One year on: PRT myth-busting

One year today the new Private Residential Tenancy regime was introduced.

To mark this milestone we thought we would try to dispel some of the common myths we hear about how the regime operates. We know from calls to our telephone helpline that the most common misconceptions about Private Residential Tenancies are:

1. Rent increases
Many landlords seem to be under the impression that the rent can’t be increased during the first 12 months of the tenancy. This is not the case. The first rent increase can be carried out at any time. Once the first increase has been done the rent cannot be increased more frequently than 12 monthly thereafter.

2. Notice period
It is a common belief that once the tenant has occupied the property for 6 months, landlords must give them 84 days’ notice to end the tenancy. This is not the case if the tenancy is being ended because the tenant has breached a term of the tenancy agreement e.g. if they are in rent arrears or if there are problems with anti-social behaviour. If one of the breach grounds applies then the landlord is only required to give 28 days’ notice, regardless of how long the tenant has been in occupation.

3. Rent arrears
Many landlords believe that tenants need to owe 3 months’ rent before they can be evicted for rent arrears. Under the PRT tenants need to have owed some rent for a period of 3 months for the rent arrears eviction ground to apply. If they owe at least a months’ rent when the tribunal hears the case then it is a mandatory eviction ground. If the arrears are below this level then it is discretionary. Landlords can serve the notice to leave as soon as the tenant falls into arrears. However, application can’t be made to the tribunal for an eviction order until the tenant has owed some rent for a period of 3 months.

For more information on the PRT regime please see our factsheet online which includes links to the notices which must be used to increase the rent and end the tenancy.

Members – please log in to the website to download the factsheet, if you need any help to log in please contact the membership team.

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