rental increase advice please....

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    rental increase advice please....

    Hello,

    I have a few questions please.

    I am on an Assured Tenancy Agreement (Periodic). I received a rent increase addendum back in September from the Managing Agents. The increase was well over the guidance percentage guide and rental prices have not increased in my area.

    The Addendum and the covering letting from the agents did not inform me I had the option of either negotiating the increase or I could appeal my case to the rent tribunal. I presumed I just had to pay it.

    I did not pay the increase when it started in October, nor did I sign the Addendum, it completely slipped my mind. During this month the agents did not ask for payment nor did they chase me to sign the addendum. At the beginning of November, I contacted the agents to query the high rise and said I would be happy to consider a fair and more realistic price. Nearly 3 weeks after my phone call, they emailed me to say I could appeal to a tribunal.

    Cut a long story short, when I informed the agents I wanted to pursue the case with a tribunal, the Landlord immediately came back with the increase sum I suggested (which we have agreed on).

    The issue I have is Landlord owes me money for work that was carried on his property and he is now refusing to reimburse me because he says he has lost two month’s worth of rental increase due to the delay I caused.

    My side of the story, is that there would never have been a delay if the rent increase had been fair in the first place or at least given advice that I could have appealed the decision when the Addendum was issued. Also the Managing Agent did not get back to me for 3 weeks after I queried the increase.

    So my question is: Does the rental increase addendum have to provide guidance/advice for the tenant to appeal the increase?

    Any guidance or advice would be fabulous.

    Many thanks indeed 😊



    #2
    Without more details it is difficult to know whether or not your rent rise was fair, but given you have now agreed a rent rise, as a LL I would expect the rise to be effective from the original date, so you are in arrears by the two months rise you have not paid. How that equates to the work done that you paid for we don't know, but if you want the work paid for you may need to pay the backdated rent rise.

    Comment


      #3
      In order to unilaterally impose a rent increase a landlord (or agent) has to use a Section 13 notice which contains details of the appeals process.
      The form is here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/assured-tenancy-forms (it's Form 4).
      It does contain all the information that you need to appeal to a tribunal - and the forms you need to do that are in the same place.
      And it has to give a minimum period of notice, which is at least two months.

      If they didn't use that form (or one nearly identical) any increase has to be agreed by you - unless there's a price increase mechanism in the tenancy agreement - which means you've already agreed to it.
      And, if the tenancy agreement does contain a price increase mechanism, that form can't be used at all.

      So any new rent would a) have to be agreed by you and b) couldn't take place until you had agreed it (whenever that was).
      Even if the notice had been valid (which it doesn't appear to be) any increase couldn't kick in for two months anyway.

      So, unless I've missed something, the agent has used an invalid form, which doesn't allow them to impose a new rent and, until you agreed a new rent, there was no new rent for you to pay.
      And, if they had used the right form, there still wouldn't have been two month's rent anyway because of the need for notice.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        I did assume that the correct notice had been issued - in the correct timeframe. If not then as above.....

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you for your replies. The Landlord wanted to charge a 10% rental increase, my offer was 5% and that is what he eventually agreed on.

          The money the Landlord owes me does not cover his proposed rental loss of two months.

          A section 13 form (or identical) was not used. All I received was an Addendum notice confirming the rent increase and one months notice before it commenced. There is no clause in the tenancy agreement to increase the rent.

          So basically, because I did not agree to the rental increase it was never valid from the beginning?

          Thank you for your time, it's really appreciated.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by thesleepingdog View Post
            A section 13 form (or identical) was not used. All I received was an Addendum notice confirming the rent increase and one months notice before it commenced. There is no clause in the tenancy agreement to increase the rent.

            So basically, because I did not agree to the rental increase it was never valid from the beginning?
            Yes - if there's nothing in the tenancy agreement, the addendum is an offer, which you didn't accept.
            Unless you agree to the proposal, it never comes into effect and the agent can't make silence indicate consent.

            Only a s13 notice can increase rent without your agreement.

            When you finally agreed the rent increase with the landlord a new rent was agreed.
            Unless you agree to it being backdated it shouldn't be backdated.

            It's all a bit stupid - if the letting agent had just used the right form, you'd have had to pay the rent while you appealed to the tribunal, and you might have lost.
            Although the s13 notice would still have had to have a minimum of 2 month's notice anyway.

            So arguably, the agent caused the delay, not you.
            You weren't obliged to respond to an offer to pay more rent, positively or negatively.
            You had every right to bin it and forget it - just as if you sent the landlord/agent a addendum notice reducing the rent by 10%, they'd ignore it.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              What does the landlord owe you money for?

              Comment


                #8
                Thank you so much jpkeates your post makes a lot of sense and I appreciate it enormously.

                DPT57 - The landlord owes us money for a garden fence we replaced (he said he would reimburse us the cost).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hopefully you have that in writing.

                  Comment

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