3.5 Rent Setting
Landlord and tenant should mutually agree the initial rent. During the
first six months of a tenancy, tenants have rights to refer the rent to the
Rent Assessment Committee for review [see appendix 2 - Rent Assessment
Committees] if they consider the rent to be above the market rent. This is,
however, very rarely done.
The rent charged may include a sum to cover the cost of repairs, although
these costs cannot be passed on to the tenant in the form of a separate
service charge. In particular, a landlord cannot seek to pass on to the tenant
the cost of any repairs which are their responsibility under section 11 of
the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 or under the regulations relating to gas
safety or similar.
3.5.1 Setting the Rent
Before the tenancy begins, landlord and tenant should mutually agree the
rent, including arrangements for when to pay and review it. The details of
these matters should be included clearly in the tenancy agreement.
If the tenancy is for a fixed term, the rent given in the agreement will last
for the whole of the fixed term unless there is a rent review clause.
3.5.2 Rent Book
A landlord is legally obliged to provide a rent book if the rent is payable on a
weekly basis (failure to do so is a criminal offence). The rent book provided
must, by law, contain certain information. Standard rent books for assured
and assured shorthold tenancies can be obtained from law stationers and
larger general stationers. However, the landlord should also keep a record
of rent payments and provide receipts for rent paid (particularly for cash
payments) for all tenancies to avoid any disagreements later.