Renters around the country are feeling the pinch of rising rents. In many areas, rental prices are increasing faster than wages, and it can be difficult to keep up with rent payments while still being able to afford other necessities. It's a problem that affects millions of households, so it's important to understand why rent is on the rise and what steps you can take if your rent increases beyond your budget.
One way to handle a rent increase is to write a letter to your landlord to negotiate the rent increase. A letter can help you explain the situation and make sure that all expectations are clear from the start. It also allows you to document your request for future reference in case there is ever any dispute about what was agreed upon.
Example Rent Negotiation Letter:
Subjectline: Re Proposed Rent Rise
Dear [Landlord name],
I am responding to your letter dated [dd/mm/yy] regarding rent increase. I am a member of the [name union], a membership organisation of more than 6,000 renters that takes action to improve members’ housing situations through legal action, advocacy, media work and protest.
[I /we ] understand the need for the proposed rent increase however, I/we believe the proposed rent increase of [ _%] is not reasonable. [I am/we are] really worried about the rent rise which you have proposed to start on the [x date].
Like many other people around the country, I/we are currently being significantly impacted by the cost of living crisis. Things are really hard at the moment for many of us. I/we am/are really worried about not being able to afford rising energy bills, that foods and goods are becoming more expensive and that my wages are decreasing in value due to inflation.
This rent rise is now forcing me to face the real threat of homelessnes. I/we never thought I/we would find myself/ourself in this position. We feel that we have been good tenants and we hope you will consider working with me/us to find a compromise.
Instead of an increase, [I/we] request that [my/our] rent is frozen for the coming year.
I am also asking you to consider the following about my circumstances:
[I/we] do not have the financial means to pay for the rent rise due to […] This increase is not reasonable at this time.
The UK government writes that “rent increases must be fair and realistic.”[ – which means in line with average local rent/or in line with inflation.]
There is a cost of living crisis, which means that food and energy prices are going up. Meanwhile, wages have remained stagnant. We’re not able to pay an increased rent at this time.
During my tenancy, there have been issues with disrepair/safety issues/harassment/other issues: [describe issues] Therefore I/we do not believe a rent rise would be fair as while these issues remain our home cannot be compared to other properties on the market.
[This has been my/our home for over x years and I/we have been a good tenant[s] / I/we have always maintained the upkeep of the home/ I am/we are eager to stay here in my/our home as I/we have had a good relationship with you as the landlord. / I/we do not want to risk falling into arrears at this time. ]
[If proposed new rent is above market rent] The new rent is above market rent for the area. There are similar properties in the area advertised for less rent:
[I have sought advice and know that a First Tier Tribunal can make a decision to lower above-market rents, but I/we would prefer to resolve this quickly and amicably, without going to court. ]
As [I/we] cannot afford the increased rent you have suggested, I/we hope we can work out a compromise, in good faith, to minimise disruption to [both/all] of us.
Please reply to this letter to confirm that you have received it and let [me/us] know when you will be available to discuss this rent rise further, within 7 days. We do hope you will consider what I/we have proposed.
[I am/we are willing to discuss this with you further on the phone or by email.]