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Rent increases in private residential tenancies

Your landlord must give you at least 3 months’ notice of a rent increase. Your rent can only be increased once every 12 months.

If a rent increase is too high, you can apply to a government rent officer to make it more affordable.

If you moved in before 1 December 2017, check our advice on rent increases in assured and short assured tenancies.

How your landlord can increase the rent

Your landlord must give you a rent increase notice on the official form. Download an example of a rent increase notice from

You must get at least 3 months' notice. If your landlord sends the form by post or email, they must add 2 days to the notice period to allow time for you to receive it.

Example notice period

Your landlord emails you a rent increase notice on 1 April.

The earliest date the rent increase can start is 4 July.

If you've not been given enough notice, you do not have to start paying the new rent until 3 months have passed. Tell your landlord the correct date.

If your landlord has not used the right form, you do not have to pay the higher rent. Tell them they've not followed the legal process and you do not agree to the increase.

Your rent cannot go up more than once per year.

Apply to challenge your rent increase within 21 days

You can challenge the increase by applying to Rent Service Scotland.

When you apply, a rent officer will decide on a fair rent increase for your tenancy. The maximum increase is 12%, but in many cases it will be lower than this.

Within 21 days of getting your rent increase notice, take these steps:

The rent increase cap only applies if you challenge it.

If you do not take any action, you'll have to start paying your landlord's proposed increase, even if it's more than 12%.

How a rent officer decides your rent increase

The increase that's allowed depends on the percentage gap between your current rent and the open market rent:

  • if the gap is 6% or less, the maximum increase is 6%

  • if the gap is more than 6%, the increase will be calculated to keep your rent under the market rent, up to a maximum of 12%

The rent officer cannot increase the rent higher than your landlord’s proposed increase.

Estimating the open market rent

You do not need to know the open market rent to challenge an increase, but it can help you work out how much of an increase will be allowed.

The open market rent is how much the landlord could charge if they advertised the property for rent now.

Look on sites like Rightmove and Zoopla to check the rent for properties that:

  • are in your local area

  • have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as your home

  • are similar to your home in condition and features

Calculating the possible rent increase

Use the rent increase calculator on You’ll need to put in:

  • your current rent

  • your landlord’s proposed new rent

  • your estimate of the open market rent

The calculator will give you an idea of how much the rent could be increased if you challenge it.

After you apply to challenge an increase

The rent officer should make a decision within 40 days.

They'll write to you and your landlord saying:

  • how much the rent will be

  • when the rent increase will start

Your landlord cannot increase the rent again until 12 months have passed.

If you disagree with the rent officer’s decision

You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber).

You must do this within 14 days of the date on the decision.

To apply, download Form H from the tribunal's website.

You'll need to give proof of why the decision was wrong. For example, if you think the rent officer's estimate of the open market rent is too high, include examples of local properties for rent.

If the decision is delayed

Keep paying your current rent while you wait for the rent officer or tribunal's decision.

Keep aside the money to pay for an increase of up to 12%. If your rent goes up, you might have to pay back the difference from when the rent increase was due to start.

If you're worried about eviction

Your landlord must follow a strict legal process and prove that they have a valid reason to evict you.

You can ask a tribunal to stop the eviction, or get compensation if you're evicted for false reasons.

Check our advice on eviction from a private residential tenancy.

Last updated: 25 April 2024

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England