The cost of private rentals in the UK has surged in recent years, but it seems that tenants have a bit more legal backing now, especially with the Tenant Fees Act preventing landlords from slapping tenants with unnecessary charges. All told, this act will save renters around £240 million each year, as deposits are capped and the amount of fees will be reduced.
Rents may still rise, however
One way in which landlords might try to recoup some lost income is by slowly raising the rent. While many landlords are ethical and only raise the rent when it’s necessary, between tenancies, some will still try to bump up that monthly payment.
If you’re a tenant, then you’ll need to negotiate to prevent your rental costs suddenly rocketing. Here are some tips to help you out.
Know your rights and the market
In any rent negotiation, you need to know where you stand with your own rights and also how the current market is.
Ideally, rent should only be increased every two years and this rise shouldbe in line with the rise in the cost of living. You should be able to gauge how much your rental will go up by and when with these guidelines. Your landlord should also provide written notice of an increase.
You landlord can’t raise the rent in the middle of a contract, so it’s unlikely that this will happen. If it does, stand your ground.
When it comes to the marketplace, you need to look at the average rents for similar properties in your area and yours should be roughly in line. If your landlord suddenly asks to bump up your rent beyond what’s reasonable, then you’ll have an argument against it.
Work out what the property is worth
This information will also help you to come to an agreement. The value of a property in part determines how much rent it’s worth, so make sure you know where you stand here. If your landlord tries to increase the rent too much, you can bring this figure back down to earth with some cold, hard facts.
It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the area’s rental laws to prevent an unscrupulous landlord from taking advantage of you.
Be bold, be brave…
You know how much you can realistically afford to pay each month, so make sure you have a fair figure that works for both you and the landlord. You have to respect the market value as well as your landlord’s needs, which is why you negotiate.
Go straight in with a figure that’s below your maximum but is fair to both parties. Explain why you need to stick around this amount and hopefully there’ll be an efficient and successful negotiation process.
You could also offer a skill or service to bring your rental down a bit; if you’re an amazing gardener or deep-cleaning fanatic you could shave some money off your rent. On the other hand, if the landlord can’t reduce your rent any further, ask if they can throw in a few extras, like a great parking space or any other perks they can throw in.« Back to Latest News