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hi can anyone tell me what restrictions there are on increasing my tenants rent my tenant is on a very low rent and had no increase for at least 6 years i would like to put the rent up 6.5% this year am i allowed to do that ?

thanks for any help

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You can put it up as much as you want if it is within the  market rent but because you haven't put the rent up for a few years it can sometimes cause bad feeling from the tenant when they get a large increase. As a landlord we think we are doing the tenants a favor by not increasing for a long period but tenants dont see it that way. Small increases every year or every other year are the best way and are more readily accepted.

If you get on well with the tenant sit down and have a chat explaining the situation and maybe show evidence of printouts from rightmove of similar properties in the area to justify the rent increase. That is more likely to get acceptance from the tenant. But expect a sudden list of maintenance requests.

You can increase the rent with either a new tenancy agreement or a section 13 notice if the tenancy is periodic.  

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When I raise the rents, which will be from February, I invite T's to demonstrate be comparison if they believe I am over charging.

None ever have as if they do the research I do they will see I am a little below the competition.

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I agree. Small increases every year or every other year is best.

With good long term tenants I usually ensure the rents are below the market norm and I have even refunded deposits to two long term tenants who have rented from me for 16 years & 8 years.

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Small increases for me  as well with my long term tenants. I have 2 tenants of 10 years and 5 years and with the 10 year tenant I did make the mistake of not applying small increase for the first 5 years. For the last 5 years I have applied small increases without any negative results and will be doing the same this coming March All of my rents are below current rental market value but I do not have the overheads of a letting agent to take into consideration when setting my rents.

One thing I do do is planned maintenance. Anyone else do this?  I know I will be changing a 25 year old but very serviceable HW/CH Boiler this year on one of the properties as part of an ongoing program of improvements. Also new  boundary fencing was the theme last year for replacement on 2 properties. Now all completed.

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Planned maintenance is essential for a well managed business in my opinion.

Freehold property owners have more need of this than leaseholders. Leaseholders need to ensure (in addition) that their freeholder or the freeholders managing agents have plans and funds, from service charges, in place for future expenditure.

One factor not mentioned so far is the expected move to outlaw letting agent charges to tenants. The expected outcome of shifting those costs onto landlords is undoubtedly going to result in all of us applying rent increases.

My agents currently charge applicants around £400 so when this charge is passed on to me I'm going to be raising the rent by £60/£70 per month. Thats on top of any market increases.

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I'm not aware that there is a 'prescribed manner' for serving notice of a rent increase. All that is required is agreement by landlord and tenant.

It can be just as easy to notify a tenant of an increase by letter. It's the way I do it every time. 

* If the tenant agrees fine.

* If they don't agree they either leave or receive a section 21.

*If they don't respond but pay the increase......they have accepted the increase.

No need for any forms.

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Hi Richlist I think it depends on the wording of the tenancy agreement. For flexibility we don't say in our agreements how or when an increase will incur but just that we can. As we have an AST it is under the HA and under the HA if on a periodic tenancy my understanding is you can only have one increase in 12 months. I do like an official form ;). as it lends credence to the increase and from my research on my agreements (those for others may well be different) I do need to use the prescribed form as otherwise any increase is invalid. 

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I have been of the belief that a Section 13 is the prescribed notice of rent increase, again happy to be corrected.

It was some years ago when I looked into this and things change daily in this industry due to legislative meddling. I don't issue a 'notice' as such but as my letter has the same information as prescribed I always worked on the principle that it was good enough. Also, as RL, I've informed them, they are aware, if they don't accept it and cite legislation as their out then it points to a T that I no longer want.

Same as RL, once they have paid the increase there is mutual agreement in place so no more required.

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To increase the rent you have a number of options:

1. Draw up a new tenancy agreement--Agreement needed from both parties

2. Verbally or by letter increase the rent-- Agreement needed from both parties

3. If the tenancy is periodic serve a section 13 notice---Agreement not needed by tenant but they could refer it to the local rent assessment committee if they disagree. (unlikely)

4.The tenancy may have a rent increase built into it but the problem with these is it cant be changed. So if it states a increase of say 1.5% or £xx but inflation or rents in the area becomes much higher you are stuck with the stated amounts unless you can get the tenants to agree something else which is unlikely.

Then as Richlist mentions if the tenants dont agree to option 1 or 2 you either leave it as it is or serve the tenant notice.

Or compromise and meet in the middle. 

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I suspect that there is a slightly different 'approach' to applying a rent increase between an LA & a private individual ..... although both want the same outcome.

There is also going to be a slightly different approach depending on the tenant. A tenant in receipt of benefits and a high net worth individual might be dealt with differently.

LA's are usually working on behalf of a client (landlord) and will probably find it easier to pull out a form, have someone in the office complete it and send it out. If I was an LA, I'd probably want to use a form. It makes for a standard process, everyone knows what they are looking for in the file, anyone can fill it in etc.

My tenancy agreement clause just says.    ' The rent will increase at the expiry of the fixed term and thereafter at intervals of not less than 6 months. The amount of increase will be determined by market conditions and the Landlord will give notice of the amount at least one calender month before it takes affect.'

I usually explain the reasons for any increase....

1. No rent increase has been made since (date).

2. Market conditions are contributing to the increase.

3. Increases in mortgage rates, agents fees, service charges etc are contributing.

4. The increase represents x%.....usually no more than 5%

 

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I look after all of our properties except 4 which are approx 18 miles from home so let agent sort.

He phoned last week and said tenants agreement up for renewal, said he thought we could up the rent, tenant phoned and said if we do that she will move, so much for agents?

She has been a good long term tenant, I would not have rocked the boat.

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LA's commission is usually a percentage of the rent so, if the LA can get a higher rent for you they get more income. 

Can't blame them for trying......I'd probably do the same.

Recently my agents told me they could get an extra £100 pcm for one of my places that had just become vacant. They tried and tried and in the end they didn't get me an extra £100....they got no increase at all. What they did was wasted a month trying.

We all need to be aware that they are in business to make a profit and they will try to push the boundaries at YOUR expense and risk.

It doesn't always pay to fall for it !

Rant over.

 

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