Notice of rent increase

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    Notice of rent increase

    We are intending to put up the rent for the tenants in our HMO - not to profit from them, but because despite the tenancy agreement saying 'the tenant shall keep the interior of the property and the shared areas clean, tidy, and in the same condition as at the start of the tenancy (except for fair wear and tear).....' and other similar clauses about the garden, the windows etc. they aren't doing it, and we are going to have to get a cleaning agency in. (Or rather some of them 'were' doing their bit, and then when they saw the others doing bugger all, they gave up, and complained to us, not unreasonably, about their housemates.) How much notice do they all need? They are on rolling ASTs starting with a 6 month tie in on either side. We've never put the rent up on tenants in situ, and I don't like doing it, but the internal politics is a nightmare, and the way I see it, we as landlords are responsible for a hygienic environment for all, and if they don't do their bit, they they will have to pay a bit more rent to cover someone else doing it. The only alternative I can see is taking the lazy ones to court or evicting them for breach of tenancy, but that seems even harsher.

    #2
    Issue s13 notices.

    But I evict bad tenants
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      #3
      If only we were in London and there were a queue of new tenants though! They aren't bad, just immature. I think pretty typical for the area.

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        #4
        Originally posted by bananas View Post
        We are intending to put up the rent for the tenants in our HMO -How much notice do they all need?
        .
        I believe you have to give two months notice for a rent increase

        Originally posted by bananas View Post
        if they don't do their bit, they they will have to pay a bit more rent to cover someone else doing it.
        .
        I have used cleaners in many houses over the years and it can make lazy tenants even lazier as everyone leaves mess for the cleaner to sort out. In addition the cleaners become demoralised as they turn up to find that they have to sort out piles of washing up etc - before they start to clean. The house will stay clean and tidy for maybe a day if you are lucky.

        Originally posted by bananas View Post
        The only alternative I can see is taking the lazy ones to court or evicting them for breach of tenancy, but that seems even harsher.
        I have always found that the lazy ones "don't have a problem with it (the mess)" and try and say they are just living in a normal way. It is difficult to pin specific actions to specific tenants in a HIMO as the landlord does not live there and has to rely on witnesses. So you may find the good tenants leave,especially if they only have to give one months notice,and you will be left with trying to get new tenants for a messy house. If you know who the messy ones are they must be encouraged to go elsewhere otherwise you will always have a messy house. The 'harshness' you mention is because this is an incompatibility problem - tidy people cannot stand living with slobs and just because someone is untidy,lazy and thoughtless does not mean they are bad tenant - just a pain to live with.

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          #5
          This laziness problem doesn't just affect HMOs; it also affect purpose built flats, especially where the leaseholder is a non-resident landlord.

          Personally I agree that bringing in cleaners just encourages more dependency.

          In outer London, an untidy front yard is just the standard indicator of a rented property, so I think the OP is optimistic if the expect one in an HMO to be maintained.

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            #6
            There may be some unrealistic expectations here. It's usually up to the tenants how they choose to live and the state of cleanliness of their environment. In my experience of HMOs its below the standards that I would choose to live myself. Certainly the tenants in mine never mowed the lawn or cleaned the windows. This is just something that I think landlords have to accept. Your bottom line should really be the condition at the end of the tenancy not how they maintain it while they're living there.

            Having said that, if they have room only tenancies or there are licence conditions requiring it, then you probably have to provide a cleaner for the communal areas if the tenants are not doing the job.

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              #7
              Yes, that's precisely it. I am ultimately responsible for the hygiene of the communal areas, and the rent is set low on the basis that they all take a share of the cleaning of those, and the obligation is clear in their tenancy agreements - I provided a rota, distributing the work equally so that I would know who to tackle about what was left undone, but in the end nobody was a shining star, so I have informed them of the rent rise and booked cleaners - the rent rise will happen two months from the notice, so July. In the first instance we are paying £150 for a 'blitz' ourselves, and then they will be responsible for the ongoing costs. It will only cost between £15/£20pcm per tenant, depending on whether or not they use the shared bathroom, as it is unfair to charge those with ensuite rooms who don't use it. There is a large cupboard for undone washing up, and I'll provide some plastic boxes for the cleaners to put anything left lying in their way, and people will have to retrieve their washing up and their things at the end. I think they have taken it pretty well, and are probably quite looking forward to a cleaner house.

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                #8
                Having a lower rent in exchange for tenants cleaning the communal areas is an idea thats great in theory. However, the tenants soon get used to that rent and forget that its lower than it could be and then one of them stops bothering and that causes rows and eventually they all stop, because ultimately they know the landlord will have to get it done. Its the law of entropy.

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