BlogLease AccountingWhat is a Rent Review Clause? Never Miss a Payment Adjustment Again

What is a Rent Review Clause? Never Miss a Payment Adjustment Again

rent review clause

A rent review clause is a provision commonly found in commercial leases that allows for periodic adjustments to the rent payable by the tenant. This clause is designed to ensure that the rental amount remains fair and reflective of prevailing market conditions throughout the duration of the lease agreement. Rent review clauses are typically included in leases for commercial properties such as offices, retail spaces, industrial units, and other non-residential premises.

The purpose of a rent review clause is to provide a mechanism for adjusting the rent to reflect changes in the market value of the property over time. Without such a clause, the rental amount specified in the lease agreement would remain fixed for the entire duration of the lease, regardless of fluctuations in the market or changes in the property’s value.

Types Of Rent Review Clauses

There are several different rent review clauses that can be used to determine the new rent amount during a rent review. The most common methods include:

Open Market Rent Review

This method involves comparing the rental value of the property to similar properties in the surrounding area. The rent is then adjusted to reflect the prevailing market rate. Open market rent reviews are advantageous because they ensure that the rent remains competitive and in line with market trends. However, they can also be subject to interpretation and negotiation, as determining the exact market value of a property can sometimes be subjective.

Index-linked Rent Review

Under this method, the rent is adjusted in line with changes in a specified index, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Retail Price Index (RPI). This ensures that the rent keeps pace with inflation, providing a fair and predictable method of rent adjustment for both landlords and tenants. Index-linked rent reviews offer a degree of certainty, as the rent increase is tied to an objective measure of inflation rather than subjective market forces.

Fixed Percentage Increase

In some cases, the lease agreement may specify a fixed percentage increase by which the rent will be adjusted at each review period. This method provides clarity and predictability for both parties, as the rent increase is predetermined and agreed upon in advance. However, fixed percentage increases may not always accurately reflect changes in market conditions or the value of the property, particularly if the agreed-upon percentage is too high or too low relative to actual market trends.

Ratchet Clause

A ratchet clause ensures that the rent can only increase or remain the same at each review, preventing it from ever decreasing. This provides a level of security for landlords, as it guarantees that the rent will never decrease below the initial amount specified in the lease agreement. However, ratchet clauses can be disadvantageous for tenants, especially in situations where market rents are declining, as they may be locked into paying higher-than-market rents for the duration of the lease.

The specific method used for rent reviews is typically negotiated between the landlord and tenant and is documented in the lease agreement. It’s essential for both parties to understand and agree upon the method of rent review to avoid disputes in the future. Clear and unambiguous language should be used in the lease agreement to outline the rent review process, including the frequency of reviews, the method of assessment, and any applicable notice periods.

Strategies To Use When Using a Rent Review Clause

Now, regarding how tenants can ensure they never miss a payment adjustment again, there are several strategies they can employ:

Stay Informed

Tenants should stay informed about the terms of their lease agreement, including any provisions related to rent reviews. They should know when rent reviews are due and how the new rent amount will be determined. By staying informed, tenants can anticipate rent increases and budget accordingly, minimizing the risk of missed payments.

Plan Ahead

Tenants should plan ahead for rent reviews by budgeting for potential rent increases. They should factor in the possibility of rent adjustments when preparing their financial forecasts. By planning ahead, tenants can ensure that they have sufficient funds available to cover any increases in rent and avoid financial strain.

Maintain Communication

Tenants should maintain open communication with their landlord or property manager regarding rent reviews. They should inquire about the timing of upcoming reviews and any changes to the rent amount well in advance. By maintaining communication, tenants can stay informed about any changes to their rental obligations and address any concerns or issues promptly.

Seek Professional Advice

Tenants can seek advice from real estate professionals or legal advisors to understand their rights and obligations regarding rent reviews. They can also negotiate with the landlord to ensure that any rent increases are fair and reasonable. By seeking professional advice, tenants can gain a better understanding of their lease agreement and ensure that their interests are protected during the rent review process.

Document Everything

Tenants should keep thorough records of all communications and agreements related to rent reviews. This includes correspondence with the landlord, copies of lease agreements, and any documentation supporting their position on rent adjustments. By documenting everything, tenants can have evidence to support their case in the event of a dispute or disagreement with the landlord.

Be Proactive

Tenants should be proactive in addressing any issues or concerns related to rent reviews. If they believe that a rent increase is unjustified or unreasonable, they should raise their objections with the landlord and seek a resolution through negotiation or mediation. By being proactive, tenants can assert their rights and ensure that any rent adjustments are fair and equitable.


By staying informed, planning ahead, maintaining communication, seeking professional advice, documenting everything, and being proactive, tenants can ensure that they never miss a payment adjustment again and navigate rent reviews with confidence. Rent review clauses are an essential aspect of commercial leases, and tenants should be proactive in understanding their rights and obligations under these provisions to protect their interests and avoid any potential disputes with landlords.

To learn more about Leasecake’s lease management platform and how we can help you grow your business, manage multiple locations, save money by understanding exactly what’s in your documents, and minimize the risk of overpaying or missing a lease renewal, schedule a demo.

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