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.

The Renters (Reform) Bill will likely go through its third reading in the House of Commons at the end of April. In preparation for its third reading, the Government has shared amendments to the Bill, including edits to Section 13, which have been signed off by Michael Gove, Secretary of State Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Download our fact sheet on Section 13

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 a contractual periodic tenancy does not have a rent review clause, a section 13 notice can be used.
  • 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. 

Download our fact sheet on Section 13

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. 

🖥️ Watch our video on what agents need to know about the Renters (Reform) Bill

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?

The Renters (Reform) Bill will likely go through it's third reading at the end of April. At the end of the debate, and once the Bill has been approved, it will then go to the House of Lords. It is unknown how long the Bill will take to pass and achieve Royal Assent.

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.

As part of the April 2024 amendments to the Renters (Reform) Bill, tenants may be able to dispute the validity of the amount through the First-tier Tribunal and not the County Court. 

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.

In the April 2024 amendments, it is proposed that if a tenant has disputed the rent increase and the First-Tier Tribunal agrees, they can recover any increased rent paid through a debt claim in court.

Tenants may also be able to recover any additional costs through a debt claim in court if the landlord has increased their rents without giving a Section 13 notice.

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

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Further reading