Landlord and tenant should mutually agree the initial rent. During the first six months of a tenancy, tenants have rights to refer the rent to the Rent Assessment Committee for review [see Rent Assessment Committees] if they consider the rent to be above the market rent. This is, however, very rarely done.
The rent charged may include a sum to cover the cost of repairs, although these costs cannot be passed on to the tenant in the form of a separate service charge. In particular, a landlord cannot seek to pass on to the tenant the cost of any repairs which are their responsibility under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 or under the regulations relating to gas safety or similar.
Setting the Rent
Before the tenancy begins, landlord and tenant should mutually agree the rent, including arrangements for when to pay and review it. The details of these matters should be included clearly in the tenancy agreement.
If the tenancy is for a fixed term, the rent given in the agreement will last for the whole of the fixed term unless there is a rent review clause.
A landlord is legally obliged to provide a rent book if the rent is payable on a weekly basis (failure to do so is a criminal offence). The rent book provided must, by law, contain certain information. Standard rent books for assured and assured shorthold tenancies can be obtained from law stationers and larger general stationers. However, the landlord should also keep a record of rent payments and provide receipts for rent paid (particularly for cash payments) for all tenancies to avoid any disagreements later.