Paying rent every 6 months, when can it increase

hi, my AST was for 1.5 years with payment terms of 3 x payments of 6 months each. There is no mention in the agreement what happens when the term expires.

It has now expired without any word from the landlord and I am still living in the property and I have made no further payments.

A week or so after it has expired the landlord has now said they want to increase the rent and giving me 1.5 months notice of this. This is just a standard email which they have given me 1 week to respond to. (no formal form)

From what I’ve read when an AST expires without any agreement it automatically becomes a “statutory periodic rolling tenancy” and usually this is monthly or weekly but I believe in my case it should be 6 monthly as this was the last payment made. Also they need to issue a form to increase the rent not just an email and importantly wait for the length of the tenancy period before increasing the rent.

talked to Citizens advice - 45 mins to get through, no help just send a few links to things I’ve already read
talked to Shelter - hours refreshing to get to webchat, after a long conversation they are “not sure” and it has gone onto a “senior advisor” to get back to me.

reading here: Going Periodic: What Happens When a Tenancy's Fixed Term Ends? | OpenRent Landlord Hub it states: (talking about the period of a tenancy if the tenant stays in occupation)

“In most cases, the period will be monthly or weekly, depending on how the rent is payable under the terms of the tenancy agreement. However, if the last payment of rent was different – for example, if the tenant paid all the rent upfront by one payment for six months’ worth of rent – then the period of the tenancy will reflect this last payment (so in our example it will be a six-month periodic tenancy).”

so that means my ‘period’ of the rolling statutory tenancy I’m in now is 6 months. I cannot find any formal wording of this that is clear however and want to give landlord concrete link to formal documentation not openrent page.

then reading on a form 4 itself which I believe the landlord must issue to increase the rent on page 2 it states:

“When the proposed new rent can start
The date in paragraph 4 of the notice must comply with the three requirements of section 13(2) of the Housing Act 1988, as amended by the Regulatory Reform (Assured Periodic Tenancies) (Rent Increases) Order 2003.
The first requirement, which applies in all cases, is that a minimum period of notice must be given before the proposed new rent can take effect. That period is:
one month for a tenancy which is monthly or for a lesser period, for instance weekly or fortnightly;
six months for a yearly tenancy;
in all other cases, a period equal to the length of the period of the tenancy - for example, three months in the case of a quarterly tenancy.”

so for me this means they must 1) issue me a form 4 formally to increase the rent and importantly 2) give notice of the period of tenancy which is now 6 months from when the AST expired.

am I right to go back to the landlord and state this? or is there something I am missing? any opinions or help would be appreciated, thanks.

If an ast says what happens at end of ast period it is a contractual periodic tenancy, if it does then it becomes a statutory periodic tenancy.

An email increasing rent is not legally valid, it is often used to informally agree an increase but if you dont agree and dont start paying increase rent it isnt valid without the section 13 form. Yes they need to give you correct notice.

It is upto you if you want to agree to landlords terms, i often do rent reviews via email, the risk if you dont agree is he could use the form to push through a larger increase or even issue a section 21 so if you are wanting to stay there longer term it is probably better to offer a constructive compromise than digging in on a procedure.

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hi thanks for your response, I worded some things badly I think as I was just typing it up quickly.

When I said the landlord is “increasing the rent” I meant they are offering a new AST at a higher price than the previous AST (which is different legally I suppose than ‘raising the rent’) and want to give me 1.5 months notice of this new AST coming into affect.

I was reading that the “period” of the new statutory periodic agreement is the length of the last payment made and mentions nothing about the actual wording of the AST so this I think is where the ambiguity lays. If the AST says “your rent is X per month but pay it 6 months at a time” this means the statutory periodic agreement that takes effect on expiry of the AST would run NOT month to month but is in fact 6 monthly which seems very weird as it probably just assumes your payments match the period of the AST which is often not true.

but you are right I am going to try and negotiate with the landlord and keep them onside rather than digging in on procedure, if the procedure was clear and unambiguous this would make life easier for all.

I think that there is a good chance that you are correct, that you have a tenancy with a period of 6 months. It might depend on the wording of the contract and there would be some doubt if for example its described as a monthly tenancy with payments of 6x1 month in advance.

You are within your rights to decline a new contract and ask to stay periodic. The landlord would then have to give you a s13 notice as per your post above to increase the rent. However, as Richard19 suggests, they’re more likely to give you a s21 notice, so it depends what you want. If you are thinking you might leave soon anyway then…

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