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UK based, South East specifically, but not London.

I have a rental contract which specifies the rent will increase yearly in line with the RPI, minimum 3% and maximum 7.5%.

I'm not sure if this is something I can push back on since I have friends who say they've rented and never had that issue.

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    Whatever the contract mentions, rent increase, is not necessarily enforced. I had the same line in my contract but my landlord never enforced it. It is only enforceable if you want to continue renting the property. A good response is if the landlord decided to increase the rent, mention you will vacate the property when the contract ends. If you are a good renter a reasonable landlord will let it go to keep the good renter. The landlord would need to forgo 2 months of rent, to the agency, if he decides to rent it out to a new person. And maybe loose rent if it takes time to find a new renter. – DumbCoder Sep 12 '16 at 11:25
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    It would be surprising if your friends continued to pay the same rent for years. Whether they had an automatic increase as per contract, or the landlord negotiated a new rent on renewals, their rent surely increased over the course of their lease. However the 3% minimum seems a bit high. – jcaron Sep 12 '16 at 12:32
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    @jcaron I've certainly been in private rentals where we went a long time without an increase - I think once in four renewal periods. Seems irrational but I guess the landlord valued a sitting tenant over a possible extra £30/month :) – Andrew Sep 13 '16 at 7:28
  • The main question is whether rent prices have increased in the area or not. Last year my rent in London has increased, as have all other properties. Now, if I do a check the rent prices are down, so if my landlord wants to increase it this year as well I can just say, well, that's not the market rate – SztupY Sep 13 '16 at 9:45
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Some landlords do this and others don't. You could always try pushing back but don't necessarily expect to get anywhere; if I were you I would focus on removing the 3% collar because the RPI and CPI are both below that - at the moment CPI is 0.6% and RPI is 1.9%.

There are some interesting comments from landlords here including the point that repairs and replacements get more expensive year-on-year.

But fundamentally, as long as the landlord is following the rules then they're not doing anything illegal or unreasonable.

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    I would imagine whether you get anywhere will depend strongly on how your rent (both before and after the rise) compares to the market rents in the area. – Peter Green Sep 12 '16 at 14:14
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Speaking as a Landlord (only of one property but it counts :) ) I don't have a clause like that in the contract, however each year my agency looks at the state of the local rental market and recommends whether (and if so by how much) the rent should be increased. I normally take a quick look at the market myself to sanity check their figures.

When we know where market rents are we can look at the current rent and compare them. Once or twice prices have only risen a tiny amount and in that case we've left it unchanged. If not then we negotiate with the tenant and agree the price for the next year.

I am not a lawyer and you have not posted the actual wording of the agreement but it sounds like all your contract is doing is formalizing that process and establishing minimum and maximum bounds. Considering that the contract has ended at the point of renewal anyway then if inflation has gone crazy or rental prices have crashed or something then you or the landlord could simply either not renew and you find somewhere else or renegotiate the entire agreement.

What this clause does mean is that rather than negotiating you can just look at the RPI and know that that is the renewal offer. It doesn't sound like anything to worry about, and for people who don't like uncertainty (or don't like negotiating) it sounds like a good thing.

Keep in mind though that RPI is currently 1.9% so I would suggest trying to reduce that minimum threshold.

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Like all prices, rent tends to go up year after year with inflation. Barring specific "rent control" laws that limit or forbid rent increases, your rent will go up sooner or later. Whether it's a couple of percent a year or periodic larger increases, it's going to go up. I'd be very, very surprised if someone moved in to an apartment in 1980 and is still paying the same monthly rent today that they were then. (Outside an area with rent controls, in which case, either (a) you pay in the form of reduced maintenance, (b) new tenants must pay higher rents to make up for the low rent paid by older tenants, or (c) the landlord goes bankrupt.)

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    I don't find this answer particularly helpful. It states a fairly obvious generality without any specificity to the question, which does have a fair amount of specific details in the question. – Joe Sep 12 '16 at 17:46
  • Or by far the most common form of rent control, (d), the landlord is a government and is effectively subsidising the residence. I think many tenants in the UK would love to live in a place where rent only went up with inflation, by the way. – gerrit Sep 12 '16 at 18:18

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