Can I increase the rent?

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Rachel B
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I rent out a property on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy that started on 20/7/09, so it's now a periodic tenancy. I was introduced to my tenant through Lambeth's housing services, who drew up the tenancy agreement. The only clause relating to rent is this 'Provided that the rent allowance figure determined by Housing Benefits is less than the contractual rent in clause 2 above. The Landlord hereby agrees to vary the rental figure payable under this tenancy to the lesser Housing Benefit figure. The Housing Benefit figure shall become the effective contractual rent payable by the tenant under this agreement. Such variation to be effective from the date of this contract."

The rent is currently 225 per week. The local housing allowance is 240 per week for a 2-bed flat and 300 for a 3-bed flat. The flat is 3 bedrooms. My tenant is a single parent with one child, so is entitled, under HB rules, to claim for a 2-bed flat. I'd like to raise the rent to 240 per week, as my tenant will still be able to claim HB. (I set it lower at first, because she was able to claim an extra 15 under previous regulations, which have now changed).

Can I put the rent up under this agreement? If not, what can I do to change the agreement? I don't want to lose this excellent tenant, but costs are rising.

Thanks for your help.

Rachel

16/07/2012 00:00

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