Correct procedure for increasing the rent
The landlord should give you at least 4 weeks' notice that they intend to put up the rent, and what the new amount will be. They should do this using a special form for this purpose.
It is called: "Landlord's notice proposing a new rent under an Assured Periodic Tenancy or Agricultural Occupancy".
If you do nothing the rent will go up on the date specified (at the earliest, 4 weeks later).
If you do not agree the increase, you can ask the Rent Assessment Committee to decide if the increase is reasonable. You must do this within 4 weeks of the date on the notice. You should use a special form that you can get from the Rent Assessment Committee.
It is called: "Application referring a Notice proposing a new rent under an Assured Periodic Tenancy or Agricultural Occupancy to a Rent Assessment Committee"
There are certain factors that the Rent Assessment Committee will take into account and factors they will ignore when reaching a decision.
On Housing Benefit?
If you claim Housing Benefit, advise the Finance Assistant, in the Treasurers Department who administers Housing Benefits.
Rent Increases - When and How Often?
If your tenancy agreement includes details about rent increases, the landlord can increase the rent as often as it says in the agreement (unless what it says is very vague).
- If you and the landlord agree, the landlord can increase the rent as often as both of you agree.
- Otherwise, the landlord can increase the rent at the end of the "fixed term" (if there is one) and then annually after that. Each time they should use the procedure described above.
- At the end of the fixed term on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy the landlord might offer you another fixed term at a higher rent. If you sign the new agreement you will not be able to apply to the Rent Assessment Committee to set the rent. Get advice before signing.
- If you have taken over an Assured Tenancy from someone who has died (a succession), then the landlord can immediately give you 4 weeks' notice that they want to raise the rent - they do not have to wait a year. From then on, they can only increase the rent once a year.
You may not have to pay a rent increase, get advice as soon as your landlord asks for one.
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