Last edited 01 Jun 2021

Section 13 notice


[edit] Introduction

A notice under Section 13 of the Housing Act 1988 allows landlords to increase the rent on a property under certain conditions.

[edit] Increasing popularity of assured shorthold tenancies

The Housing Act of 1988 set out the rules that apply to assured tenancies (ATs) and assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs). These are the types of residential tenancy agreements used by most private landlords and housing associations.

Before February 1997, ATs were a fairly common type of tenancy, but ASTs have become more popular, as they provide landlords with greater leeway on matters such as raising rent after the fixed term of the tenancy agreement has expired and reasonable notice has been given.

[edit] Specifics of a Section 13 notice

A Section 13 notice must be given by the landlord to the tenant in order to raise the rent after the initial fixed period has expired and a statutory periodic tenancy occurs. This happens when an AST comes to the end of its fixed term and the tenant stays at the property without renewing the contract.

A Section 13 notice can only be served once every 12 months and it cannot be used to increase the rent during the fixed term of a tenancy.

To use Section 13, the landlord must complete Form 4 and serve it to the tenant either by first class post, hand delivery or a process server (unless other arrangements in the contract have been made to prevent this).

Under some instances, landlords can serve a Section 21 eviction notice and a Section 13 notice simultaneously.

[edit] Tenant responses to Section 13

A tenant can challenge the Section 13 notice but must take action before the new rate of rent is scheduled to come into effect. The challenge must be referred to the First Tier Tribunal (also known as the Property Chamber) - the official body that processes property and land disagreements.

It is the responsibility of the First Tier Tribunal to review the tenant’s case and evaluate whether or not the disputed rental rate and terms would be considered reasonable if they were presented to other potential tenants on the open market. Once the evidence has been considered, the First Tier Tribunal can rule one of three ways: to keep the rent unchanged, to raise the rent by a different amount or to decrease the rent.

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[edit] External resources

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