Tenants’ survival guide: can my landlord increase my rent, and what can I do about it?

According to Rightmove, London’s dysfunctional rental markets continue to cause more misery for tenants. Rising rents, low supply, and the cost-of-living crisis combine to create a perfect storm. The capital’s rents reached a record high at?2,193 per monthly in the first quarter 2022, an increase of 14% over last year. According to Rightmove, a third of landlords have increased rent for tenants in a survey they conducted last week. Although many of these increases are likely to be in line to inflation, there are stories emerging that tenants are being hit with huge hikes and even being forced to leave. Shelter’s housing adviser Nadeem Kham said that tenants don’t have to pay up or move. “While your landlord may suggest a rent rise, you don’t have to agree to it. You can negotiate if it is too expensive or you are unable to afford it,” she explained. How can you negotiate with your landlord about a sudden rent increase? Your rights will help you stay one step ahead. Your landlord cannot increase your rent at any time. You have to comply with certain rules, which will depend on the type of tenancy. Shelter’s tenancy looker can help you determine what type of tenancy your landlord has. If you have an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) that is for a fixed term, such as 12 months, your landlord cannot increase your rent unless you consent to it. The landlord cannot raise the rent if you refuse to accept the rent increase. This exception is made if your tenancy agreement contains a clause that outlines how and when the landlord may raise the rent. This is called a’rent revision clause’. These are more common in longer tenancies. Your landlord cannot increase your rent more than once per year without your consent. A Section 13 notice can be served by landlords to stop periodic tenants from agreeing to rent increases. However, these notices can only be used once per year. Tenants who pay rent on either a weekly or monthly basis must give one month notice before the price increases. If you pay rent on a monthly or weekly basis, you will be given one month notice. Your landlord can increase your rent if your current fixed-term contract ends. Your landlord must include your new rent in the new agreement. If you do not, your landlord will need to inform you about the new rent amount. What is the maximum rent my landlord can raise? There is no limit to what private landlords can raise rents by. The government states that any rent increases must be fair and realistic. This means they must be in line with local rents. The higher rent becomes your legal rent once you have paid it. Even if your landlord tells you otherwise, Citizens Advice Bureau recommends asking your landlord if they can negotiate a lower rent. If your landlord wants to raise the rent from?750 per monthly to?800 per mo, you might consider meeting in the middle and paying?775. Shelter housing advisor Nadeem Kham says: “You could explain what your financial situation is, offer a lower rent, or show that the higher rent is more than the market rent for the property’s size and area. You can appeal to a tribunal to resolve your rent disputes, but Kham states that it is better to negotiate before you start a legal process. If you are unable to agree, you can appeal to a tribunal for rent complaints. However, Kham says it is better to try to negotiate before you start a legal process. Renting in Berlin: How living in Berlin compares to living in London. These evictions are not allowed by the government. However, the legislation has not been introduced. To qualify as a regulated tenant, your property must have been rented since before January 15, 1989. Regulated tenants have a maximum chargeable rent set out by the Valuation Office Agency. They are subject to a review every two-years to keep up to date with the property market. Citizens Advice and Shelter are available to provide free advice if you have any questions or concerns regarding your landlord or rent.