✅ Thank you for completing the form. We’ve emailed you a copy of our template letter, our quick fact sheet and our detailed Q&A. You can also read the Q&A below.
✨Join the London Renters Union
The cost of living crisis is a rent crisis. But together we can help keep each other safe and demand a ban on landlords raising the rent during the cost of living crisis.
Add your voice to the movement for homes for people not profit. Membership starts from £4 per month.
Rent rises fact sheet – September 2022
It is only by joining forces that renters can win the housing system we need. Join the LRU today.
If you’d like details of meetings where renters are getting together to support each other with housing issues, please visit our member solidarity page.
Landlords are taking advantage of the “cost of living crisis” to get more rent from us.
The current housing system is set up to maximize profits for landlords and investors. There used to be limits on the amount that landlords could increase rents. These rent controls were removed by Margaret Thatcher in 1988.
Rents in London have gone up three times faster than incomes since 2010. Many landlords and estate agents are taking the opportunity of the “cost of living crisis” to raise rents. Some landlords who are still paying a mortgage on rental properties will be facing slightly increased costs but nothing that justifies the rent increases of 30%, 40% or even 50% that some LRU members have been asked to pay.
By June 2022, inflation has hit a 30 year high and the cost of living has exploded. Wages have still not increased. Millions of us are left to choose between paying for rent or for other essentials like heat and food. Rent rises are forcing people from their homes and from the neighborhoods where their family and support networks live.
In Scotland, the government has introduced a rent freeze – a ban on rents until March 2023. This is because of campaigning by Scottish tenants union Living Rent. We can win the same here.
If your landlord wants to raise the rent in has to be done in one of the following ways:
- You agree to a new rent
- You sign a new contract
- You get a section 13 notice of a rent increase from your landlord (this can only happen once a year)
- You have a rent review clause in your contract (eg it says ‘your rent will rise after 2% after a year).
Many landlords think they can just tell you that the rent is going up. But if they haven’t used one of the ways listed above, you don’t have to start paying the increased rent. If you do start paying the new rent, that counts as having agreed to a new rent level.
If your landlord is using a section 13 notice to increase, it must be written on the standard “Form 4” and give at least a month’s notice.
Your landlord might threaten to use a Section 21 to evict you if you don’t agree to a new rent. Your landlord can’t force you to leave immediately even if your fixed-term tenancy is coming to an end. To evict you, the landlord has to follow the proper steps and this can take many months.
We do have a legal right to challenge a rent rise through the housing tribunal system. This system doesn’t get used very much because of how easy it is to evict us using a Section 21 notice. It could be easier to challenge a rent increase if you have some other form of leverage over your landlord e.g. they didn’t issue a gas safety certificate or protect your deposit properly. Contact us for details of your next branch meetings where you can get help with this.
If your landlord proposes a rent increase, you can write to your landlord to negotiate. In some cases, landlords prefer to keep existing tenants at a lower rent.
Steps we can take when our landlord tries to raise the rent
Join LRU, learn your rights and fight back.
- Report your rent rise and know your rights. Visit londonrentersunion.org/rent-rises to report your rent rise and download our Q&A and template letter. Reporting your rent rise helps us build up an accurate picture of how landlords and agents are behaving right now.
- Join the London Renters Union: We’re fighting to keep each other in our homes and win big changes to the housing system like rent controls. We can win big – but only if you get involved. londonrentersunion.org/join
- Come to a peer support meeting: This is where other members of the LRU can help you understand your rights and plan your next steps. Get in touch to find out more: londonrentersunion.org/member-solidarity.
- Think about the level of risk you’re willing to take: Your landlord may react to you refusing a rent rise by trying to evict you. You need to think about how your landlord might respond and the level of risk you are willing to take.
- Negotiate with your landlord: If your landlord suggests a new rent, you do not necessarily have to agree. You can try to negotiate with them, and ask that the rent is kept at the current level, or suggest a smaller increase. You can tell your landlord that you do not accept the new rent level and offer a rate of rent you can afford – it might be the current rate of rent, or perhaps a small increase if you can afford this. We have a template letter you can use.
- Check if the proper process has been followed: If your landlord has issued a Section 13 rent increase notice, you should check if it is valid. See question
- Check what leverage you have: Has your landlord protected your deposit? Did they issue you a gas safety certificate? Has your landlord kept the property in good condition? If you answered no to any of these questions this could mean you have a strong position to negotiate from. See question 11 of the Q&A we’ve just emailed you.
- Consider going to the housing tribunal: If the rent increase is above what other landlords are charging, the tribunal might order a lower rent to be set. There is more information about this on the Citizens Advice website at https://bit.ly/rent-tribunal.
JOIN THE LONDON RENTERS UNION
We’re a members-led, campaigning union and we’re taking action to make sure all Londoners have a decent, affordable and secure home. Join our community today and become part of the movement to transform the housing system.
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