turbulent and challenging period in your life; remember that it is always okay, and beneficial, to seek emotional support from your loved ones.
Feeling a little anxious as it stands? It happens to the best of us, here’s Cloopers mini-guide on how to combat frayed nerves.
This blog post is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice.