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REFERRAL TO RENT ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE A tenant can only make a referral to the Rent Assessment Committee within the first six months of a tenancy but once a decision has been taken you are unable to serve a notice seeking to increase the rent within 12 months of the decision.

HOW TO INCREASE RENT – CLAUSE IN TENANCY AGREEMENT Your tenancy agreement may contain a clause concerning rent increases, you will be able to increase the rent in line with what the agreement says. Such a clause may state that the rent will be increased by a certain amount or percentage, or may simply say that the you can increase the rent by serving a notice on the tenant. It must also state when the rent increase can occur, for example it could say in one year’s time, or on the anniversary of the tenancy. There is no rent increase clause in the tenancy agreement provided and in drafting one for inclusion you must have an eye to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 – any clause will be unenforceable if they offend the 1999 Act. A clause incorporating the right to modest rent increase will usually be fine, but if in doubt – do seek help from a solicitor or qualified advisor. It is to be noted that a clause relating to a rent increase will probably not be exercisable against the tenant once the tenancy has lapsed into a periodic tenancy after the initial fixed period.

HOW TO INCREASE RENT – A NEW AGREEMENT It is advisable to keep the tenancy period short – say 6 months – so a new agreement can be entered into on expiry of each period. The rent can be revisited as an issue at the outset of each agreement so an increase in the rent can be included in the new agreement. If the tenant refuses to sign a new agreement pressure can be bought by serving a notice requiring possession of the property.