Should I pay more if my Girlfriend moves in?

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    Should I pay more if my Girlfriend moves in?

    I've been living in my apartment for about 10 months and have an 18 month contract.

    My girlfriend has just moved in and out of courtesy I informed my landlady. She responded by asking for a 20% rent increase. I replied I felt that was unreasonable but would consider maybe a 10% increase for an extension to the contract.

    The landlady is now being difficult about some of the furniture in the property - she had originally agreed to take some of it back, but then changed her mind the night before my gf moved in, so that we are going to have additional storage costs and have sold things we otherwise would not have done.

    I am not best impressed and am unlikely to stay beyond the original term of the contract - another 8 months. As a result I don't really want to pay an extra 10% rent, especially as I now have the storage costs. I am not worried about the counter offer we made in email, as no updated contract was signed in any way.

    But my question is - does she have any basis for requesting more rent now that my gf has moved in?

    Many thanks for any help!
    Jon.

    #2
    Well, she has a basis on moral grounds - 2 occupants are likely to result in extra wear & tear on the property.




    Legally, it depends on your contract. So we can give more advice, can you tell us:
    1. Is there anything in the contract about the number of occupants
    2. Have you signed an inventory showing the stuff she has left
    ----------------------
    1. Is the property in England/Wales
    2. Did you pay a deposit
    3. Was it protected in a scheme
    4. Does the landlady live in the same property

    Comment


      #3
      I agree re: wear and tear - but for the first ten months I spent half of my time at my girlfriends so it sort of evens out!

      Re: contract I can't find it, so have asked for a copy from her. For the purposes of any advice you guys can give, let's assume it doesn't reference anything about people - because if it says something along the lines of I am not allowed guests or additional people to move in, then clearly I have very little leverage.

      Re: inventory - I do have an inventory which I did together with her, but to be honest I am not that worried about the additional furniture. She has agreed I can put it in storage, I'll just need that in writing.

      Re 1: - yes
      Re 2: - yes
      Re 3: - don't know, probably not.
      Re 4: - yes, well sort of, in a different flat but same building.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by JonVortex View Post

        Re 1: - yes
        Re 2: - yes
        Re 3: - don't know, probably not.
        Re 4: - yes, well sort of, in a different flat but same building.
        How much is the rent, is it more or less than £2,083.33 per month?

        Is the block a conversion or purpose built?

        (I ask because these can both affect the status of the tenancy).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by JonVortex View Post

          The landlady is now being difficult about some of the furniture in the property - she had originally agreed to take some of it back, but then changed her mind the night before my gf moved in, so that we are going to have additional storage costs and have sold things we otherwise would not have done.
          The LL has no obligation to remove furnishings present at the start of the tenancy.

          Comment


            #6
            Rent is less than £2k.

            The building is a purpose built block of flats.

            My concern is not about the inventory or whether or not she should remove them.

            My concern is about whether or not she is able to ask for more rent for an extra person moving in. (assuming the contract doesn't explicitly reference this).

            Comment


              #7
              Beware, if it was a conversion she can get you quicker than you might expect..

              You might wish to read 18(d) onwards.. P55, OFT356 (google it!) - the OFT's comments on restrictions on subletting (which you could arguably be doing).

              Also note S.15(2) of the Housing Act 1988 allows landlords in assured periodic tenancies to refuse consent to an assignment or subletting, even where refusal is unreasonable.

              However if it is a conversion it may not be an AST, even if the paperwork says it is(!).

              Cheers!

              Lodger

              PS Girlfriend move in??? It's gonna cost you, one way or another....
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by JonVortex View Post
                My concern is about whether or not she is able to ask for more rent for an extra person moving in. (assuming the contract doesn't explicitly reference this).
                You have an assured shorthold tenancy and the deposit should have been protected - it's possible, however, that this information is contained in the tenancy agreement which you've lost. When you get a copy, see whether it mentions The Dispute Service Ltd/TDS.

                Even if the contract specifies that you cannot have lodgers/other occupants/ sublet/whatever, if you breached this provision (i.e. gf moved in without LL's consent/paying more rent), the LL would have the following options:
                1. She could serve a s.21 notice and apply for possession after the expiry of the fixed term in 8 months (but if the deposit isn't protected she cannot serve a s.21 notice).
                2. She could attempt to apply for possession via a s.8 notice on the grounds of the breach of contract - unlikely to succeed as it is not a serious breach.
                3. She could attempt to claim for additional wear and tear caused by the additional occupant - again, unlikely to succeed, as it would be very difficult to prove/quantify the additional wear and tear. And even if she could prove a loss, the sum involved would be small, a lot less than paying the extra 20% rent (£400 x 8 months = £3,200).

                If she attempted 2) or 3), you could then counter-claim for loss of amenity/breach of quiet enjoyment for the building works (assuming you have evidence of this).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  Also note S.15(2) of the Housing Act 1988 allows landlords in assured periodic tenancies to refuse consent to an assignment or subletting, even where refusal is unreasonable.
                  1. It's not a periodic tenancy.
                  2. OP is not assigning or subletting the property by having gf move in.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Cool - so as I am planning of moving out in 8 months anyway - no real dramas!

                    Depending on the wording of the contract of course!!

                    Thanks!
                    Jon.

                    Comment

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