Your landlord can't just increase your rent whenever they like, or by any amount. They need to follow certain rules if they want you to pay more - these depend on the type of tenancy you have.

If you disagree with your rent increase, the best thing you can do is talk to your landlord and try to reach an agreement to pay a lower rent.

If you can’t reach an agreement you can challenge the increase.

Contact us if you don't feel confident speaking to your landlord or you need help to challenge your increase.

Get advice before your rent increase starts. If you start paying the new rent, your landlord will usually be able to treat this as an acceptance of the new rate and you won't be able to challenge it.

If you get Housing Benefit (or housing costs payments through Universal Credit) you might be able to get extra money to deal with your rent increase. Tell the housing team at the council about the increase before it starts and send evidence, for example a letter from your landlord.

Check your tenancy agreement  

Your landlord has to follow certain rules to increase your rent - the rules depend on what type of tenancy you have.

You’ll usually be given an ‘assured shorthold tenancy’. Your rent can be increased regularly with this type of tenancy, for example every year - not all landlords will do this though.

Check what type of tenancy you have using Shelter's tenancy rights checker - you can use this even if you don't have a written tenancy agreement.

Reaching an agreement with your landlord

Ask your landlord if you can pay slightly less than they're suggesting. For example, if your landlord wants to increase the rent from £750 per month to £800 per month, suggest meeting in the middle and paying £775.

Your landlord might negotiate on price rather than risk losing you as a tenant.

Before trying to reach an agreement look at how much similar properties cost to rent in your area. Use this as evidence to show why your rent shouldn’t be increased.

You should also get an idea of what you can afford by using our budgeting tool.  

Challenging your rent increase

If you haven’t been able to get your landlord to agree to a lower rent you can appeal to a tribunal for rent complaints. It’s free to do this. 

Don’t stop paying your current rent even if you challenge the increase - otherwise you’ll get into rent arrears.  If you get into rent arrears, your landlord can try to evict you if they follow the correct process.

Contact us for help before challenging your rent increase because some landlords can be difficult, they might try to make you to leave the property.

If you don’t pay your rent increase

If you aren’t able to stop your rent being increased by reaching an agreement or challenging it, and you don’t pay the new amount your landlord can try to evict you.

Don’t worry – you can’t be evicted straight away. Your landlord has to follow an eviction process unless you live with them. This involves giving you written notice to leave the property first before getting a court order. Find out more about dealing with eviction.

If you live with your landlord they can evict you more easily by just giving you reasonable notice to leave, which could be a very short amount of time.

You can seek further advice from us before deciding not to pay your rent increase. It’s important to get help early so you can avoid getting evicted.