Rent increase procedure

I have had the same tenants for over 4 years, who have paid a vastly reduced rent for the area my house is in (reduced by 300 pounds pm as they were desperate to move from where they were before).
I offered a new AST, and they have refused it.
What is the correct procedure in increasing the rent? How much notice do I have to give?
I’d appreciate any advice!

Assuming the tenant/s are in the statutory recurring period, just write proposing the new rent, and when you wish them to start paying it. If they accept, they should simply start paying at the new rate. That signifies agreement. Or they may start a dialogue with you, leading to mutual agreement. Failing that, you can issue the tenant/s with a Section 13 notice (if proposed increase in rent). They can contest this via the HM Courts and Tribunal Service. A hearing will adjudicate between parties, and set a fair rent - binding on both. Obviously best to avoid it getting to this stage if at all possible!

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A landlord once said to me^if someone is desperate to move then it is probably not for a reason that the landlord would find advantageous!

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I had someone desperate to move in I would never reduce the rent.

That is one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever read. Amusing though.

So you are implying if someone is desperate to move in its because of something that wouldn’t be advantageous to the landlord.


What if the place is empty, wouldn’t it be better for a landlord to have someone to move it straight away rather than wait another month!?!??!

Also, there are many reasons way a person may wish to move quickly,.

Usually: They are living with friends or family and they want to move on.
They have just moved into the area and need to find a place and dont want to live in a BnB or Hotel forever. They broke up from a relationship. The list is endless and all of us reading this post isnt immune from any of it so why you Colin, try to sutlley imply that anyone who wants to move quickly should be treated with suspicion. When thats no-sense. We should all treat your post with suspicion as they do nothing but seek to plant seeds of doubt and create issues.

And you say I need help…dude…

Thank you - your help an advice is invaluable

I don’t normally take them in a rush,check them out good and proper.

Depends what, if anything your Tenancy agreement says.
But join a Landlord Association to get proper advice !

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Hi dbrod2018,

I should really have written a guide to this by now. I apologise! I will get something on the blog asap.

@Nicholas1’s answer is great. To summarise, there are three main ways to increase rent:

  • Agree it with the tenant. When they pay the new, agreed rent, then that is the new rent going forward
  • In a fixed term, include a fair, enforceable rent review clause, activate it, and set a new rent
  • Outside of a fixed term, validly serve a section 13 rent increase form

If you have a good tenant dont increase the rent too much. I have a tenant who has been with me for 22years .the rent in that time has only gone up by £30 per. month. A tenant who decorates the place himself .Buys his own carpet. All we needed to do was put in a new bathroom and kitchen. Good tenant ,look after them


I really appreciate all your help and advice

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In principle, I disagree with the sentiments and purported outrage of Philip_Richard.

A ‘desperate to move in’ tenant applicant should indeed have the reasons well investigated and validated as best you can, in my view and experience. He is quite right that those reasons may not at all increase the risk factor of them as a potential tenant.

But check! It is hardly an encouraging sign per se. I will cut to the chase in the hope it attracts not too much outrage/mock outrage etc: ‘desperate’ rather too often means ‘high maintenance/trouble’; either there and then or well down the line e.g. at their next end of tenancy which, by then, will fall entirely on your watch.
I do think landlords with a lot of experience under their belt would be likely to agree with this cautionary view.

If a tenant ‘refuses’ a new fixed term as you describe it, their reasons are crucial. Identify them. It rings alarm bells of defiance which would concern me but, if they are happy to continue with a ‘rolling’ tenancy, especially after all this time, that would seem a reasonable objection or reservation. Without being privy to the full picture as I write, it does rather feel you are proposing a new contract simply to up the rent (?)
That so, it’s not the way to go about it and most especially after 4 years in situ.

Based on those enquiries, you have 2 choices of differing risk, having made the offer/delivered the ultimatum of a new fixed term.

  1. give notice requiring possession (risky and possibly leaves you open to accusations of an attempted reprisal eviction.)
  2. issue a Form 13 (4)* formally advising of rent increase under existing statutory ‘rolling’ tenancy. I wouldn’t mess about with ‘de-formalising’ at this point by declaring your intention other than by on the designated form.
  • or it’s equivalent for other than England
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Thank you so much for your help and advice Peter. I’m new to all of this.

