New Section 13 Rent Increase Notices
Residential landlords wishing to increase the rent paid by a periodic assured (or assured shorthold) tenant can do so by serving notice under section 13(2) of the Housing Act 1988.
The prescribed form of Section 13(2) notice for properties in England changed on 6 April 2015. The version on the gov.UK website does not appear to have been updated yet. However, an up-to-date notice can be found on the Simply-docs website.
Notices for England and Wales
The form of Section 13 notice is different according to whether the property is in England or Wales, housing being a power devolved to the Welsh government. We have therefore produced a notice for England (now known as Form 4 – the previous form of notice was Form 4B) and a notice for Wales (known as Form 4D).
The Welsh notice was amended in 2014 and is not affected by the April 2015 changes.
When is a Section 13 notice needed?
A Section 13 notice is used when a landlord wishes to increase the rent paid by a periodic assured tenant. It cannot be used during the fixed term of a tenancy.
Section 13 notices are most commonly used in relation to tenancies that are assured but not assured shorthold. This is because assured shorthold tenancies are easily terminated using a Section 21 notice. Landlords can use the “threat” of termination to persuade the tenant to enter into a new tenancy agreement at an increased rent.
Non-shorthold assured tenancies are not so easily terminated so landlords need to use the Section 13(2) procedure to propose a rent increase.
If for some reason the landlord of an assured shorthold tenant does not want to grant a new fixed term tenancy, it is open to them to serve a Section 13(2) notice to seek a rent increase.
What information does a Section 13 notice contain?
In a Section 13 notice the landlord states the proposed new rent and the date from which the new rent is to take effect. The notice contains detailed guidance notes for landlords and tenants.
What must the tenant do on receipt of a Section 13 notice?
If the tenant accepts the rent increase, they simply need to arrange to pay the increased rent from the date stated in the notice. If a tenant wishes to dispute the increase they can refer the notice to a Tribunal which will determine the open market rent.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.