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What is the procedure for reducing a tenants rent?

QuestionHere is a question to the blog clinic from Elizabeth, who is a landlord:

Is there a prescribed format for reducing rent under a periodic tenancy?

I have a tenant who is now on a periodic monthly tenancy after her initial 6 months AST. A few months ago, I told her that after one year, I would be willing to consider a reduction in rent as I would no longer be paying agency fees, and she looks after the property well.

To make this change, is there a particular procedure or format that I am required to follow?

From what I can see, the legislation stipulates a procedure for rent increases under a periodic tenancy, but what about a reduction in rent?

If the two of you are in agreement, then a letter should suffice.

Just send or give a letter to the tenant saying that, as agreed her rent will be reduced from £X to £Y as of [date] and ask her to sign one copy and return it to you to confirm her agreement to this.

That will amend the terms of the tenancy in respect of the rent payment.

Although if she does not return the letter but just pays the reduced rent and you accept this, then this in itself may be sufficient to evidence the changed rent amount.

I am assuming that you want the tenancy to remain as a periodic one by the way and do not want to sign a new form of tenancy agreement.

Note by the way that if the tenant has paid a deposit, after the Superstrike case, even though there is no new fixed term, the prescribed information should be re-served within 30 days of the end of the fixed term as a precautionary measure (see  my latest post on Superstrike about this).

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Important note. If you are reading an old post, remember that the law may have changed since it was written.

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About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

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Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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