Rent increase/ section 13 notice

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    Rent increase/ section 13 notice

    Hello,
    After 3 months into my periodic tenancy that does not have a rent review clause, my landlord verbally told me I would need to pay more. Given it was during covid/lockdowns I didnt have a choice but to pay.

    However, a year later I have received a letter to say that are increasing the rent again 'as they have not increased the rent since the start of my tenancy' which they have, and now that its been 18months, they can review my rent.

    After checking Gov website and citizens advice, they actually should not have increased my rent in the first 12 months and thereafter they can only do it by serving a section 13 notice (only once a year).

    My question is, can I file a complaint regarding the first increase as they basically said pay or leave...and secondly, can they now increase my rent just by sending a typed out letter?

    #2
    Your post is unclear. Do you mean the rent increase took effect during the initial fixed term? For what period was the fixed term?

    Comment


      #3
      If your periodic tenancy followed a fixed term and the rent wasn't increased after the fixed term then the LL was perfectly entitled to increase the rent 3 months into the periodic tenancy. The LL can then increase the rent again 12 months after the first rent rise.

      Comment


        #4
        It is up to you if you agree or accept an increase or not. An informal increase can happen anytime (you can decline to pay). an s13 notice increase only after 12 months , and there is an appeal process to tribunal if you disagree.

        Think complaint only useful to person who decided to pay increase.

        Nothing stopping you proposing a decrease in rent, or a smaller or no increase.

        A private landlord has no power to enforce a rent increase on their own.(nor a tenant to enforce a rent decrease)
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by Mtentant88 View Post
          However, a year later I have received a letter to say that are increasing the rent again 'as they have not increased the rent since the start of my tenancy' which they have, and now that its been 18months, they can review my rent.
          While the first statement is factually incorrect, it doesn't make any practical difference - other than allowing you to respond that they're wrong.

          After checking Gov website and citizens advice, they actually should not have increased my rent in the first 12 months and thereafter they can only do it by serving a section 13 notice (only once a year).
          Neither of those statements is accurate.
          The landlord can't increase your rent within the fixed term, unless there's a mechanism to do so in the tenancy agreement (which would be very rare) and one of the ways of increasing the rent is a section 13 notice, it's possible to agree it with you and for your agreement to be binding. A section 13 notice allows a landlord to impose an increase without the tenant's agreement (and has an appeal process).

          My question is, can I file a complaint regarding the first increase as they basically said pay or leave...and secondly, can they now increase my rent just by sending a typed out letter?
          I don't think you have any complaint about the first increase, because there was nothing wrong with what the landlord (or you) did, the landlord wanted more rent and you agreed (albeit reluctantly) to pay it and did.

          They can't increase the rent by sending out a letter unless you agree to it. They can increase the rent by sending a section13 notice instead.

          The more relevant point might be to ask why they're increasing the rent in the first 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


            #6
            Thank you everyone.

            There was no fixed term, just a monthly rolling contract. So does this mean they can or cannot increase the rent in the first year?

            The first year would have been up until 1st June 2021 (they 1st increased in september 2020).

            They now wish to increase again. Does the once a year mean they cannot until 1st june 2022 (when it has been 2 years?

            Any advice would be greatful.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Mtentant88 View Post
              There was no fixed term, just a monthly rolling contract. So does this mean they can or cannot increase the rent in the first year?
              If there's no fixed term, they can increase the rent (with your agreement) at any point and as many times as they want.
              They can't use a section 13 notice to increase the rent in the first year.

              The first year would have been up until 1st June 2021 (they 1st increased in september 2020).
              Not relevant unless a section 13 notice was used to increase the rent.

              They now wish to increase again. Does the once a year mean they cannot until 1st june 2022 (when it has been 2 years?
              The only restriction on increasing the rent limiting it to once a year is if the landlord uses section 13 notices, which are limited to once a year and after the first 12 months only.
              As that process hasn't been used previously, there is no limitation currently.



              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


                #8
                OK, so if you are correct in saying there is no limit currently as they have never used a section 13 notice previoisly, and I refuse the rent increase (due to HONESTLY not being able to afford it). What happens then?

                Comment


                  #9
                  You fall into rent arrears. Actions might include a s21 notice, money claim for a CCJ and/or s8 notice. Have you tried negotiating with the landlord?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Mtentant88 View Post
                    I refuse the rent increase (due to HONESTLY not being able to afford it). What happens then?
                    They will probably serve you with notice and you will have to leave. Sorry you got bounced into paying an increase so early in the tenancy, but you should take a look at the local housing market and see whether other places are any cheaper before deciding.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Mtentant88 View Post
                      OK, so if you are correct in saying there is no limit currently as they have never used a section 13 notice previoisly, and I refuse the rent increase (due to HONESTLY not being able to afford it). What happens then?
                      Assuming the notice is valid, the rent goes up, and you begin to underpay each month.

                      You fall into arrears, collection of which can be enforced legally, because you owe the money you haven’t paid.

                      Thats not really the right question, though.
                      Essentially, you’re asking, what if I can no longer afford to live in my current home?
                      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


                        #12
                        Landlord was wrong to increase it in the first year. Sounds like he tried his luck and you unfortunately agreed with it. I would have told him where to go. Check other prices for your area and hopefully choose a less greedy one, if they exist

                        Comment

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