Rent reduction- how to document this?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rent reduction- how to document this?

    ok, i've never posted on a forum like this before, so i may babble.... sorry!

    I moved into my current property on the 27th Feb 2009, with my partner and our 15 month old son.
    The Previous tennants left on the 20th, but the landlord asked us if we would like to move in straight away, or give them a week to clean it- so we opted for the 27th as the previous tennants were 3 teenage boys- messy ones.

    when we arrived at the property to get the keys on the 27th, it was an absolute mess.
    *cream carpets were almost black, has sick, coffee, food stains all over them
    *there were nails hangin out of the carpet on the stairs (carpet was also loose)
    *there was mould growing on the bathroom ceiling
    *the oven smoked when i first used it as it had an inch thick layer of fat, old food etc on it
    *Damp patches in the living room

    after we'd moved all our stuff in, we noticed the boiler was faulty when we tried to put the heating on- the pressure valve didnt work, so our heating was staying on for half hour tops, and the water was flooding out of the pipe at the back of the house.
    The fire was faulty too as the spark ignition doesnt work.

    the carpets got replaced, as they were really bad.

    we contacted the landlords P.A (thats who we deal with) who said she'd send a boiler man out.

    To cut a long story short, she sent a boiler man out to us who kept telling us he needed different parts etc, kept going away and coming back over a period of 3 weeks.
    he'd tell us he was turning up at certain times, but never did, then one time, he called me when i was in bed telling me he was stood at my back door!
    Eventually, he said we needed a new boiler, and said he'd contact the landlord then get back to us when he could fit it- a week and a half later, i was sick of waiting.

    so i called the landlord's P.A, who said she thought it was sorted, and she'd get another boiler man out to see us, as she was under the impression that the previous boiler man was ripping her off- he'd advised her that 3 of the properties she deals with needed new boilers.

    so this morning, we've had a new boiler man out to see us, who said we need a part for the boiler, n a part for the fire, n they'l take a few days, then someone should come fit them.

    do i have the right to ask for a rent reduction? its due out tomorrow, but i just feel like i've been messed around something rotten.

    We're having to boil the kettle numerous amounts of time to wash up, get a bath etc, and with a 15 month old baby, its been a nightmare.
    also with single glazed windows, its freezing in the house with no heating!

    Please help me, i dont know what to do!

  • #2
    Some issues to consider (and probably a lot more!):-
    1. If it's a gas boiler have you been given a copy of the Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate? If not your landord is committing a criminal offence and should be immediately reported to the local EHO. The boiler should also be serviced and might not have been
    2. Excuses from the landlord for lack of heating, or hot water not working is their problem not yours (spare parts delay is not a valid excuse), so you should definitely ask for a rent reduction, and compensation; I would be very reluctant to pay any more rent until all these issues have been rectified, but you would need to notify the landord of your intention to do so if you go this route.
    3. Have you paid a deposit and if so has it been registered within one of the tenancy deposit schemes?
    4. Your landlord appears to be dealing with this in a very amateurish manner.
    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


    • #3
      Pinkfrost, do you mean a rent reduction (i.e. for the duration of the tenancy) or a one-off rent rebate (by way of compensation)?

      You stand virtually no chance of achieving the former; slightly more, of achieving the latter.
      '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

      Comment


      • #4
        As a Landlord and also a tenant I am disgusted at your treatment. So lets deal in the real world. Of course you withhold rent until everything is sorted out.

        There has to be a level of honesty on your part however. Are you paying the rent at the upper, middle, lower or very cheap end of the market for your property? If you are at the cheap end you should make more comprimises or move on to a much nicer, effectively run property and pay the premium.

        As an example I live in house paying 30% below current market rent. However it is single glazed, has a very dated kitchen and bathrooms, inefficient boiler and cheap carpet. The landlord is completely disinterested however the house suits my needs and is very good value even with higher fuel costs, so I am happy and leave my landlord alone....

