Finance and Law

How to Handle an Unexpected Rent Increase

unexpected rent increase

Choosing to rent a property rather than purchase can be a lifestyle choice or it can be simply down to financial constraints. Either way, you probably chose to rent your home at a rate which you deemed affordable and didn’t expect this to increase suddenly without very much warning. However, you should always live by the motto expect the unexpected to avoid the worries if a rent increase does occur.

Nine times out of ten a rent increase will occur near the time of your contract renewal. You may receive a letter which states the rate at which your landlord or agency is willing to renew your rental agreement for. If you’re lucky this won’t go up but in many instances it does, especially if you’re signed up to a 12 month lease or longer. Of course every landlord and agency has to comply with specific guidelines regarding rent increases and can’t suggest a huge hike but any unexpected increase does affect your family budget and there are a number of ways to handle this increased cost.

unexpected rent increase


Rather than complaining or panicking about a rent increase, consider talking to your agency or landlord. In many instances they may waive the increase if you agree to sign an even longer contract or you explain succinctly why you don’t believe the increase is fair. You could agree to a lower increase and accept a further review in 6-12 months’ time, giving them a bit more leeway and allowing yourself more time to prepare for a larger increase.

Payday Loans

If your rent payment comes at an awkward time of the month leaving you stretched for finances, taking out a payday loan may be an efficient and effective way of completing the rent payment. Just ensure that you are able to repay the loan once you have been paid, in addition using useful tools like loan calculators will give you a good indication on how much you can afford to borrow.

Ask for your money’s worth

If you genuinely don’t believe the rent increase imposed is fair, then ask for your money’s worth. It could be as simple as asking for facilities in the house to be upgraded to be of the same standard as neighbouring houses or the replacement of essential utility equipment such as boilers. You could even suggest whether the landlord would consider taking on a percentage of the household bills in exchange for this rent increase. If you can prove that they’re asking above the odds then it’s more than a fair request.

Make a Complaint

If you’re determined to stay in your current property and are not willing to accept the increase you can make a complaint to the Rent Assessment Committee. They act independently to arbitrate matters between you and your landlord or agency. However, this can backfire as they can actually suggest a higher increase if they think that’s fair, so you could end up in an even stickier situation.

Make a move

This rent increase could be the sign you need that it’s time to move on and you can look for a new home. Compare rents in the area closely and if you can find something as good at your current rent, why not consider moving on? Equally, by comparing surrounding rates you have a stronger case if you challenge the proposed rent increase as you can prove that the inflated price is actually out of sync with others in the area.

Renting a home can be an extremely difficult activity, much harder than it should be. An unexpected rent increase doesn’t have to be accepted without challenge and if you are worried about paying over the odds using these tips should help you mount a fair challenge.

Louise Jenkins writes about payday loans, for more information visit

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