Need help - made a mistake with ast

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    Need help - made a mistake with ast

    Hi,

    I let out my old house to a family in sept 99, and we filled out an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. I knew it had to be for more than 6 months but because the family wanted to live there as long as i wanted to rent it out (and i wanted long term tenants) we didnt fill in the "fixed term".

    I recently decided it was time to increase the rent (first time since they moved in) and sent a letter advising that from the april payment the rent would go up by only around £10/week.

    I received a letter back complaining about a number of repair problems that they had supposedly advised me of (which is untrue) and that they had been in touch with fair rents who advised them they could take the matter further (I have no fear of this as i know the rent including the increase is still considerably less than others in the area), and they would NOT sign a new aggreement until the problems were sorted out.

    I've decided that i no longer want these people in the house but would like some help on how i should go about it.

    I believe that because i didnt fix the term the ast would now have become a periodic tenancy but i dont know wot that entails.

    I would much appreciate any assistance in this matter.

    Paul

    #2
    you should still be able to serve them a Section 21 (1) (a) if the tenancy is periodic, as long as the agreement has a start date and is def is an AST then you should be ok.

    A rent increase does not mean them signing a new agreement unless you have asked for this?

    if they are good payers and you are happy to get the works done then I would try and keep hold of them however if you feel once the works are done you can acheive the market rent then serve the S21 for the 2 months notice.
    Last edited by Poppy35; 15-03-2007, 16:25 PM. Reason: sp

    Comment


      #3
      Dear cdpaul, let the tenants complain about the rent if they want to. From what I have read on Rent Assessments if they find that the rent is below market value then they will mark the rent up so if that's a risk your tenants want to take let them.

      J

      Comment


        #4
        If they've been otherwise good tenants why go for the emotional response and kick them out? They might just be trying it on to keep the current rent.

        Kicking them out opens you up to new risks... defaulters, intentional damage, voids if you start cycling through tenants, and so on. And you may have to redecorate to get a tenant.

        If it were me I'd be trying to work it out.

        Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences.

        Just a few thoughts.
        Now signature free.

        Comment


          #5
          The landlord's statutory rights have not been diminished by the fact that no fixed term was specified as more than 6 months of the tenancy has been completed (a lot more!).

          The serving of a S.21 (4)(a) Notice will suffice but make sure you get the wording right and if you don't specify a date, it should be a minimum of two months Notice to determine at the end of a rental period, i.e. the day before the rent is due two payments after the next one. I have assumed your rent is specified as monthly although you do state that you have tried to increase the rent by £10 per week. If you have a weekly tenancy you will have to work out which day of the week the tenancy will end, and make sure that date is at leat two months away. (It's too complicated to explain all this in detail).

          You can serve a S.13 Notice on form 4B with regard to any proposed rent increase (put it into your search engine for a free form and guidance - best from a gov.uk sourced site) and this doesn't affect your Notice Seeking Possession as it's separate.
          Last edited by PaulF; 27-03-2007, 21:40 PM. Reason: typos
          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


            #6
            Thanks for the replies, i'll take all into account.

            Just to offer more info given some of the replies:

            The AST form we did shows the rent as £100 per week paid in advance by equal payments on the 26th day of each month (although my tenant sends a cheque between the 1st and 14th of each month).

            I think i've been very friendly and easy going about that and other things but really am very disappointed and hurt at the response i got to a very reasonable rent rise after 7 years without one.

            A local/national estate agency advised me that they rent similar properties in the area for £600 to £650 per calendar month, and im looking to charge my tenant just £475 per calendar month.

            Even taking into account the commission of the estate agent based on a lowest rental income, i could get a lot more than wot im asking.

            The repairs/complaints they have raised i can easily have sorted and wont cost very much (And i will sort out regardless).

            Also, and i dont know if this has any relevance, in the time of this tenancy i have replaced some windows and a door with UPVC double glazing and in January i had a new combi boiler installed which should reduce the gas bill.

            Comment


              #7
              I have today received a letter from my tenants giving me 1 months notice.

              Furthermore they have stated they will not be sending payment for the current month as I have their bond in lieu. I didnt think they could do this.

              Finally, when they took the property it included carpets and curtains, and i know they have replaced some carpets (some with laminate flooring). Am i right in believing they must leave the replacements?

              I would really appreciate any comments on how to make this run as smoothly as possible please.

              Thanx
              Paul

              Comment


                #8
                Technically the tenants cannot use the deposit as last month's rent but it happens all the time, we now take a 6 week deposit to at least ensure there is a bit of money left for any cleaning/repairs.

                As to the flooring did they have permission to replace carpets with laminate flooring from you? Either way then although you have every right to ask for like for like replacements you are unlikely to get any joy with tenants who react in this way to a small rent increase. Hopefully they will leave the replacement carpets/flooring although in the past I have had tenants who took their carpets with them despite having removed the original and disposed of them. My advise would be to let them go and put it down to experience. In all honesty if one of my managed properties had been let for such a long time I would be expecting the landlord to re-decorate and replace floor coverings in any case. At least now you can get a market rent for your property and this should cover the cost of any refurbishment you need to do.

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