2. Rent increases for fuel or fuel-related services
The circumstances in which your landlord can increase your rent because of increases in charges for fuel or fuel-related services depend partly on whether you have a council or non-council tenancy. If you are a non-council tenant, your rights also vary according to whether you took up the tenancy before or after 15 January 1989 (2 January 1989 in Scotland). A landlord’s power to increase charges for fuel or fuel-related services can be limited in one of three ways.
•Payments for fuel or fuel-related services are ‘service charges’, so legislation which affects service charges may be relevant.
•The courts have held that fuel charges are normally part of the rent,1Montague v Browning  2 All ER 601 so where legislation controls the rent, fuel charges are included.
•A tenancy agreement is a type of contract and may include limits on your landlord’s power to increase charges.
If fuel charges are included in your rent, you may be subject to possession proceedings if you fail to pay them in the same way as if you fail to pay your rent. ‘Possession proceedings’ are where the landlord seeks to regain possession of a rented property – ie, evict you. For charges to be recoverable, they must be agreed by both parties at the beginning of the contract or by you both agreeing during the agreement. If you are subject to possession proceedings, always attend any court hearing as the court may proceed in your absence and grant a possession order against you automatically. A landlord proposing to increase the rent or alter the terms of a tenancy agreement must serve a notice under section 6(2) of the Housing Act 1988 in the prescribed form.2Part 1 and Sch 1 HA 1988; Form 1 Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) Regulations 2015 No.620 as amended by 2021 SI 994