Dear Property Doctor,

I bought a two bed terraced in my local area and have been renting it out since November 2010. I haven’t increased the rent since my tenants moved in, but now I want to raise it– how do I go about it?

The rental market at the moment is still extremely buoyant. I would as a matter if course try to increase your rent EVERY year.

Small increases can make a big difference over time. One thing for sure …If you don’t ask you won’t get it!!!

Personally what I do, dependant on how well I know the tenant, is write them I letter stating you want to increase the rent from “a” to “b”.

You’ll need to give at least a months’ notice.

The tenant can of course refuse, so then it’s up to you what to do as the next course of action.
If the tenant has been reliable, perhaps you can compromise on a figure or state that the rent will increase in 6 months time.

If you feel that you could get a substantial increase and the tenant does not agree then perhaps you need to terminate the contract.

Timing is critical as you don’t want the property go suffer from void periods when the rental market is slow.

If it takes a month to relet the property, this will mean that you have left yourself wide open to a void – You need to consider if this is the best course of action as the downside far outweighs the upside.