Can I increase rent during a tenant's fixed-term tenancy?
Increasing Rent During a Fixed-Term Tenancy
No rent increase during fixed term
No, you cannot increase the rent during a tenant's fixed-term tenancy unless they agree to it.
The fixed-term agreement acts as a legally binding contract, locking in the agreed-upon rent for the entire duration of the term.
Exceptions and alternative options
However, there are a few exceptions and alternative options:
With tenant agreement
You can propose a rent increase during the fixed term, and if the tenant agrees, you can amend the tenancy agreement to reflect the new rent. This should be documented in writing and signed by both parties.
At fixed-term renewal
Once the fixed term comes to an end, you can propose a new fixed-term agreement with a higher rent. The tenant is free to accept or decline the new agreement, including the proposed rent increase.
Rent review clause
Some fixed-term agreements may include a rent review clause, which outlines specific times and procedures for rent increases during the fixed term. If your agreement has such a clause, you can follow its terms for raising the rent.
Although not explicitly allowed during the fixed term, you can always discuss a rent increase with your tenant at any time. If they agree, you can then record the agreement in writing and update your records accordingly.
- Even if the tenant agrees to a rent increase during the fixed term, it's important to be transparent and explain the reasons for the increase.
- Consider offering a gradual increase spread over time to ease the financial impact on the tenant.
- Be respectful of your tenant's rights and obligations under the tenancy agreement.
Additional points to consider
• The upcoming Renters (Reform) Bill proposes changes to tenancy agreements in England and Wales, including potentially making periodic tenancies the default type. If passed, the rules around rent increases may change further.
• It's always recommended to consult a solicitor or letting agent if you have any questions about raising rent or tenancy agreements.