Too frequent rent increases

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  • Too frequent rent increases

    Hi all

    A friend has been renting an apartment for just over 18 months and has signed a new fixed term AST every 6 months. She is currently 2 months into her most recent AST. The rent has increased with each new contract. Am I correct in thinking that the rent can only increase once every 12 months? If so what, if any, action can she take?

    Thanks
    Bertles

  • #2
    A rental amount is reached by way of agreement, a landlord proposes a new rent a tenant accepts it. If a landlord says the new rent is going to be x pounds the tenant is well within their rights to protest it. Do some research find out what an average market rent is.
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bertles View Post
      A friend has been renting an apartment for just over 18 months and has signed a new fixed term AST every 6 months. She is currently 2 months into her most recent AST. The rent has increased with each new contract. Am I correct in thinking that the rent can only increase once every 12 months? If so what, if any, action can she take?
      MrJohnnyB is correct. Your reference to 'no more than one increase per year' would be true if L were using the procedure in s.13 of the Housing Act 1988 (increases during statutory periodic continuation tenancy) but not where- as here- a new AST is granted every six months.
      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


      • #4
        Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
        A rental amount is reached by way of agreement, a landlord proposes a new rent a tenant accepts it. If a landlord says the new rent is going to be x pounds the tenant is well within their rights to protest it. Do some research find out what an average market rent is.
        I know she was silly to agree to it, but I think she was worried about being asked to leave. She is now paying over the market value, to the tune of about £100 per month, and as she has been in the place for longer than 6 months I believe she no right of appeal at the Rent Assessment Comittee. The fact is that she wants to ask her landlord to reduce the rent. If the last increase couldn't lawfully be put in place in the first place (on the grounds that the rent can only be increased once every 12 months) is she within her rights to refuse to pay it? (I can't see that she is, but I can't see how he is within his rights to increase the rent either!)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
          MrJohnnyB is correct. Your reference to 'no more than one increase per year' would be true if L were using the procedure in s.13 of the Housing Act 1988 (increases during statutory periodic continuation tenancy) but not where- as here- a new AST is granted every six months.
          Ho hum. Looks like she'll just have to lump it then. Thanks for your advice chaps.

          Comment


          • #6
            When does her AST come up for renewal? Does her landlord have an agent acting for them or does she deal direct with the landlord.

            Try to remember that if she is paying £100 over the odds now to make sure she renegotiates at a new market level when its being renewed, she is not bound to stay at the end of an agreement, try also to remember that landlords are out to make money, the vast majority of landlords understand its better to have a property fully let for the whole time and charge a bit less than risk a property being empty for a few months.
            [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

            Comment


            • #7
              She signed on 01/11/08, so not up for renewal until 30/04/09. She deals directly with the landlord. I'll advise her to look around at similar properties before signing up to anything again - hopefully he's a sensible man and would rather keep a decent tenant in at a reasonable rent rather than chase a higher rent with unknown tenants.

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              • #8
                Her landlord will first get wind of her intention when he receives a request for a reference from her potential new landlord. She may in anycase find a better property for less rent than she is paying now out there and will want to move anyway.

                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


                • #9
                  There can be an application to the RAC as it's in the first 6 months of the (new) tenancy. I am sure that evidence of such increases would be in the tenant's favour if the landlord is challenged. The RAC have the power to back-date any such revised amount too to the commencement of the tenancy!
                  The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                    There can be an application to the RAC as it's in the first 6 months of the (new) tenancy.
                    Wrong, as s.22(2)(aa) [inserted by 1996 Act] makes clear- see underlined text below.

                    Reference of excessive rents to rent assessment committee.

                    (1) Subject to section 23 and subsection (2) below, the tenant under an assured shorthold tenancy may make an application in the prescribed form to a rent assessment committee for a determination of the rent which, in the committees opinion, the landlord might reasonably be expected to obtain under the assured shorthold tenancy.

                    (2) No application may be made under this section if:
                    (a) the rent payable under the tenancy is a rent previously determined under this section;
                    (aa) the tenancy is one to which section 19A above applies and more than six months have elapsed since the beginning of the tenancy or, in the case of a replacement tenancy, since the beginning of the original tenancy; or
                    (b) the tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy falling within subsection (4) of section 20 above (and, accordingly, is one in respect of which notice need not have been served as mentioned in subsection (2) of that section).
                    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


                    • #11
                      Thank you for the correction, but was wondering if the interpretation of a replacement tenancy was one on the same terms as the original, i.e. at no increase in rent.
                      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                        Thank you for the correction, but was wondering if the interpretation of a replacement tenancy was one on the same terms as the original, i.e. at no increase in rent.
                        See definition of a 'replacement tenancy' in s.21(7)- below- which applies to s.22 too [by s.22(6)]. The rent change makes no difference.

                        21(6)
                        In subsection (5)(b) above, the reference to the original tenancy is:
                        (a) where the replacement tenancy came into being on the coming to an end of a tenancy which was not a replacement tenancy, to the immediately preceding tenancy, and
                        (b) where there have been successive replacement tenancies, to the tenancy immediately preceding the first in the succession of replacement tenancies.


                        21(7)
                        For the purposes of this section, a replacement tenancy is a tenancy:
                        (a) which comes into being on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy, and
                        (b) under which, on its coming into being:
                        (i) the landlord and tenant are the same as under the earlier tenancy as at its coming to an end, and
                        (ii) the premises let are the same or substantially the same as those let under the earlier tenancy as at that time.

                        22(6)
                        In subsection (2)(aa) above*, the references to the original tenancy and to a replacement tenancy shall be construed in accordance with subsections (6) and (7) respectively of section 21 above.

                        *- i.e. s.22(2)(aa) as inserted by 1996 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


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=jeffrey;114761]
                          21(6)
                          In subsection (5)(b) above, the reference to the original tenancy is:
                          (a) where the replacement tenancy came into being on the coming to an end of a tenancy which was not a replacement tenancy, to the immediately preceding tenancy, and
                          (b) where there have been successive replacement tenancies, to the tenancy immediately preceding the first in the succession of replacement tenancies.


                          21(7)
                          For the purposes of this section, a replacement tenancy is a tenancy:
                          (a) which comes into being on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy, and
                          (b) under which, on its coming into being:
                          (i) the landlord and tenant are the same as under the earlier tenancy as at its coming to an end, and
                          (ii) the premises let are the same or substantially the same as those let under the earlier tenancy as at that time.

                          22(6)
                          In subsection (2)(aa) above*, the references to the original tenancy and to a replacement tenancy shall be construed in accordance with subsections (6) and (7) respectively of section 21 above.
                          QUOTE]

                          This could be quite effective as a poem, if intoned mesmerically, like a Gregorian chant.
                          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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