It's no secret that the cost of living in the UK is increasing, and landlords must take this into account when deciding what their rent should be. Rent increases are a difficult subject to discuss, especially when your tenant isn’t happy about it.
From a legal perspective, increasing rent must be done in accordance with the law.
If you’re a landlord, there are a few steps you must take in order to increase the rent on your rental property.
The first step is to issue your tenant with a Section 13 Notice, which informs them of the proposed rent increase. This notice must be sent at least 1 month before the increase takes effect. Once the Section 13 Notice has been issued, you can then agree a new rent with your tenant. This can be done in an Addendum Agreement or a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. In either case, your tenant must agree to the new rent before it can be implemented.
Here are some key tips to help you handle rent increases in a gentle, fair, and legal manner:
• Acknowledge the tenant’s point of view. It’s important to remember that your tenant is likely to be worried about the rent increase and may feel like you’re taking advantage of them. Acknowledge their concerns and be open to their suggestions.
• Be clear about the reasons for the increase. Explain why you’re increasing the rent and why it’s necessary.
• Be open to negotiation. Offer your tenant the opportunity to negotiate the rent increase and come to an agreement that’s mutually beneficial.
• Be respectful. Make sure you’re respectful of your tenant’s feelings and their right to negotiate the rent increase.
• Be understanding. Show empathy and understanding towards your tenant’s situation.
• Offer incentives. If you’re able to, consider offering incentives to your tenant to make the rent increase more palatable.
• Consider alternative solutions. If your tenant is unhappy with the rent increase, consider offering them alternative solutions such as offering to cover the cost of certain utilities or offering a longer tenancy agreement at a lower rent.
If your tenant is still unhappy with the rent increase after you’ve taken all of the above steps, then it’s best to try and come to an agreement that works for both of you.
If you can’t reach an agreement, then it may be best to consider ending the tenancy agreement and finding a new tenant. It’s important to remember that rent increases are an inevitable part of being a landlord. However, it’s also important to remember that your tenant’s welfare should always come first.
By following the above steps, you can ensure that you’re communicating with tenants in a respectful, empathetic, and legal manner.