How tenants can effectively tackle rent increases

Demand continuing to outstrip supply across the rental market has seen average costs for tenants reach eye-watering levels, making it increasingly difficult to move to a new rental property.

Related topics:  Landlords,  tenants,  rent
Property | Reporter
24th October 2023
Landlord Keys 22

With the rental market in a state of crisis, personal finance experts at onlinemoneyadvisor have shared their insights and outlined their top strategies for tackling rent increases.

Understand your rights

First and foremost, it’s crucial for tenants to understand their rights. In the UK, tenants are protected by a range of legal provisions, including assured shorthold tenancies and the Tenant Fees Act. Familiarise yourself with these regulations to ensure that your landlord is acting within the confines of the law. Tenants should be aware that there are strict rules governing how and when rent can be increased.

Your landlord must provide notice and adhere to specific procedures before implementing a rent hike. If these guidelines are not followed, you may have grounds to challenge the increase.

Negotiate with landlords

Open and constructive communication with your landlord can often yield positive results. If you receive a rent increase notice that you find unreasonable, don't hesitate to discuss it with your landlord. Explain your concerns calmly and provide evidence if necessary. Landlords may be open to negotiation, especially if you have been a reliable and responsible tenant. It's also worth exploring the possibility of agreeing to a longer-term tenancy, as this can sometimes lead to more stable rent rates.

Explore alternative housing options

In the face of a rent increase that you cannot afford or are unwilling to pay, it may be time to consider alternative housing options. While this can be a daunting prospect, it's essential to explore all possibilities.

This could include searching for properties in less expensive areas, considering house shares, or even exploring government housing schemes if you meet the eligibility criteria. Keep an open mind and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances.

Maximise your financial resources

The financial aspect of dealing with rent increases cannot be ignored. It's best to create a budget that takes into account your new rental costs, ensuring that you can cover your basic expenses without undue hardship. Explore avenues to increase your income, such as taking on part-time work or freelancing.

Additionally, look into financial support that may be available to you, such as Universal Credit, to help ease the burden of increased rent.

Seek help from the community and support networks

In times of crisis, leaning on community and support networks can provide invaluable assistance. Seek advice from local tenant associations or housing charities that specialise in tenant rights and housing issues. They can offer guidance and resources to help you navigate rent increases and housing challenges.

Connecting with other tenants who may be facing similar issues can also provide emotional support and shared insights.

The rental crisis in the UK has left many tenants vulnerable to rent increases that can strain their finances. However, by understanding your rights, engaging in constructive negotiations with landlords, exploring alternative housing options, maximising financial resources and tapping into community and support networks, you can better position yourself to face these challenges.

In these uncertain times, adaptability and informed decision-making are crucial. By taking proactive steps and seeking assistance when needed, tenants can strive to secure stable and affordable housing in the midst of the rental crisis, ultimately ensuring a more secure and sustainable future.

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