Advice for tenant asked for big rent rise

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    Advice for tenant asked for big rent rise

    I’m a tenant facing a sharp rent increase and in need of advice.

    I have a good landlord who agreed to a rent reduction last year because of ongoing maintenance issues and lower market values. However, I can only communicate with them through an agency.

    Approaching the end of my second annual tenancy agreement, I’d like to stay but market value seems to have risen far beyond my current rent.

    Ten days before the end of the agreement, the agent has got in touch for the first time about renewing. They quoted their assessment of the average market value for my property, which is about 40% more than I’m paying. As it is a big jump and as the landlord is keen to keep me, they said they are open to a conversation about the rent, looking at getting as close as possible to the market rate. The landlord wants to sign another annual agreement.

    It's been quite a shock, and the agent is now saying if it's not resolved in the next two days the property will be put back on the market, and I’ll be served two months’ notice to vacate.

    My tenancy agreement has a clause on rent review, shown below, which states that it should be in line with the RPI. Especially considering my rent was reduced last year, I’d be prepared to accept an increase above RPI, but couldn’t afford the full increase the agent is asking for.

    Can I (or should I) insist the process for rent review in the contract is followed? Or would it be better to approach the negotiation another way (e.g. suggest meeting in the middle?) I’d like to get an outcome both the landlord and I feel happy with, but I am not inclined to trust the agent.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    From the tenancy agreement:
    “Rent review: It is agreed that the rent as defined in this Agreement will be reviewed on the anniversary of this Tenancy and upon each subsequent anniversary in line with the change in the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for the previous 12 months and the rent varied accordingly either by way of an upward or downward adjustment.”

    #2
    The quote you gave from the contract does not give a maximum %%, it just say '' in line '', that could mean it goes up a little or a lot..... it seems a bit vague. In the end if this property has become too expensive for you then in time you may have to move to somewhere cheaper (if they exist !!). The market, as i am sure you know, if going through a change like i have never seen, i think all tenants had better get ready for a rough ride. All the best.

    Comment


      #3
      I’d propose an increase in line with the contract term.
      And don’t sign a new agreement, just let the current agreement roll into a periodic tenancy.
      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
        The S21 threat is just that - no LL wants to go through that process to evict a good tenant and it maybe the agent who is behind this. However, market rents have shot up over the last year. I think you should try to negotiate.

        Your LL seems decent, having given you a rent reduction last year. Assuming the maintenance issues have been resolved, I would consider what I think is reasonable, remembering to factor the rent reduction back in, and offer to pay that. A 40% increase is unreasonable in my view and I think the agent is using that figure to try scare you into accepting a big rent increase.

        If you give us some actual figures & details we could suggest what we believe is reasonable.

        Comment


          #5
          Spend £3 with gov.uk land registry and get deeds which will get owner name and address then communicate directly
          Agree with above advice

          Agent probably wants new agreement signed so they charge landlord fees.
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
            Spend £3 with gov.uk land registry and get deeds which will get owner name and address then communicate directly
            I can't tell you how hacked off I would be if one of my tenants did that.

            The agreement has a price variation clause in it, the landlord and tenant have both agreed to 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
              You don't need to get the details from the Land Registry. The tenant can request, in writing, the letting agency to supply the landlord's contact details citing the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. I'm not sure how wise that would be if it could potentially hack off the landlord although I do wonder how much some landlords know about what their letting agencies get up to on their behalf.

              Renterthedragon the Section 21 notice does not give you 2 months to vacate. The notice is how long the landlord has to wait before taking the matter to court, not when you have to leave. Note that it is the landlord who has to take you to court, not the letting agency.

              If you could give us some real figures to work with that would be helpful. I think jpkeates advice of proposing an increase in line with the clause in your existing tenancy agreement and then letting the tenancy become periodic is sound because that's the increase the landlord has already agreed to use.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks all for the advice and suggestions.

                A few people said it would be helpful to get an idea of the prices involved, and I can provide these:

                - First annual tenancy: £1500 pcm
                - Second annual tenancy: £1300 pcm
                - For the third year, the agent says the landlord is trying to get as close as possible to £1800 ppm

                Thanks again - this forum is a really helpful place.

                Comment


                  #9
                  RPI is about 7.5% for last year (you'd need to find a source you and the landlord agree on).
                  It depends on how the rent was reduced whether the start point is £1500 or £1300 pcm.

                  If it's £1500, the new rent is going to be around £1612.50 pcm.
                  Which is what I'd offer if that's the start point.
                  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


                    #10
                    According to the ONS the RPI for the past 12 months is a 13.1% so at £1300 that would mean an increase of almost back to where you were for the first fixed term, and at £1500 that would take you to just shy of £1700pcm. Is a rent of between £1500pcm and £1700pcm affordable for you?

                    Has the landlord/letting agency got any idea what figure they'd be using for RPI?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I suspect the talk of RPI is redundant and what the agent is saying is that if the tenant doesn't sign a new agreement at an agreed higher rent, they will be served a s21 notice.

                      Sorry Renterthedragon, but rents have gone up everywhere and you and many other tenants have been caught by it. I suggest you decide what you can afford and offer it. If they say no then you will have to look for something cheaper. Remember that with demand so high and supply so low, your reputation as a tenant is important.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        First of all you don't need to sign any renewal tenancy if you don't want it, the original tenancy will go periodic and the terms will be carried over each month automatically.

                        I would look at the area, of similar properties currently in the market, if they are above or below your new rent. If they are below, then consider moving (but remember there are other factors to consider, the location, the condition of the property, the responsiveness of the LL to repairs etc). If they are above your new rent, then you need to consider if you can afford to live and still have a quality of life, it's important, and not to get into debt, you may need to downsize to a more financial affordable property, if that means a property with 1 less bedroom or going into shared accommodation. Reality is that the cost of living is rising, and people need to adjust their life accordingly, from heating the whole house to heating just one room.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If I was an agent, regardless of the RPI, the first thing I would do is check your income that you were on when you applied for the property, assuming there was no promotions or increase in salary, I would then see if you could afford the new rent, this is a simple affordability check, it would be irresponsible to provide a property which the T couldn't not service long term.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If the property is now in good condition then you might suggest there should have been a £100 pcm rent rise for the first year - when you got a reduction - and a further £100 pcm this year, so £1700. If market rate is around £1800 then I would think this reasonable.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                              I can't tell you how hacked off I would be if one of my tenants did that.

                              The agreement has a price variation clause in it, the landlord and tenant have both agreed to it,
                              Can't agree more: Such information (landlord, address..) should be available for free, 24/7, not requiring £3 spend.

                              As in Scotland from the landlord register (I've had prospective tenants telling me they'd checked me out before viewing .. fair enough.)

                              But in England such publicly available information is just that: Publicly available from land registry.
                              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

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