Tenants: What You Need To Know About Your Rent Review [Checklist]

A rent review is normally five yearly, but it can be every three or four years, depending on the length and terms of the Lease.

You have enough to think about running a business, but don't forget about the review, or put off doing anything to prepare for it.

Time flies, and then out of the blue you receive a notice from the landlord informing you that they intend to increase the rent.

Rent Reviews may fade away, but they never die.

Even if you get to the review date, and you don't hear from your landlord, there is normally nothing to stop them triggering the review months or even years later. The lease may allow them to trigger the review even after the next review date.

This may seem unfair, but unless the lease states otherwise, it is perfectly okay. The landlord may be disorganised, or they may have good, tactical reasons for not triggering the review at the time.

For example:

A landlord of a retail parade has several reviews coming up. There is no recent comparable evidence within the parade, but there is a vacant unit, which they have just started marketing. They decide to leave the negotiations until they have let the vacant unit, in order to create new evidence.

The landlord then triggers the negotiations one at a time.

Why? Because tenants are likely to join forces in opposing an increase, making it more difficult for the landlord. But, if they deal with the reviews one at a time, and create a 'pattern of evidence' as they go along, it may be a slow process but it could pay dividends in the long run.

So, don't bury your head in the sand, or assume that, if you hear nothing, the landlord has forgotten about your review.

Here is a checklist of some of the things you need to make a note of when you take a lease:

  1. The review date;
  2. Are there any time limits for the service of the landlord's notice?
  3. Do you have to serve a Counter Notice when you receive the landlord's notice, and is there a time limit for you to respond?
  4. Can you make an application to the RICS for the appointment of an Arbitrator or Expert, and when is the earliest date that either you or the landlord can do this?
The list is not exhaustive, and there may be other issues that you should ask your surveyor or solicitor to explain.

ask us to take a look at your lease to advise on the best strategy for your review.