        Comment


        • #5
          BTW talking about boilers and any other gas appliances in the property are they properly serviced and safety checked (you will have the current safety certificate and if you do check the engineer on the form is registered with CORGI).

          DO NOT mess about with your families safety. People die and landlords and gas installers go to Prison for accidents that arise out of faulty appliances.

          Comment


          • #6
            Renewal and rent reduction questions

            Hi,
            I am only a landlord since last August so not familiar with how this should work. Any help would be apprciated.
            We used a letting agent to find our tenants but we are managing the property ourselves. I recently received a letter from the agents to ask did we want to renew the lease this coming August, with the choice of a 6 or 12 month lease. After looking at the current rental prices on the same street, I realise our tenants could easily pay about £100 less a month by moving, but they are good tenants and I'm keen to keep them. Therefore, I'd like to give them a reduction of £100 a month. My first question is, the original lease says review reviews upwards only (but I assume that is only to protect me) but are we constained by that? If I lower the rent, would I, in effect, be breaking the lease?
            I would like to offer this to the tenants soon, before they start looking at other properties.

            Also, I would be happy for the tenants to continue to rent on a month-by-month basis, after the initial lease is up in August, instead of signing a new long lease. Is this wise? And if so, what are the implications of the agent's renewal fee? If its a percentage of the years rent, how would it work in this case?
            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              It's good to know that you appreciate these tenants. I do not think you should volunteer to reduce the rent, unless the tenant makes such a request.

              About six/eight weeks prior to the end of this tenancy agreement, phone the tenant and ask if they have plans to stay. Make it clear that you want them to stay, if that's still the case in two/three months' time.

              If you and the tenant decide not to sign a further agreement, simply let the existing agreement lapse into a statutory periodic tenancy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi

                You have the choice of either granting a new AST, which will give the tenant a further period of security (6 months minimum) or varying the existing agreement, which is best done by deed (at least from the tenant's point of view).

                Be careful though; if there are arrears at the time that you grant a new tenancy then those arrears will become a "former tenant" debt and so cannot be used as a ground for possession in relation to the new tenancy (unless you include a rather unusual and slightly technical clause in the new tenancy agreement making the repayment of any former arrears a condition of the new agreement).

                The deed option will not affect the arrears position, but my personal view would be that before you embark on either option, insist on the arrears being cleared; if you don't do so at this stage you will be foregoing a key bargaining position.

                Good luck

                Preston

                Comment


                • #9
                  The easiest way to increase rent without starting a new tenancy is by serving a section 13 notice. I can't see why there would be a problem in using this to serve a rent reduction.

                  Out of interest, why would you want to serve a rent reduction with a tenant in arrears? Surely the incentive to get the arrears cleared is to wait.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Darian
                    Have the agreement amended on back of it with the new rent amount. That will suffice for u. No need to go for new agreements.

                    No, this is not a good idea. Use a deed, as Preston suggests.

                    Supsect above poster (#5) is spamming his signature strip.
                    '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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd suggest that the best way forward would be;

                      1. The present AST to be ended by mutual agreement - a letter to this effect signed by both LL and T would suffice.
                      2. The tenant pays off all arrears
                      3. A new AST is drawn up incorporating the reduced rent provision. If you do this yourself the cost is very little

                      If the tenant can't go along with this, then you're better without him.
                      However, the incentive of a fresh start and a reduced rent might induce him to pull out all the stops and clear the debt, plus of course paying one month's rent in advance on the new tenancy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by silvercar View Post
                        The easiest way to increase rent without starting a new tenancy is by serving a section 13 notice. I can't see why there would be a problem in using this to serve a rent reduction.
                        Wrong, because s.13:
                        a. deals with rent increase only; and
                        b. operates only once the fixed term has expired, not during it.
                        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
                          Wrong, because s.13:
                          a. deals with rent increase only; and
                          b. operates only once the fixed term has expired, not during it.
                          On (b) I thought that the intial term had expired. Apologies for reading that wrong. Interesting that the "reward" for being in rent arrears is a rent reduction - should all tenants take note of this?

