This information is for private landlords.
Over time you might want to review or increase the rent you charge your tenants.
Whether or not you can increase rent will depend on the type of tenancy.
Increasing rent for periodic tenants
If your tenant is renting the property on a periodic (or rolling) basis, you can increase the rent.
Your tenant may need to plan for paying a higher rent. You should write to them, giving at least 28 days’ notice of the rent increase.
Legally, you must give your tenant a notice of variation with details about the increase. You have to do this within 28 days of the increase taking effect.
You should ensure the increase is fair and in line with rent for similar properties locally. Currently, there is no limit on the amount of a rent increase.
Increasing rent for fixed-term tenants
Generally, you cannot increase the rent during a fixed-term agreement.
The only exception is if your tenancy agreement has a fair term that allows for a rent increase.
To be considered fair, the term would have to state that:
- you will give your tenant reasonable written notice of the increase
- your tenant can end the agreement if they can’t afford the increase
The term should also clarify on what grounds you can increase rent, for example, in line with the:
- Consumer Price Index, or
- Local Housing Allowance rate
Rent increases for other tenants
You will need to apply to the Rent Officer if you want to increase the rent for a property that is:
- a protected tenancy, or
- subject to rent control
The Rent Officer sets the maximum rent for these properties. The Department for Communities can also ask the Rent Officer to review rents.
Impact of increasing rent on guarantor agreements
Increasing rent could be considered a material change of the tenancy terms. Changes, such as a rent increase or new tenancy, will invalidate the guarantor agreement unless either:
- the guarantor agreement states it will continue despite these changes, or
- the guarantor agrees to the change
You should review your guarantor agreement before increasing the rent. This will help to ensure the agreement remains valid and avoid disputes at a later stage.