Private renting

11. Changes to a regulated tenancy

There are special rules for changing rents and terms for regulated tenancies (usually starting before 15 January 1989).

When your landlord can increase rent

Your landlord can only increase the rent up to the registered rent, which is the legal maximum set by a rent officer from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). This is sometimes called ‘fair rent’.

Check the register of rents to find out if the rent is registered and how much it is.

You or your landlord can ask the VOA to review the rent so that it remains fair, usually every 2 years. You can request it sooner if there’s a major change to the home (eg repairs or improvements).

Fill in the fair rent review form and send it to the address on the form.

If your rent increases

Your landlord must serve you a notice of increase of rent in writing. It must include details of the changes, eg how much the rent will increase by and when it will start.

Your landlord can do this with an official notice of increase form, which they can get from legal stationers.

An increase in rent may be backdated to the date of the notice, but it can’t be backdated by more than 4 weeks or to earlier than the date it’s registered.

If you think a registered rent increase is too high

You can appeal against the VOA’s decision to increase a registered rent by writing to the rent officer within 28 days of receiving it. You can appeal later but only if you have a good reason for the delay, eg if you’ve been in hospital.

The registered rent may be reconsidered by a tribunal - it will make a final decision on the rent limit for the property.

Cancel a registered rent

Download and fill in an application form to cancel a registered rent and send it to the address on the form (eg if the tenancy stops being regulated, or you and your landlord agree to cancel it).

It may take up to 6 weeks to cancel a registered rent.