With the UK’s rental sector continuing to grow steadily, it’s a good idea to remind both old and new tenants of some of the rights they have with regards to certain aspects of renting.
For example, many tenants don’t realise they can challenge the amount of rent they have to pay via a Housing Tribunal. Bear in mind that this is an option that should only be considered if the tenant discovers the rent they are paying is grossly disproportionate to the market value of the property, such as their rent being a lot higher than similar rental properties in the area. Usually such a difference in value should be discovered long before a tenancy agreement is signed, though again it is those new to the sector that are often caught out.
There’s more to know as well with regard to rent increases so we will focus on that below;
How to Deal with Rent Increases
A landlord has every right to increase the rent as they see fit and in accordance with contracts still active between landlord and tenant. As explained in general above, if the tenant deems the rent rise to be unfair, there are options open to them.
Usually tenants sign Fixed Term Tenancy agreements, in which the rent will be agreed upon, but once this contract comes to an end, the landlord is then within his or her rights to increase the rent when offering a new Fixed Term Tenancy contract. However, a tenant does not necessarily have to accept it, though in all likelihood refusal to do so will require them to move out. If a tenant rejects the new rental terms, then the landlord must give them two months’ notice to leave. The tenant will then continue to pay the rent according to the previous agreement for the notice period.
If the landlord does not offer a new Fixed Term Tenancy agreement once the original one ends, then what is known as a Periodic Tenancy comes into action. This means the previous tenancy agreement rolls on from one rental period to the next (a rental period is usually one month). It will continue until the landlord formally informs the tenant – via a Landlord’s Notice – that the rent is going to be increased from a certain date.
Appealing Against Unfair Rent Increases
If a landlord has proposed raising the rent to what the tenant believes to be an unfair level according to similar rent prices in the area, they can appeal to a Housing Tribunal who will then decide on the fair amount to be paid. However, the appeal must be made before the date of the proposed new rent or the tenant will be legally obliged to pay the new rent amount.
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