How Much Can a Landlord Raise the Rent in a Year in England?
Can a landlord raise the rent, and how much is a question that often arises for landlords. After all, keeping up with rising mortgage costs and property maintenance expenses can strain a landlord's finances. But how much can a landlord raise the rent in England in a year? And what are the pros and cons of raising the rent too much? This article will explore these questions and offer some insights for landlords.
The Legal Limits and Procedures of Rent Increases
Let's look at the legal limits of rent increases in England. Landlords cannot raise the rent arbitrarily, and instead, they must follow specific guidelines that vary depending on the tenancy agreement.
For tenants with a fixed-term tenancy agreement, landlords can only increase the rent if the tenancy contains a clause allowing an increase. However, landlords are not obliged to raise the rent in this case – it's simply that they can increase it. Furthermore, the clause may outline a measurement for any rent increase. For example, the clause may outline that the increase cannot exceed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) during the previous 12 months.
For tenants with a periodic tenancy agreement (for example, a rolling monthly tenancy), landlords can increase the rent by giving the tenant a rent increase notice (section 13 notice). The information must be provided at least one month before the proposed increase date and state the new rent amount and the date from which it will take effect. The date for the latest rent must be a rent day, and any other day will render the notice of rent increase invalid.
Once a notice of rent increase has been used, it cannot be used again for another year.
For both a fixed term and periodic assured shorthold tenancy, the rent may be changed anytime by the agreement of all parties.
No legal limit exists on how much a landlord can increase rent (no rent control in England), but it must be market rent. On receipt of a section 13 notice, the tenant may refer it to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber - Residential Property) for review. The Tribunal will consider if the proposed rent is significantly above market rent and can reduce or increase the proposed rent to market rent.
Pros and Cons of Raising the Rent Too Much
Now that we know the legal limits for rent increases let's consider the pros and cons of raising the rent too much.
Increased revenue: Raising rent can help landlords cover additional expenses such as increased mortgage costs, property maintenance, or repairs. It can also provide extra income for growth or investment.
Higher rental rates: Raising rent can help landlords compete with other properties with higher rates.
Tenant dissatisfaction: If landlords raise the rent too much, tenants may become dissatisfied and consider moving out. This can lead to vacancies and a loss of income.
Eviction risk: In some cases, landlords may need to evict tenants who cannot afford the rent increase. This can be costly and may damage the relationship between tenant and landlord.
Legal issues: Landlords who do not follow the legal guidelines for rent increases may face legal issues or tenant disputes.
Striking the Right Balance
With the pros and cons of raising the rent in mind, it's essential to find a balance. Landlords must consider the financial burden of increased expenses and the importance of keeping tenants happy and satisfied.
One strategy is to raise the rent annually, equal to the rise in inflation over the previous 12 months. This approach ensures that landlords can cover additional expenses while minimising the likelihood of tenant turnover or dissatisfaction.
However, if landlords have a specific reason to increase the rent above inflation, it's essential to communicate the basis with the tenant and negotiate the increase if possible. Good communication between landlord and tenant can help build trust and prevent disputes.
Most landlords rarely increase the rent yearly because they prefer to keep a good tenant. Most landlords would increase every four to six years, although the years between increases might be reduced when there is high inflation.
In conclusion, landlords can raise the rent once a year with a periodic tenancy agreement. No rent control exists so that rent can be increased to any market rent.
While raising rent can provide additional revenue and help landlords compete with other properties, tenant dissatisfaction, eviction, and legal issues are risks. By striking the right balance and communicating with tenants, landlords can raise the rent while maintaining a healthy relationship with tenants.
Our landlord handbook has more information on increasing the rent.
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View Related Handbook Page
Changing the Rent
Understand the process of reviewing rent in an assured shorthold tenancy with our insights on rent review clauses, tenant agreements, and section 13 of the Housing Act 1988.