If your landlord wants to increase your rent, there are steps they have to follow. These steps are different depending on the type of tenancy you have.
If you don't know what tenancy you have, use Shelter Scotland's tenancy checker and find out.
Private residential tenancy
If you have a private residential tenancy (any tenancy created on or after 1 December 2017), your landlord can only increase your rent once a year and must give you 3 months' notice of any increase.
They must use the correct form to let you know that they intend to do this – it's called a 'landlord's rent-increase notice to tenants'.
Scottish secure and short Scottish secure tenants
If you rent from the council or a registered social landlord (RSL), your landlord must:
- consult you before increasing your rent
- give you at least 4 weeks' notice before the rent increase
You may also have the right to have a fair rent determined by a rent officer. If you disagree with the rent officer's decision, you then have the right to go to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber. They will then they decide whether the proposed increase is fair.
If you're an assured tenant, increases of rent can't happen during the fixed term unless you agree to it or your tenancy agreement says it will be increased. After any fixed term expires your rent can be increased if:
- your landlord gives written notice of the proposed increase on an AT2 form (they can only give you one of these forms each year)
- your landlord gives you a written notice to change the terms of your tenancy, including the rent charged, on an AT1(L) form (they can only give you this form after serving you with a notice to quit)
Your landlord needs to give you at least 1 rental period worth of notice before the rent increase takes effect.
Short assured tenants
If you have a short assured tenancy, your landlord can increase the rent when they renew your tenancy agreement at the end of the fixed term. However, they can't increase the rent during the fixed term.
It can be difficult to challenge the increase, as your landlord can evict you quite easily if you don't agree to it.
If you're a regulated tenant, your landlord can only increase your rent by following the procedure for registering a fair rent. If you disagree with the fair rent that has been registered, you can appeal to the Housing and Property Chamber.
Challenging a rent increase
If you think a rent increase is too high, you may have the right to go to the Housing and Property Chamber if you:
- are an assured tenant
- are a short assured tenant
- are a regulated tenant
- were an assured tenant of a housing association and your tenancy was converted to a Scottish secure tenancy in September 2002
If you have a private residential tenancy, you can apply to a rent officer if you think a rent increase is unreasonable. They will decide how much rent you need to pay.
Appealing a fair rent
You can appeal about a fair rent that has been registered if you:
- are a regulated tenant
- were a secure tenant of a housing association and your tenancy was converted to a Scottish secure tenancy in September 2002
You'll need to appeal to the Housing and Property Chamber.
Will my housing benefit be affected?
If you're claiming housing benefit and your rent is increased, you should inform your council housing benefit department straight away. You'll have to provide evidence of the rent increase.
This could be a letter from your landlord or a written decision from the Housing and Property Chamber.
The council will look at your housing benefit claim and inform you of your new entitlement. If this does not cover the whole of your rent, and you can't pay the rest yourself, get advice from your local council.