I’ve now downloaded a Section 13, form 4

Much appreciated

RE Peter "Desperate to move "be very cautious!

Thank you much for your advice Dom. It’s very much appreciated, as I’m new to all of this. I just want my home back. I’ve had to move back to the UK as my Mum is having aggressive breast cancer treatment. The tenants knew about this last year… but still choose not to move out.

Your advice is invaluable.


Hi dbrod2018,
You have received some fundamentally incorrect advice here from a recent poster; the inherent danger of a forum.

Please folks, if you don’t KNOW, don’t write as if you do.
Please also, ALWAYS cross-check what you read here and elsewhere with professional, qualified advice before any reader acts on what you have read in a forum.

That absolutely includes my own efforts; I am NOT a professional advisor.

I am a landlord with over 20 years experience in UK and properties abroad but under English law contracts. I am NOT a professional advisor, however.

Read & cross-check before you act.

After you have read this -indeed anything on an unvetted forum such as this, where you intend to act on what you have read- I suggest you seek advice from an organisation such as NLA (National Landlords Association) via their helpline to confirm you have in your head all the UP TO DATE, LEGALLY & PROCEDURALLY CORRECT information. There have been big changes since only the start of this month, including about Section 21 which was also wildly referenced as an option for you, in a recent posting.
It is worth becoming a member of NLA for that reason alone. Ask for ‘Welsh Chris’ and say I sent you. His surname begins with ‘D’ but I won’t be publishing his full name here.

On issuing a Form 13 (4) * you neither want nor need to also issue a new tenancy agreement. The Form 13 (4) * is a simple way of altering the rent under existing terms of your statutory period or ‘rolling’ tenancy with your tenants of 4 years. It also needs only a minimum of ONE clear months notice and NOT three, or anything like it, as mentioned elsewhere
The proposed rent increase needs to be objected to by the on-site tenants, in writing, otherwise it is rightfully adopted at its start date. If ‘nothing is heard’ from the tenants, a court would currently see that as 'acceptance" and therfore, enforceable.
The obvious defence is ‘We never received it.’ It makes sense, therefore, to hand deliver with a witness or post by recorded delivery or with certificate of posting, followed, perhaps with an email request to confirm they have received it or, better still to minimise unnecessary dialogue about a sensitive issue, a similar request contained within the letter itself. All you want is a quick “Received the Form 13 (4).” You could say as much since it may help assuage an angry reply.

It’s a relative detail but, in any event, you, Colin, had said at the very beginning that your tenant of 4 years had refused to sign a new tenancy agreement anyway and so why the poster says you need to have a new tenancy agreement/re -deal with the deposit is irrelevant to your circs…

…More importantly, that also is fundamentally incorrect advice, not least because all contracts- including renewals- very obviously state the rent required within them.

I say again… in your circs I.e. a tenancy beyond its original fixed term and so now within a ‘statutory periodic’ or ‘rolling’ tenancy, it simply needs completion of Form 13 (4)* provided the only term you intend to alter is the rent.

Lastly, it should be noted, dbrod2018, that in your posts you seem at one point to want an increase in rent but elsewhere, you want them out… Am I missing something here while offereing all this advice?
Which is it ?

*different form if property is outside


Thank you so much for this Peter.

The increasing of rent is only a way to get my tenants out. They are DHSS, and are deliberately taking things to the nth degree, taking their time. I just want my home back.

I really appreciate your advice.

Hi dbrod2018, is it the case that no Section 8 grounds obtain? (They are all listed here if that’s helpful to anyone reading.)

I’ve sent them Section 8 on 11th May 2019, by email, and hand delivered with a witness.
I also have an Accelerated Section 21 ready for after 11th August 2019.
I’m exasperated…
They seem to have free legal advice provided by the Council, and even stated that the Council told them they have a right to stay in my home for another 6 months…(though the tenants haven’t forwarded me a copy of that letter from the Council)

Peter I Colin had not said anything about a tenant of 4 years