In almost every region of the UK, the year on year increase in new tenancy rental values continued it’s upward trend.
Figures from HomeLet, the rental index company reveal that there was a 2.4% increase in rents for the whole of January 2018, compared to January 2017. The company, which takes its figures from major tenant referencing services across the UK said that out of 12 regions in the country, 11 of them all experienced rent rises.
Renting continues to be an expensive option if you live in the UK’s capital, London. As of January 2018, average monthly rent stands at £1532 pcm. Across other regions, the average figure is £760 pcm. This constitutes an overall increase of 2.3% across the board in the last calendar year.
With all these increases and changes, what are the rights of tenants who are taking over properties this year, and existing tenants who may have been in their homes for longer than the initial fixed term contract?
Advice from Chichester based Professional Property Manager Clive Janes states that rent “cannot be increased on any fixed term tenancy within the first 6-12 months”. For anyone who has been renting the same property for longer than that period, “rent can only be increased once every calendar year, and the landlord must give at least 1-2 months notice for this”. If a Landlord decides to increase rent more than that, there must be discussion with the tenant. Any further increases should be what Janes describes as “fair and reasonable”. If the tenant feels that this is not the case, they are then within their rights to take the Landlord to a tribunal to resolve the matter.
As we discussed previously, the taxation changes Landlords have experienced over the last year or so has made many of them more pragmatic about rent increases. Many now believe that they can (and should) increase the rent on their properties so that they’re maintaining the going rate at all times. Janes suggests that for those Landlords wishing to undertake this, that an annual rent review is necessary to give a reasonable idea of the going market rate for all the properties in their portfolio. From this an individual decision can be made and shown to tenants, to as Janes puts it “soften the blow” of a potential rent increase. Loyal tenants who have looked after properties and been living in them long term might prove less of an issue than newer tenants, where good relationships have yet to develop.