Rent Changes within a Tenancy
Landlords must fix the rent payable by their tenants and may increase the rent on a property at certain points. Whether you are a tenant or a landlord it is imperative for you to understand exactly how the rent can be fixed or increased. Advice is available from real estate professionals. A landlord may wish to consult with a professional before fixing the rent on a property As a tenant, you may also want to understand how the landlord derived the rental income they are asking for.
Firstly, considering shorthold tenancies, under this type of tenancy, the tenant must pay the sum he/she agreed on with their landlord. This sum would have been fixed at the time of signingthe tenancy agreement. The amount of the rent will be clearly stated in the agreement. If there are any clauses concerning rent, they must appear in the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement.
A clause that you might see in the tenancy agreement is a rental increase clause. The tenancy agreement may state that the landlord is allowed to increase the rent during the tenancy. It could also state that the rent cannot increase until the contract date has ended. Most tenancy agreements cintain an agreement not to change the rent during any one year period. If ther is no clause permitting rental increases, a tenant can take legal action if an increase is imposed. It is also possible to appeal to the court about a rent assessment. The situation can be rather complicated when it comes to raising the rent but the teancy agreement should clearly stipulate the process to be followed and what is permitted and when.
Assured Shorthold Tenancies also require the parties to pay the rent agreed on in the tenancy agreement. The rent is only set for the fixed period of the agreement. For example if you are renting a home from January 1 2009 to June 30, 2009 the rent is set at a fixed amount for that period. The rent cannot be increased unless otherwise stated. The tenancy agreement may state that after six months the rent can increase. If you agree to this clause in the tenancy agreement you must adhere to the rule.
In both types of tenancy agreements there are special procedures in which a landlord can seek to raise the rent, even though it is not allowed in the agreement. A Risk Assessment Committee will consider the information regarding the rental increase that has been proposed. It is a good idea to speak with a professional if your landlord tries to increase your rent other than in accordance with the tenancy agreement.
As a tenant, you have the right to a “fair rent.” A rent officer can determine this amount, especially if you believe the rent has been increased beyond what is fair for the property. Before you begin renting a property you should read the proposed agreement carefully to ensure you are aware of the changes that can be made during the tenancy.
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