As a landlord in the UK, increasing the rent of your rental property is a common way to keep up with rising costs or to reflect improvements or upgrades to the property. However, there are specific rules and regulations you must follow to increase rent legally without causing issues or disputes with your tenants.
Here are some steps you can take to increase the rent of your rental property in the UK.
Review Your Tenancy Agreement
Before you can increase the rent of your rental property, you must review the tenancy agreement you have with your tenant. Check whether there are any restrictions or requirements related to rent increases in the agreement. Some agreements may specify the frequency and amount of rent increases or require that you provide a certain amount of notice to your tenants before increasing the rent.
It is important to note that you cannot increase the rent during a fixed-term tenancy agreement unless the agreement specifically allows it. You can only increase the rent of a periodic tenancy agreement. Moore Barlow can help you review your tenancy terms.
Determine the market rent
Once you have reviewed your tenancy agreement, you need to determine the market rent for your property. Research the current market rates for similar properties in your area to determine what the appropriate rent increase should be. Consider factors such as location, property type, and the condition of your property when setting a new rental rate. A local letting agent can often be a valued resource.
Rent increases should be fair and reasonable to avoid a dispute.
Provide notice to your tenants
You will need to provide your tenants with notice of the rent increase at least one month before it takes effect. The notice should include the new rent amount, the date it will take effect, and any other relevant information such as changes to payment methods or due dates. You must provide the notice in writing, either by post or email. Ensure that you get proof of delivery to avoid any disputes about whether the notice was served.
Follow the correct procedures
If your tenancy agreement is a fixed-term tenancy, you may need to wait until the end of the current term before increasing the rent. If the tenancy is a periodic tenancy, you can increase the rent by serving a notice pursuant to section 13 of the Housing Act 1988. This notice must specify the proposed increase and the date it will take effect. The notice must be in writing, signed by you as the landlord, and served on the tenant at least one month before the increase is due to take effect.
It’s worth noting that if your tenants dispute the rent increase, they have the right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for a determination of the market rent. You will need to provide evidence to support the proposed rent increase, such as comparable properties in the area, to the tribunal.
If your tenant objects to the rent increase, you may want to consider negotiating a compromise or alternative solution. This could include offering additional services or improvements to the property, or agreeing to a smaller increase in exchange for a longer lease or other concessions. Negotiation can help you avoid disputes and maintain a positive relationship with your tenant.
Keep accurate records
It’s crucial to keep accurate records of all rent increases, notices, and communications with your tenants. This will help protect you in case of any disputes or legal issues that may arise in the future. Keep copies of all written correspondence and record any phone calls or in-person conversations.
In conclusion, increasing rent for your UK rental property requires careful planning and adherence to legal guidelines. By following these steps and seeking legal advice if necessary, you can ensure a fair and reasonable rent increase.
If you are a landlord and require legal assistance, please contact our property dispute team today.