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Can my landlord increase the rent?

I rent my flat privately and the landlord wants to increase the rent. Can he do this?

It all depends on the type of tenancy agreement that you have. If your tenancy is for a fixed term (for example, six months) the rent cannot be increased during the fixed term unless the agreement states that it can, or you agree to the increase. When the fixed term ends, the landlord may ask you to sign a new tenancy agreement which charges a higher rent.

If your tenancy is not for a fixed term, the landlord can charge a higher rent if you agree, or if the agreement allows for this, or by giving you the correct written notice. If the agreement allows for an increase, it should say when and how this should happen, for example, annually.

In some cases, you can appeal against an increase if you think the amount of the increase is too much or if you think the notice of the increase was not issued correctly. If you start to pay the increased amount this means you have agreed to it and you cannot appeal against it.

Some tenants have very little protection against eviction and could risk losing their homes if they disagree with the landlord about the amount of rent to be paid. If you cannot afford to pay your rent, remember you may be able to claim Housing Benefit.

For more information on private tenancies, see Renting from a private landlord..
For more information on claiming Housing Benefit, see Help with your rent – Housing Benefit.

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