                          On (a) a rent increase of a negative amount would be a rent reduction.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by silvercar View Post
                            On (a) a rent increase of a negative amount would be a rent reduction.
                            Eh? Are you on medication? Section 13 refers to 'increase' [meaning upwards only], not 'variation' [meaning upwards or downwards].
                            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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rigsby99
                              What would be the best mechanism to instigate a rent reduction. Just a letter or verbal agreement?
                              Neither of the above. The problem is contractual; each (a letter or an oral Agreement) would be unenforceable, as would even a merely written Agreement, for lack of contractual consideration [look it up on LZ if you don't understand the concept].

                              The only sure ways to reduce rent are:
                              a. new Agreement at reduced rent; or
                              b. Deed of Variation (because anything embodied in a Deed circumvents the 'lack of contractual consideration' problem).
                              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

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              • Mice in the flat - what to do?
                                JP23
                                We have had mice for a while now. There's only one or two that we see (we're not overrun) but still, they've left urine stains in our cupboard and behind the skirting it's ridiculously filthy and soiled.

                                Are we legally able to pay for a cleaner then subtract it from our rent next month...
                                26-07-2017, 06:02 AM
                              • Freeholder Scaffolding Over My Flat
                                Jcg76
                                I have a leasehold studio flat with a garden in London that I rent out to tenants.
                                Recently, the freeholder gave me three days notice that he was extending part of the building my flat is joined to and he would need to put scaffolding on my flat roof and in my garden. I immediately objected saying...
                                24-07-2017, 21:20 PM
                              • Reply to Freeholder Scaffolding Over My Flat
                                Jcg76
                                Are you effectively saying it is standard for a freeholder to have access to build?
                                I have looked at the lease, can anyone advise on someone that make the lease clear to me?...
                                26-07-2017, 06:01 AM
                              • Tenant application form
                                Elum
                                Hi all!

                                So we are just about to put our flat on the market to rent is there anywhere we can get a ODF application form that we can email to any prospective tenants?

                                Thanks in advance,

                                Liam.
                                25-07-2017, 20:14 PM
                              • Reply to Tenant application form
                                AndrewDod
                                You really need two forms.
                                a) A simple one for first-pass selection containing your basic questions. The point of this one is to help you decide if you are going to waste any time at all (and the tenant's time), even on a viewing.
                                b) A much more complicated one (have you ever failed to leave...
                                25-07-2017, 23:54 PM
                              • Reply to Freeholder Scaffolding Over My Flat
                                leaseholder64
                                I would expect any competent solicitor to have drafted the lease to give as many rights of access for building and repair as the freeholder was likely to want. You'd need to look at the lease to know.
                                25-07-2017, 22:57 PM
                              • Non- protected deposit, and disputes
                                Stybdmy
                                Q1 – Where is the rented property located? England

                                Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this? Multiple tenants (a couple) - one tenancy agreement

                                Q3 – What date did current TA start 01/11/2016

                                Q4 – How long was initial fixed term 6 months
                                ...
                                24-07-2017, 12:25 PM
                              • Reply to Non- protected deposit, and disputes
                                KTC
                                If by that you meant that an application have been made for voluntary striking off the company from the register, then you need to contact Companies House to object to it on the grounds that 1) it has traded or otherwise carried on business within the last 3 months 2) that you are a creditor and that...
                                25-07-2017, 22:55 PM
                              • Burglary Damage - Who Pays?
                                Pb21
                                Our rented flat was broken into, in the process the Yale lock was broken and cost £100 to repair. The landlord is refusing to pay this on the basis we didn’t also lock the door with the mortice lock. We didn’t use the mortice lock as it wasn’t working although the landlord did not know this....
                                25-07-2017, 11:40 AM
                              • Reply to Burglary Damage - Who Pays?
                                bergerac
                                Would the same ring true if a tree had crushed the roof? Or some non-act of God event? Surely there is a limit to where the tenants responsibility ends and the landlord's begins?...
                                25-07-2017, 22:07 PM
                              Working...
                              X