Your guide to section 13 and rent increases in the private rented sector

27 March 2024

Section 13 allows landlords and agents to increase rents for any tenancy. Here’s how it will work under the Renters (Reform) Bill.

Section 13 of the Housing Act (1988) is a way for landlords to increase rents for any of their tenancies that run periodically. This notice will be replaced under the Renters (Reform) Bill with a new process in the future.

So, here's an overview of what's in place now, and how rent increases will work under the Renters (Reform) Bill:


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How can private landlords currently increase rents with section 13?

Landlords can increase the rent on a tenancy in the following ways:

  • For Assured Shorthold Tenancy, landlords can include a "rent review clause", which outlines any terms for rents to be increased. The clause should include when a review will take place, how much rents may increase, and the notice that the landlord needs to give their tenant.
  • At the end of a fixed-term tenancy, rents can be increased in a new fixed-term contract.
  • During a tenancy, the landlord and tenant can mutually agree to a rent increase with a written record of that agreement.
  • If the fixed-term moves to periodic at the end of the term or if a tenancy is periodic, landlords need to use a section 13 "Landlord’s notice proposing a new rent" form to increase the rent with at least one month's notice.

The rent increase needs to be "fair and realistic" - which means it needs to stay in line with the local market rates. 

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When can section 13 be used to increase rent?

Landlords and letting agents can only use section 13 to increase their rates during periodic tenancies (an agreement with no fixed end date). 

A section 13 notice can't be used in the first year of a periodic tenancy. This applies even if a fixed-term tenancy converts to a periodic tenancy. The start date of the initial fixed-term tenancy starts the countdown.

A section 13 notice can't be used if there's a rent review clause in place. However, if the fixed-term tenancy converts to periodic at the end of the term, that rent review clause will no longer be applicable and section 13 can be used.

Rents can also only be increased once a year using this process.

Landlords with fixed term tenancies can only increase rents through either a mutual agreement with their tenant, or via a rent review clause. 

Can a tenant dispute a section 13 notice of rent increase?

Tenants can dispute a rent through the First-tier Property Tribunal if they think that the increase is unfair. However, they should first speak to the landlord, to explain their concerns.

If an agreement can't be reached, a tribunal can then help set a new rent for the tenancy - which could be higher than the original rent requested by the landlord.

However, this will be replaced by a new process through the Renters (Reform) Bill. 

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What's changing under the Renters (Reform) Bill for rent increases?

Under the new tenancy system, all tenancies will transition to periodic - with some exceptions.

This means that a mechanism similar to section 13 will be the only way that landlords and agents will be able to increase rents. This will include filling out a simple form and serving it to the tenant.

The notice period that landlords will need to give to tenants to notify them of a rent increase will increase to two months.

Once the tenant has received the form, they will simply need to accept the amount by paying their rent.

If they want to dispute the amount, they can still do this through the First-tier Tribunal, before the date that they should start paying the new rent amount.

Despite this new mechanism, there will be no change in how often landlords only increase rents; keeping it at once a year using this process.

This article is intended as a guide only and does not constitute legal advice. For more information, visit gov.uk

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