Rent prices in the UK are rising sharply. In fact, the average monthly price of a newly rented property outside of London grew 8% from last year. While there are many complex reasons for this, one of them is simply supply and demand: the number of tenants looking for homes in certain areas of the UK is greater than the properties available.

This leads us to our central question – what are the laws around increasing rent prices in the UK?

What Are the Rules Around Rent Increases in the UK?

When signing a new lease (rental contract), be sure to check for details around how and when the rent price will be reviewed. If that detail is not included, ask to have it added before signing the contract.

Once that’s sorted, a few laws apply to when and how a landlord can increase your rent outside the terms and timescales listed in the agreement:

  • Landlords are required to get your permission if they want to increase the rent more than previously agreed in the tenancy agreement.
  • Rent increases are required to be “fair and reasonable.” This means that they must be in line with the average local rent prices in the area. If you believe this to not be the case, do some research by looking up rent prices of comparable apartments in the same area.

When Can My Landlord Increase My Rent?

For a week-by-week or month-by-month tenancy agreement (periodic tenancy), the landlord can not introduce rent increases more than once a year. 

For a tenancy agreement that runs for a predetermined period of time (fixed-term tenancy), the landlord can only raise the rent if the tenant agrees. If the tenant does not agree, the rent is only able to be increased when the fixed term ends.

How Can My Landlord Notify Me of a Rent Increase?

UK law requires landlords to give advance notice in the event of a rent increase:

  • For weekly or monthly rental agreements, the landlord must give at least one months notice.
  • For a yearly tenancy agreement, the landlord must give at least 6 months notice.

It is common for landlords to present rent increases in writing in the form of an agreement that must be signed by both parties. 

Does My Credit Score Affect My Rent Prices?

No – your credit score does not typically affect the monthly or weekly price of rent payments that a landlord can charge for a rental property; however, it’s standard practice in the UK for landlords or letting agents to run a credit check on your credit file when seeking to rent property. While poor credit may negatively affect your chances of getting approval for a rental or flat, there is only one case in which it may actually increase your monthly rent payments: using a for-profit guarantor service. If you have bad credit and can’t find a willing family member or friend to sign as a guarantor, another option is to pay for one. This typically costs an additional £300 per month on top of rent payments.

Related: Is renting with bad credit possible in the UK?

An ‘Excellent’ Credit Score Could Save You Tens of Thousands £s Over a Lifetime

Building your credit file properly is the best way to get approved for more flats and find better housing deals. In fact, An ‘excellent’ credit score could save you tens of thousands £s over a lifetime. Portify is helping the hardest workers build credit the right way by reporting regular payments to the main credit reference agencies in the UK. 

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Lauren Robson is the digital communications manager at Portify.
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