Tenant ignoring me after issue of form 4 rent increase

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    Tenant ignoring me after issue of form 4 rent increase

    When I phoned my long term tenant in June and explained that I had to put his rent up (for the first time in almost 10 years), after some protest we agreed the new rent.

    A month later he sent me a text, saying he was having sleepless nights about this because he felt the increase was too much of a jump, so he was prepared to pay x instead. I remember how hard he haggled over the rent when he first moved in - he is of course aware that he has been paying well below the norm until now and also that the new rent is probably still below market value. I responded to his text explaining that we had already agreed the new rent which was imminent, but then conceded to a lower figure than had been agreed, as he had been a great tenant. I added that he would receive a S.13 as confirmation of this, which was duly sent with proof of postage shortly afterwards.

    He never replied to my text, so I sent an email detailing our initial phone call, my subsequent email confirmation of our agreement, his change of mind text message a month later, my text message with the revised offer and confirmation that I had sent him a S.13 with proof of postage. He has not responded to my texts or emails since.

    I have never had serious problems with tenants, probably because I am a very conscientious landlord, but this has left a sour taste in my mouth and now I feel this guy is cheating me. I expect he will see if a tribunal grants him a lower rent and in the meantime start looking for another property. If it takes around 10 weeks for the case to go to a tribunal, then our relationship will probably suffer more and in any case, I don't see any point in letting him stay on now while I subsidise his rent.

    So should I serve a S.21 now, before receiving an 'improvement notice' or something else? Any sage suggestions would be apprecated.

    #2
    What is there to respond to? You issued the tenant with a Section 13 notice and then went on to text him and then email about the same Section 13 notice which seems like overkill to me. Is he paying the increased rent?

    Comment


      #3
      You seem reasonable and rational but he does not.i would issue him with S21 notice and get a new tenant willing and happy to pay the market rate.

      Comment


        #4
        Never nice when your generosity over many years is abused, but there are many people currently in this boat!

        Looks like you've done the required admin to bring the rent level up to date, just wait for the first day of the increased rent and see what he does. If it's one penny short or one day late, issue Section 21 immediately so it looks like he's brought it on himself.

        If a tenant bears a continued grudge against a landlord putting a roof over their head then it's best they go their separate ways - maybe it's best this happens now before any draconian laws come in making him your permanent tenant with rent enforced below the correct rate.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post
          What is there to respond to? You issued the tenant with a Section 13 notice and then went on to text him and then email about the same Section 13 notice which seems like overkill to me. Is he paying the increased rent?
          He has already defaulted on the original agreement and now he won't acknowlwdge receipt of the S.13 notice. I have sent messages asking him to contact me, but have heard nothing. Surely I can expect a reasonable tenant to at least talk to me? This behavior is devious and I suspect he is looking to exploit loopholes - perhaps by trumping up an improvement notice or something to prevent me from getting him out.

          Comment


            #6
            Iirc he's not required to acknowledge s13 notice. Or talk to you
            if he wishes to dispute increase s13 notice tells him how, see what happens.

            Simply issue s8 for arrears as soon as at least 1p is underpaid for at least one day and s21.

            Then if still unhappy evict.
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by JBJ01 View Post
              wait for the first day of the increased rent and see what he does. If it's one penny short or one day late, issue Section 21 immediately so it looks like he's brought it on himself.
              The first day of the increase has now moved on another month to September and a S.21 served after that would expire in December.

              I have until this Sunday to serve a S.21 to expire in October, which would give me a fair chance to find new tenants before Christmas and be done with it.

              Comment


                #8
                You do know Thatcher's 1988 Housing Act made clear s21 does not end tenancy nor compel tenant to leave?


                Before Xmas? Easter more like.

                You'll be providing a full honest reference?
                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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  Iirc he's not required to acknowledge s13 notice. Or talk to you
                  if he wishes to dispute increase s13 notice tells him how, see what happens.

                  Simply issue s8 for arrears as soon as at least 1p is underpaid for at least one day and s21.

                  Then if still unhappy evict.
                  I'm not required to do a lot of the things I do out of kindness for tenants, but it is usually appreciated and makes for a good tenant/landlord relationship. It seems like a bad idea to keep a tenant who won't talk to me.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks for all the suggestions - I'm out for the day now, but will come back later.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by bagus View Post

                      ............. as he had been a great tenant.

                      ...............I don't see any point in letting him stay on now while I subsidise his rent.
                      He MAY have been a great tenant at sometime in the distant past, he is not one now, he has not had a rent increase in 10 years !!! What planet is this guy on, get rid of him asap, S21 as soon as you can and let me step into the current rental world blinking with wonder (and horror) at what is available (not much) and what he will now have to pay (a kings ransom).

                      He is totally taking the p***

                      Your kindness is being seen as weakness and you need to stop it right now, or he will just do it more.

                      Think very carefully how you would have dealt with this chap without s21 ? Not well i bet. You know he has to go. No more nice emails, just a fully legal s21 on his mat, then prepare for a long battle in court.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'd try a slightly different tack.
                        I'd write a letter (old school, envelope and stamp) and point out very politely that if the new rent is not paid, your next step will be to serve notice.
                        You don't want to do this, 10 year tenancy, appreciate it's not great but it's still not full market rate etc etc.

                        There is no further discussion, apologies if he is feeling stressed about the new rent, but feel that clarity about the next steps is important so that further stress can be avoided.

                        Ask for the arrears which currently stand at £xxx.

                        Go through it carefully and remove anything that is emotionally charged or looks threatening or negative - just the basic facts.

                        If there's no change in the situation after a couple of weeks, serve notice (having checked that it's going to be valid, which isn't that easy with a 10 year old 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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by bagus View Post

                          I'm not required to do a lot of the things I do out of kindness for tenants, but it is usually appreciated and makes for a good tenant/landlord relationship.
                          I have finally learnt (the hard way) that kindness is a one way street. No matter how good the tenant relationship or how under market the rent is, your kindness will be thrown back in your face once you do something that the tenant doesn't like (e.g. rent increase). It is understandable. They have had it so good for so long that they just can't bear to let it go, so start acting out. Listen to Hudson01, kindness is indeed seen as a sign of weakness. Stop the kindness now and replace it with firm but fair professionalism. I am trying to change my ways too, not easy I appreciate.
                          assume everything I write is preceded by IMHO...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by bagus View Post

                            He has already defaulted on the original agreement and now he won't acknowlwdge receipt of the S.13 notice. I have sent messages asking him to contact me, but have heard nothing. Surely I can expect a reasonable tenant to at least talk to me? This behavior is devious and I suspect he is looking to exploit loopholes - perhaps by trumping up an improvement notice or something to prevent me from getting him out.
                            As Artful says the tenant is not required to acknowledge receipt of the Section 13 nor is he required to respond to your emails or text messages.

                            I don’t think the behaviour sounds devious it is more likely that the tenant is annoyed that you are increasing the rent, which is your right, at a time when the cost of everything else is also increasing and just doesn’t feel like talking to you. You could have one last roll of the dice as suggested by jpkeates since you attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

                            You are not the tenant’s friend, this is a business transaction, and the tenant is your customer. If you feel the time has come to end this business relationship then use one of the avenues open to you to start the eviction process.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The day after the higher rent is due, if it is not paid issue S21, and also a MCOL for recovery of the debt however small it is.

                              And next time keep increasing rents all the time as costs of compliance increase - don't wait 10 years.

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