Your landlord can’t just increase your rent whenever they like, or by any amount. They need to follow certain rules if they want you to pay more – these depend on the type of tenancy you have. 

Your rent can go up if you agree to it or sign a new agreement. There’s no limit on agreed rent increases for assured shorthold tenants. 

If you get Housing Benefit (or housing costs payments through Universal Credit) you might be able to get extra money to deal with your rent increase. Tell the housing team at the council about the increase before it starts and send evidence, for example a letter from your landlord. 

It’s important to be aware that once you pay the higher amount it legally becomes your new rent – even if you tell your landlord you are unhappy with the increase. 

You do not have to agree to an increase. But your landlord could take steps to end your tenancy if you do not agree. For example, by giving you a section 21 notice. 

You can negotiate if you cannot afford a rent increase or think it’s too much. Your landlord might prefer to keep you as a tenant rather than having to find someone new.  

For example, you could tell your landlord: 

  • that the increase they’re asking for is above market rent 
  • that you could agree to a lower rent increase if it’s affordable 
  • about your financial situation, especially if you cannot get more local housing allowance 

Negotiation is usually the only way to challenge a rent increase if your landlord has used a rent review clause. Some tenants can challenge a section 13 rent increase through a tribunal.