Section 13 rent increase notice

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    Section 13 rent increase notice

    Hello,

    I need some advice about my situation. I have been issued with a section 13 notice for an increase in rent from £810 to £875 for a 2 bed semi-detached house. This is an increase of almost 8%, is this considered a reasonable increase? We moved to this property in May 2019 so not here for a long time. The rent didn't increase last year so I was expecting an increase but this is higher than what I was expecting. The property is not exactly in an outstanding condition so not sure what prompted the landlord to increase it by this much unless he wants to sell and wants us to move out.

    The initial notice mentioned trying to negotiate with the landlord on the rent and if that fails then to refer to the tribunal.
    I sent the letting agents an email pointing out some of the issues with the property and why I thought £875 wasn't a reasonable rent and they have replied bluntly saying if we can't afford then give a 2 month notice and they will put the property on the market again. So my next option will be applying to the tribunal? How long does the process take and what happens if the tribunal agrees with the landlord, can they propose a higher rent than what the landlord is proposing? And even if the tribunal agrees with me, what options will the landlord have if he definitely wants us to move out (for letting at a higher rent or selling maybe)? Also, how will this affect any references I may need in future from the letting agent or landlord, can they provide a bad reference for this reason if I need one to move to another property?

    Thanks

    #2
    Dispute increase fast with the Tribunal. see...
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/legal...rent_increases

    Remember to be a letting agent in England requires no training, no qualifications and no criminal record check. No point arguing with some numpty who may have just left Brixton prison on licence from their fraud sentence.

    Good luck.
    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...

    Comment


      #3
      PS: The increase is just over 8%. 8.02469....%
      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...

      Comment


        #4
        The agent is likely to make more money if you move out, hence the rather glib response.

        There is no guarantee of a good reference regardless of what you do. Disputing the rent rise is probably not going to help.

        Comment


          #5
          Unfortunately for you, rents in many areas of the country have gone up a lot this year, mainly because Rishi put LHA up significantly after several years of 0 or 1% rises. This has stoked rent rises in many area and may account for your admittedly large rise. (I never go up more than £25 pcm at a time)

          Is it hugely above market rent? Maybe your original rent was a bit low compared to the market?

          Your choices are:
          1. Tell the agent you think £875 is too much but you would be happy to pay £xx.
          2. Go to tribunal - which you may or may not win
          3. Accept the rise
          4. Give notice to move

          A void always costs a LL money so option 1 is definitely worth a try. I have never had a tenant take me to the tribunal so I have no idea how likely you are to win, and moving will cost you money too.

          Look around to see what the market rate is and then make your decision.

          Good luck

          Comment


            #6
            What sort of rent level are similar properties being advertised on Right Move etc?

            I agree withjpucng62 about his option 1.
            If you want to be bullish, offer something like £845 just before rent day and pay it.

            Ignore the agent's "advice" about giving notice.
            They make money when there's a new tenant and much less when you stay in place.
            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
              Thank you for the responses. The initial rent was maybe a little lower than other properties around but that was because the property has not been modernized; old decor, patchy wallpapers, a very basic kitchen and toilet with no extractor fans etc. I don't know the history but when we first viewed the property it felt like no one had lived in it for years and didn't make an offer initially due to its condition. It was only after the agents called us back after a week or so to find out if we were interested and we reluctantly agreed to move in as we were desperate to move out from the previous property.

              When I sent an email to the agent about the increase pointing out some of the issues with the property, I was hoping they would recognize the issues and maybe reduce the increase which we could then accept but instead got a response which felt like they wanted us to move out for some reason and wouldn't budge on any of the issues we mentioned. I don't think they even forwarded the issues to the landlord which may mean its a managed property on landlord's behalf.

              I may take my chances on the tribunal if they won't reduce the rent at all as £875 seems a bit steep for the property considering its condition. I hope the landlord knows it will probably cost him more to find a new tenant with a potential gap in tenancy than to continue with a reasonable increase.

