Q. I have read in the press that I cannot increase my tenant’s rent twice in a year. Is this correct?
A. It depends on how you are increasing the rent. For example, there is nothing to stop you increasing rent by agreement. So, if you give your tenant a succession of four-month fixed term tenancy agreements, each with an increased rent, and the tenant signs them, I can see no reason why they should not be effective.
Where people are getting confused, I think, is with the notice procedure for increasing rent under section 13 of the Housing Act 1988. This can only be used when the tenancy is periodic and can only be used once every 12 months.
However, section 13 does not prohibit increasing rent any other way, indeed s13(5) says: ‘Nothing in this section…affects the right of the landlord and the tenant under an assured tenancy to vary by agreement any term of the tenancy (including a term relating to rent).’
Note that if the Renters Reform Bill becomes law, this is likely to change.
Q. Following the recent 13th interest rate increase, in order to cover costs, I raised my tenant’s rent. He claims this is not allowed because this was the second increase within 12 months. FYI, his tenancy started in March 2021, this is the second increase since then, is £100 more than the original rent and approx. £150 less than identical properties in the same area.