Rent rise with short notice period

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    Rent rise with short notice period

    Hi,

    It might be presumptious for me to post in LandlordZone as a tenant, but I need some advice for my situation and wondered if any of you could help.

    I rent the house more than one year ago, and the AST agreement expired in August last year. About two days ago the landlord sent an email to me saying he would increase the rent by 30 pounds from August onwards.

    I think it's not fair that he gave me such a short notice. It's kindof forcing me to accept it immediately. I also consulted the agency from which I rent this house, and they said 25 pounds rise possibly is more reasonable.

    The question is:
    1. Can I push back to ask the landlord to give me one month notice in writting?
    2. Can I propose a lower rent rise?
    3. Do I need to worry about my deposit if don't agree with the proposed rent?
    4. Most importantly, would it be supported by the law to do so?

    Thanks,
    Lawrence

    #2
    The landlord cannot unilaterally impose a rent increase without sending you a formal notice under section 13 of the housing act or offering you a new AST with the increased rent. What your LL has done is not good practice.

    Out of interest, is your deposit protected?

    (There are a number of tenants who post semi-regularly on here by the way, myself included - so don't worry about that).

    Edit: Section 13 of the Housing Act can be found here: http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-sta...-1988.html#IRU

    Comment


      #3
      Tenant's queries are as welcome here as any other. None of us like to see tenants ripped off by landlords who's knowledge of the appropriate law is not up to scratch and who fail to take appropriate advice!

      Your landlord has two options to increase your rent. He can either give you two months notice under section 21 of the L/T act and offer you a new AST when this notice period expires at a new rent. If you don't accept it, you have to move on. Alternatively, and this is what your landlord has badly attempted to do here, is to increase the rent under section 13. You see, when your AST expired, it was automatically replaced by a statutory periodic tenancy under the same terms and conditions except that (i) you can leave by giving him one month's notice, (ii) he can give you at least two months notice and (iii) he can increase the rent under section 13. To do this correctly, he must give you at least one month's notice of the proposed increase and by using the correct form tell you what to do if you think that the new rent excessive. No further increase can then be made for 12 months. If you think that the increase is excessive then you are permitted to appeal to a rent tribunal. This meets and considers market rents charged for similar properties in the same area and rules accordingly.
      Warning: Regrettably, if you follow this route, there is nothing to prevent your landlord giving you two months notice and evicting you so that he can (try and) get the rent he wants from another tenant.

      Hope this helps

      P.P.
      Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Pelican eats pigeon View Post
        The landlord cannot unilaterally impose a rent increase without sending you a formal notice under section 13 of the housing act or offering you a new AST with the increased rent. What your LL has done is not good practice.

        Out of interest, is your deposit protected?

        (There are a number of tenants who post semi-regularly on here by the way, myself included - so don't worry about that).

        Edit: Section 13 of the Housing Act can be found here: http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-sta...-1988.html#IRU
        Thanks for the answer, by "not good practice", do you mean thought it's not good, it's still acceptable by the law?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
          (iii) he can increase the rent under section 13. To do this correctly, he must give you at least one month's notice ...

          First thanks for your very detailed reply, I think it's been really helpful by now And this is where I got confused after reading the ACT 1988. Maybe I misunderstood the ACT, but it reads

          "For the purpose of securing an increase in the rent under a tenancy to which this section applies, the landlord MAY serve on the tenant a notice in the prescribed form proposing a new rent to take effect at ..."

          Does that mean serving the notice is optionnal for the LL to do so? Does he MUST serve the notice with a specific period as written in the ACT?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
            Tenant's queries are as welcome here as any other. None of us like to see tenants ripped off by landlords who's knowledge of the appropriate law is not up to scratch and who fail to take appropriate advice!

            Your landlord has two options to increase your rent. He can either give you two months notice under section 21 of the L/T act and offer you a new AST when this notice period expires at a new rent. If you don't accept it, you have to move on. Alternatively, and this is what your landlord has badly attempted to do here, is to increase the rent under section 13. You see, when your AST expired, it was automatically replaced by a statutory periodic tenancy under the same terms and conditions except that (i) you can leave by giving him one month's notice, (ii) he can give you at least two months notice and (iii) he can increase the rent under section 13. To do this correctly, he must give you at least one month's notice of the proposed increase and by using the correct form tell you what to do if you think that the new rent excessive. No further increase can then be made for 12 months. If you think that the increase is excessive then you are permitted to appeal to a rent tribunal. This meets and considers market rents charged for similar properties in the same area and rules accordingly.
            Warning: Regrettably, if you follow this route, there is nothing to prevent your landlord giving you two months notice and evicting you so that he can (try and) get the rent he wants from another tenant.

