L increasing rent by 15% - Options?

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  • L increasing rent by 15% - Options?

    Hi,

    The situation is I moved into an unfurnished flat (no washing machine or fridge either) just over 6 months ago. Before agreed to move I negoitiated 12% off the rent. When I was signing the contract I note the clause about rent increases and asked the agent if the owner of the property increased rents often. The agent said "I've never know them to increase the rent". I signed happy that I had secured 6 months at this reduced rent. On Saturday I recieved a letter stating from 1/5 the rent is increasing by 15%.

    I know I am in a fairly weak position here as I am not going to move as I cannot be doing with the hassle. I also know that once I have paid the higher rent I have accepted the new rent.

    I have been a good tennant and not missed my rent at all. The only thing I think of doing is to say I cannot afford the increase and offer to meet them half way.

    Is there any other strategy open to me?

    Apologies if this comes across as wanting to have my cake and eat it.
    Last edited by eeu620; 29-03-2010, 13:48 PM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    Is the 12% reduced rent the one on the contract?

    Others may confirm this, but as far as I know, if the LL wants to increase rent he will have to make you sign a new contract for the increased rent.

    You can bet he also does not want the hassle of having to find a new tenant, with the possibility of the property being vacant for a month or more,

    therefore I think you have a reasonably strong postition from which to bargain. like you say, meet him halfway, and make him understand that you are prepared to move out to secure cheaper rent.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by eeu620 View Post
      When I was signing the contract I note the clause about rent increases and asked the agent if the owner of the property increased rents often. The agent said "I've never know them to increase the rent".
      So this is the first time, perhaps? The agent didn't make any promises so I really don't think you have any cause for complaint on that front.

      I take it you signed for a six-month contract, then, and that the increased rent applies from after that? If you weren't prepared for an increase at that point, maybe you should have negotiated a longer contract... sounds like you drove a fairly hard bargain so it's not surprising that the LL is seeking to reinstate the original rent as soon as he can?

      I think it's fair to say that rents are in general on the rise at the moment anyway, which probably wasn't the case when you signed up.

      What you do now is probably down to brinksmanship... you can try to renegotiate, whereupon the LL risks losing an apparently good tenant and having the hassle of having to find a new one, if he chooses not to agree; and likewise you have to decide whether you're prepared to quit (and you've already said here you won't, but the LL doesn't know that).

      Comment


      • #4
        What did the Rent Increase section actually say, ie. when, how often, and by how much?
        Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

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        • #5
          Worked example
          1. 'Normal' rent = £500.
          2. T negotiates 12% reduction, so it's £440.
          3. L now wants 15% increase, so it's £506- almost the same as 'normal' rent was initially.

          So it's not really an increase at all.
          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).

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          • #6
            If there is not a clause in the AST that states about a rent increase being implemented throughout the tenancy the landord has to serve you with a Section 13 Rent Increase notice and its not legally due until he has done this. He also has to give you one months notice so if he has not served you the S13 by today then he has to wait another month.

            Up to you but if you think the rent is too much then take it up with your local rent officer who will come around and place a market value on your house - if they think its not worth the increase they will cap the increase to a more appropriate figure.

            I would suggest you contact landlord and ask for a rent inbetween your current one and the suggested one.

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            • #7
              I feel I have been given the required notice about the increase as I do not need to increase my S/O until 1st May. As above, my plan will be to offer to meet in the middle on the rent and see what happens. At the time of signing the contract I was actually relieved it was 6 months as I didn't like the property that much, now having lived in it I have grown to like it.

              Thanks for everyones thoughts so far.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Poppy35 View Post
                Up to you but if you think the rent is too much then take it up with your local rent officer who will come around and place a market value on your house - if they think its not worth the increase they will cap the increase to a more appropriate figure.

                I would suggest you contact landlord and ask for a rent inbetween your current one and the suggested one.
                Its difficult to say if the property is worth the increase as previously when I was sharing I lived in modern better finished flats. My gripes about the current flat are tatty carpets, tatty lino in the kitchen/bathroom and dated kitchen and bathroom. I can live with these at the current rent level. I could do with knowing what the other 5 flats in the block pay as they are essentially the same...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by eeu620 View Post
                  Its difficult to say if the property is worth the increase as previously when I was sharing I lived in modern better finished flats. My gripes about the current flat are tatty carpets, tatty lino in the kitchen/bathroom and dated kitchen and bathroom. I can live with these at the current rent level. I could do with knowing what the other 5 flats in the block pay as they are essentially the same...
                  Knock on your neighbours' doors, explain your dilemma and politely ask them if they would mind telling you how much they pay, or at least whether it is more or less than your rent?
                  '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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