According to the Office of National Statistics rents are rising everywhere across in the UK. But in the South East, as we all know, even more so.
Private rental prices across the UK grew by 1.7% during 2014. London rents rose the highest (at 2.4%) but those in the South East were not too far behind (at 2.1%).
Behind such general trends lie many specific reasons for each rent rise. Landlords decisions may be based on keeping up with the cost of living, responding to changes in demand, meeting maintenance costs or many other factors.
What’s surprising is that so many landlords are still confused about exactly what they need to do to raise the rent.
Let’s try and explain things simply.
When can you raise the rent?
It’s as easy as A, B, C:
A. You cannot raise the rent without your tenant’s agreement if you are still in the fixed term of an assured shorthold tenancy. You must wait for the tenancy agreement to end.
B. You can raise the rent during a periodic tenancy, but not more than once a year without your tenant’s agreement. A periodic tenancy is when your tenants stay on after the initial fixed period has ended.
C. For a tenancy where rent is collected more than once a year, your tenants must be given at least a month’s notice. For yearly tenancies the minimum notice is six months.
How can you raise the rent?
A little bit of common sense will tell you that taking the time to talk to your tenants about your plans will help smooth the process. Similarly presenting the rise as early as possible will give everyone time to consider their options. You can explain your reasons and they can explain their concerns. The bottom line is that you don’t want to be losing out on rent but losing out on good tenants could be worse.
You need to use a section 13 notice to raise the rent during a periodic tenancy. The date on the notice must be at least a year from the last section 13. It must also be at least 12 months since the tenant first moved into your property.
You can download a free notice from the NLA whether you are a member or not.
Key takeaways from rent rises
The key takeaways for landlords are to plan a rent increase carefully, understand the process and inform your tenants as soon as possible.
With more students arriving, more families renting and more commuters arriving in Brighton the demand for rented property looks set to continue. And higher demand inevitably guarantees higher rents.