Rent reduction or moving out

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    Rent reduction or moving out

    Hello forum,

    It's my first post here, I hope for some advice

    We've been renting a property in London for almost 4yrs. Our TA is due for renewal in March and we decided to ask the landlord for a rent reduction because like many others we have been experiencing financial pressure due to the Covid situation (we are both self employed and in an industry that has been heavily affected by the lockdowns). We have been good tenants, always paying on time and had already extended the TA twice. The landlord preferred not to take a decision himself but forwarded our request to his estate agent, it's an agent that only deals with contracts and tenants search for him, nothing else. The agent replied saying that the amount we are paying is right and that the landlord would be happy to extend the contract but at the same price.

    We have been monitoring properties in this area in the last few months and we noticed how they are not going as fast as they used to and at an average asking price lower than in the past. It's a well known situation in Central London, and after all the entire planet has been turned upside down by what's been happening. We mentioned it to the landlord with our request, just to let him understand that it wasn't an unusual demand and rents are not the same as before at the moment. His agent replied to that saying that they have a similar property in our building going for a higher price. It doesn't mean much and it's not a realistic comparison since they are talking about the asking price for a slightly bigger flat. We have also seen other similar properties, in the same building, going for much less on other sites.

    We were wondering: is it worth mentioning at this point about some important issues in the flat that after several years still haven't been fixed? The landlord is aware of them and we have all the relative emails. The window in one of the two bedrooms has been broken for over 2 years, it's a sash window opening to the patio, it doesn't open unless properly forced. This make us wonder also about the safety in case of fire, as that's the only window in the room. A tilt and turn window in the kitchen/living area stopped working over a year ago, the operating system is stuck and it's not opening at all, the other window in that room also doesn't open properly at times. And the heating in one of the 2 bedrooms never worked since we moved in. We reported immediately all of these issues to the landlord, he sent a couple of guys to check the windows, they talked to him, but nothing was fixed. I believe they are not very small things and that we have been very flexible with them, probably we should have been firmer and demand them to be fixed asap. What do you think we should do now? Are these some arguments worth to remind them or we should just avoid going in there?

    I'm conscious that ultimately it's the landlord's choice to offer a rent reduction. If the answer it's going to be a no obviously we will consider not to renew the lease. We would prefer to stay here of course as we are well settled, and we would also prefer not to do a removal in this moment. We are experiencing a temporary difficult situation and were just hoping for some flexibility and understanding from the landlord to help us staying here.

    Thanks for any help

    #2
    It's a shame your landlord is relying on "advice" from an agent with a vested interest in maintaining higher rent who cares not a jot if you leave.
    You make a very reasonable argument but I don't see that the repairs are relevant, all you can do is appeal directly to the landlord and maybe serve notice if you're serious.
    For what it's worth I haven't permanently reduced any rents or had problems finding tenants in London.

    Comment


      #3
      T's currently have the upper hand, in so far as they don't have to pay any fees to move to another property (apart from removal and hassle of moving), if you have seen other properties advertised for less, and your issues you have raised have not been resolved, I would suggest you move on, and have better luck with a LL who will sort out issues.

      Unfortunately prime locations like central London will always be rented and may be offered as airbnb style apartments, especially since summer is now around the corner, and most likely that we are advised to have stay vacations.

      Comment


        #4
        Tow things occur to me:

        1. If you get a rent reduction and stay it seems to me even less likely that the problems will be fixed.
        2. You have no need to sign a new agreement but can just let your agreement go periodic when you will be then only need to give 1 months notice.

        In your situation I might suggest to the agent that I will sign a new agreement, at the same rent, once the issues you mention have been fixed. If not you will let your agreement go periodic whilst you consider your options / look for another place.

        If you do this, you probably need to be prepared to move but with only 1 months notice to give (on your rent date) you have longer to find the right property. Perhaps the prospect of a void will encourage your LL to fix the broken items.

        BTW I am not in London, but all my rents are going up - mostly as a result of the rise in HHA in April exerting upward pressure on all rents.

        Good luck

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ash72 View Post
          Unfortunately prime locations like central London will always be rented and may be offered as airbnb style apartments, especially since summer is now around the corner, and most likely that we are advised to have stay vacations.
          Hard to make a commercial case for Airbnb style when there is a 90 day annual limit on short term rentals in the Capital (without pp).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Section20z View Post
            It's a shame your landlord is relying on "advice" from an agent with a vested interest in maintaining higher rent who cares not a jot if you leave.
            You make a very reasonable argument but I don't see that the repairs are relevant, all you can do is appeal directly to the landlord and maybe serve notice if you're serious.
            For what it's worth I haven't permanently reduced any rents or had problems finding tenants in London.
            Agree with this completely.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

              Yes, I was hoping that the LL would have directly dealt with our request, we were aware that with the intervention of the agent it would have been more difficult.

              From your replies I guess it's better not to try and go into reminding them of the unfixed issues as another chance for the rent reduction. Is there anything else we can get as compensation for the fact that the LL didn't fix these important issues or we should simply forget about them?

              It's frustrating that we have been flexible and lived with these problems all these years, but the moment we asked for some flexibility from LL to help you with this temporary financial situation they don't show any sympathy.

              Comment


                #8
                I think that conflating the two issues is going to work against you. I suggest you pick the one that's most important to you and pursue that as above.

                Comment

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