Setting rent levels

There are no rules about setting a rent level for your property however you should bear in mind other rent levels in the area to ensure you do not price yourself out of the market. It may also be worth considering local housing allowance (housing benefit) rates as the rates may determine a tenants affordability. For more information visit the Ceredigion Housing Options website.

Landlords and tenants should agree what the rent amount, payment arrangements and schedule will be how and when the rent will be reviewed. This information should be included in the tenancy agreement.

If the tenancy agreement runs for a set period of six months or more (fixed-term), the agreement should say that rent will either be:

  • fixed for the length of the term
  • reviewed at regular intervals - and include information on how to review it

Landlords can only increase the rent of a fixed-term tenancy if the tenant agrees. If they do not agree, it can only be increased when the fixed-term ends.

If the tenancy is a periodic tenancy (rolling on a month-by-month basis) the agreement should say how often the rent will be reviewed. Both parties can agree a rent increase for a periodic tenancy at any time and should confirm the increase in writing. You should include a clause in the agreement that allows a yearly increase in rent. Landlords cannot normally increase the rent more than once a year without the tenant's agreement.

Bond deposit schemes

Since April 2007 landlords must protect their tenants' deposits using a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme if they have let the property on an assured shorthold tenancy. Any assured shorthold tenancy that began before the 6th April 2007 but has been renewed by way of a new tenancy agreement since this date needs to comply with the legislation and the original deposit amount needs to have been protected.

Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes ensure that money paid by tenants (as deposits) is kept safe. The schemes guarantee that tenants will get their deposits back at the end of the tenancy, if they meet the terms of the tenancy agreement and do not damage the property.

If these conditions don't apply - for example, because you live in the property with your tenant - the deposit does not have to be protected. However, it is still good practice to do so.

Landlords or agents must use one of the three approved TDP schemes to protect tenants' deposits where these conditions apply. If any other scheme is used, deposits are not protected in law. The three approved schemes are:

You should provide your tenant with the details of the scheme you are using. The landlord should provide the tenant with details within 14 days of the deposit being paid, including:

  • Contact details for the landlord or letting agent
  • The contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme they are using
  • Information on how to apply to get the deposit back at the end of the tenancy
  • What tenants can do if there is a dispute about the deposit

If the deposit is not protected in one of the three approved schemes the tenant can take you to court and you may have to pay the deposit plus three times the amount of their deposit back. You will also be unable to seek possession of your property with a standard 'Section 21' notice.

The schemes:

  • encourage landlords and tenants to draw up clear tenancy agreements
  • provide a free service to resolve disputes

If the tenant is having difficulty meeting the bond amount you can direct the tenant to the Bond Guarantee scheme which provides a bond guarantee (non cash bond certificate) to the landlord and offers advise to both landlords and tenants.