Rents deposits and utilities

You need to be aware of the rules governing rent increases and deposits, including the "ring-fencing" of tenants' deposits so that they have to be kept separate from your regular rental income. So let Rocket Lawyer help you steer a safe path through the regulatory landscape.

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The rent will be the market rent for similar properties in the local area.

The tenancy agreement will fix the rent for an initial period and the rent cannot be increased during this time.

Each rent demand given to the tenant must specify the name and address of the Landlord.

Rent increase

The rent cannot be increased during the initial fixed period.

If you want to increase the rent at a later date in line with market conditions, you can end the tenancy unless the tenant agrees to an increase.

If the tenant does not agree, you can either accept the position or end the tenancy by issuing a Section 21 (Form 6A) notice if the property is located in England or a Section 21 notice for Wales if the property is located in Wales.


It is a good idea to ask the tenant to pay a deposit at the start of the tenancy to cover cleaning, breakage and damage that may occur during the tenancy.

It is usual to ask for one month’s rent in advance.

In England & Wales, deposits taken by landlords of assured shorthold tenancies (with rent under £25,000 per annum) must comply with the tenancy deposit protection scheme.

The government-backed schemes are:

The schemes contain an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service which is free of charge. A dispute will only go to court if both landlord and tenant cannot agree to use the ADR service.

Bills & utilities

Collecting the rent and any additional outgoings will be set out in the tenancy agreement but some practical steps you should consider include:

  • Insurance - ensure that you have suitable cover for letting under both the buildings and the contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policy.
  • Bills - arrange your outgoings such as service charges, maintenance contracts and so on, to be paid by direct debit or standing order.
  • Council tax and utilities - arrange for the transfer of the council tax and utility bills to the tenant; take gas and electricity meter readings to ensure that utilities have been paid to date.
  • Telephone - you will probably also want to transfer the telephone into the tenant’s name.
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