              Comment


                #8
                Unless £875 is way above the market level for the area, (which it doesn't sound like it is), then I believe its unlikely the tribunal will find in your favour. I think that your best bet is to negotiate. If you moved out, I doubt the landlord would be able to achieve £875 per month if the property is in a poor state and they would have a void. They will want to avoid this. I would offer £845 as suggested above as a final offer otherwise you serve notice. Only do this if you are prepared to leave the property.

                Comment


                  #9
                  £840pcm is in line with RPI inflation.
                  £845 is in line with CPI inflation.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    the amount of the increase doesnt determine the reasonableness of the rent. At least in theory not, although that is how most people would look at it. The question to answer is what would you have to pay today to rent the property in its present condition. I appreciate that this is not a very satisfactory answer. Its a shame that there is an agent involved because the landlord might well take a more reasonable view rather than risk having a void (empty) property, the cost of a freshen up and reletting. Your landlord's address should have been advised to you (as required by section 47/8 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987). There is no reason why you cannot write a letter to your landlord saying what a good tenant you have been and the place has been in a bit of state since you took it on etc etc and how you find the letting agent quite difficult to talk to and asking him if he could help you out with a compromise figure. Most but not all landlords are very reasonable people and would rather do a deal and not have the expense of reletting. There are some who mistakenly think they will earn more in the end by charging more rent but a polite and respectful letter might just have the desired effect without going against you.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you for the responses. The landlord visited the property for a maintenance issue on Friday and I asked him about the rent increase notice and the agents reply to my email. He claimed he didn't know about that as the agents manage the property on his behalf and he pays them a fixed monthly fee from the rent. Can a landlord really be unaware of the rent I am paying and the increase notice? That would be a fully managed property I guess and if that was the case I would expect the agents to do all maintenance and giving the landlord a fixed monthly rent for his property?

                      Anyways he said the £65 increase was a bit steep so he will talk to the agents and hopefully they will agree on £850 instead of £875. I was therefore waiting for the agents to say something about that but today received an email from the agents asking me what I had decided about the section 13 notice and how I wanted to proceed. It didn't mention anything about what the landlord said to me. So what should be my response, should I tell them about my discussion with the landlord and ask for a response on that? I don't have any contact details for the landlord as the rental agreement had the agent details as the landlord and I only see him when he sometimes comes around for checking any maintenance issues I report. I suspect that the agents don't want me to contact the landlord directly and won't be happy with my discussions with the landlord and the landlord also isn't eager to give me my contact details so we can be in contact directly so am a bit confused about the whole setup.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'd tell the agent that you've discussed the matter with the landlord and he's agreed to a new rent of £850, which you're happy to pay.
                        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


                          #13
                          I mentioned my discussion with the landlord to the agents and they have come back saying my contract is with the agents and they sub-let on behalf of the owner so my rent will be decided by the agents not the owner. They even mentioned they would increase the rent again as soon as legally viable (which would be in 12 months I guess). I don't know why the landlord/owner didn't mention that when he was here and made a false promise of increasing the rent to £850 instead of £875. It just seems like they want to make my life difficult here and force me to move out myself instead of them triggering the process which would be longer I guess. I suspect they want me to move out for some reason, maybe they want to sell which would explain why they are not interested in any improvements but just the basic maintenance as otherwise I don't know how they can keep increasing the rent without making any improvements in the property.

                          I guess I would just have to accept whatever increase they are proposing and plan to move out as soon as possible as there is no point arguing about things now if they plan to do it every year in any case.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Who is named as the landlord on your tenancy agreement?
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                              Who is named as the landlord on your tenancy agreement?
                              Its the agent details in the landlord section but every time I have reported any maintenance issues or anything else the agents have told me that they would check with the landlord and come back to me. Even with the section 13 notice, the email from the agents said the landlord has instructed them to issue this notice so I thought it was the owner who was making these decisions but apparently not.

                              Comment

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