            Hope this helps

            P.P.
            The highlighted bit is meant to refer to the Housing Act 1988.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by rainy14f View Post
              "For the purpose of securing an increase in the rent under a tenancy to which this section applies, the landlord MAY serve on the tenant a notice in the prescribed form proposing a new rent to take effect at ..."

              Does that mean serving the notice is optional for the LL to do so? Does he MUST serve the notice with a specific period as written in the ACT?
              L does not have to increase rent! If he wants to, however, he must use s.13 (assuming expiry of fixed term and T having statutory continuation tenancy). The alternative is to grant a new AST (= fixed term OR contractual periodic from day1), at the increased rent.

              Remember that s.13 is inapplicable:
              a. during a fixed-term AST; or
              b. even thereafter, if the AST includes its own rent alteration mechanism.

              Finally, I use "AST" above- but s.13 also applies to an SAT within the 1988 Act.
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Can I throw a possible spanner into the works here?!

                As the proposed rent increase coincides with the start date of the original AST (which expired last August), is there a chance that there is a rent increase clause built into the AST that the landlord is now acting upon, thus removing the requirement for s.13?

                Please be gentle.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Planner View Post
                  As the proposed rent increase coincides with the start date of the original AST (which expired last August), is there a chance that there is a rent increase clause built into the AST that the landlord is now acting upon?
                  But that doesn't make sense. If the original AST has already expired, how could L now seek a rent increase as at its commencement?
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                    But that doesn't make sense. If the original AST has already expired, how could L now seek a rent increase as at its commencement?
                    The Original AST could have had a clause saying rent will increase on the annual anniversary of the commencement of the AST by the RPI at the time or something along those lines. The landlord didnt act on that clause last August, but has decided to this year?

                    I thought such rent increase mechanisms where relativley common? The AST hasnt expired as such, just become periodic.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Well, I suppose tenant is the only one who can answer that question. I have never had such a clause myself.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Planner View Post
                        The Original AST...hasnt expired as such, just become periodic.
                        Well, its fixed term has expired.
                        Moreover, read s.5(2) of Act: "If an assured tenancy which is a fixed term tenancy comes to an end...then...the tenant shal be entitled to...a periodic tenancy arising by virtue of this section." The periodic tenancy is seen as different from the fixed term, innit?
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                          Well, its fixed term has expired.
                          Moreover, read s.5(2) of Act: "If an assured tenancy which is a fixed term tenancy comes to an end...then...the tenant shal be entitled to...a periodic tenancy arising by virtue of this section." The periodic tenancy is seen as different from the fixed term, innit?
                          Im not sure, I will take you word for it!

                          The terms and clauses of the fixed term remain the same in the periodic, which could include before mentioned rent increase mechanism.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Pelican eats pigeon View Post
                            Well, I suppose tenant is the only one who can answer that question. I have never had such a clause myself.
                            Execuse me for not making it clear. I just checked my AST agreement and didn't find any clause relevant to rent rise. The tenancy started early March and ended early September (I have to correct this as I said it ended in August last year). There is seperate paper from the agency stating that when the AST expires we'd be on a Statutory Periodic Tenancy.

                            May I check if I've understood your answers correctly:
                            1. In my case, the LL is required by the law to give me one month notice as wrriten in Housing Act 1988 in order to secure rent rise. Therefore I can ignore it if he just sent me an email ten days before the new period he wanted the new rent to take effect.
                            2. I can negotiate the rent with the landlord, and if we can't reach an agreement either he can give me a two month notice in order to ask me to leave or I can give him one month notice to leave.

                            If these are correct, what I think I can do is to reply his email telling him that I can't pay the rent of August as he proposed because he didn't serve the notice properly (so I still pay the rent as was). If he gives me a notice properly it would take effect in September.

                            I actually am not really concerned about how he servered the notice. But it makes me feel very bad that he only gave me 10 days notice before the new rent takes effect.

                            Any opinion?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yes. Section 13 demands a Notice in the prescribed form AND (for monthly rent) at least one month's advance Notice before new rent applies.
                              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                              Comment

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