Landlord problems, aibu?

(79 Posts)
SlipperFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 17:21:13

I realise legally I am being UR but please bear with me!

We rent and have 3 young DC. Our previous home was sold quickly & unexpectedly by the landlord so we needed to move. Rent had skyrocketed and we found somewhere but it meant losing a bedroom and our rent went up by £150 a month.

The landlord wanted £1150 pm for a 2 bed house, we offered him 6 months rent up front if he would reduce the rent to £1050 pm which he accepted.

He has now asked for the next 6 months up front, we didn't realise we had agreed to this but on closer inspection it is in the contract... We are facing major financial problems and can't afford to pay him 6 month up front but have offered him 3 months, then another 3 months. He's said no, if we want to do that he will put our rent back up to £1150PM... We are really worried, aibu or is the landlord?

Sorry but if its in the contract YABU, it doesn't make it any less annoying for you though, hope things improve for you soon flowers

SlipperFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 17:27:02

Thanks, I just think he should be a bit more flexible, we have offered him 3 months up front then another 3 months and we just can't afford an extra £100 per month, or to give him £6300 in one go sad

fluckered Sun 07-Apr-13 17:27:36

unfortunatley its in the contract that you agreed to. all you can do is be honest and explain your situation. hope it works out.

bionic77 Sun 07-Apr-13 17:28:59

Sorry but I think YABU. Firstly for not reading the contract properly. Secondly you asked for a discount on the basis of a lump sum payment which your landlord accepted. Now he wants to continue the arrangement and you are unable to, I think it stands to reason he is not going to give you the discount.

I think it is a risk anyway to pay upfront for rent as at any point something could go wrong in the property and you would have already paid - if you had to move out you would then be in the position of trying to recover rent already paid.

moonabove Sun 07-Apr-13 17:29:06

Well that's certainly not a standard rental contract - did he draft it himself? He should have checked with you that you would be willing/able to continue to pay 6 months upfront. I take legal advice (maybe citizens advice if you can get hold of them) just to be sure he's within his rights to do that.

SlipperFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 17:29:45

Could he take us to court??

expatinscotland Sun 07-Apr-13 17:29:57

Ugggh, that sucks. Hopefully he can be more flexible.

moonabove Sun 07-Apr-13 17:30:08

* You can

Patchouli Sun 07-Apr-13 17:31:00

You've had a misunderstanding.
The rent is £1150 (crikey though - for a 2 bed)

bionic77 Sun 07-Apr-13 17:32:32

I think in putting it in the contract he can argue you agreed to it as you signed the contract. Assuming this is a 6 month let followed by a rolling period you can end it by giving notice. Probably not why you want to do.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 07-Apr-13 17:35:20

What phrasing does the contract use?

I pay monthly, but my contract specifically states that if I pay 6 months upfront, the next bulk payment would be due in month 6. To revert to a monthly payment schedule, we would be credit checked and referenced again, and a new contract would be created. Which may be an issue, because the landlord could technically put the rent up then, but you may well find that rent increases are also covered in the contract.

Do you have a break clause at six months?

SlipperFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 17:35:41

In writing it's a years contract, 6 months upfront followed by another 6 months up front.

Bridgetbidet Sun 07-Apr-13 17:35:58

YABU, but it's a really horrible situation. I am assuming you are in London, could you move to a flat rather than a house for a year or so to save money?

katiecubs Sun 07-Apr-13 17:36:16

YABU why would he still offer you a discount if you are not paying upfront? You should have been clear on the terms and read you contract properly.

Bearbehind Sun 07-Apr-13 17:36:20

He couldn't take you to court for not paying the 6 months in advance but he can serve an eviction notice as you are at the end of your tenancy agreement.

You either need to find the money to pay in advance or accept the rent increase although I would have a look around to see what rentals in your area are going for.

It costs a good percentage of the first months rent to have a letting agent find new tenants which might give you room for a bit of negotiation on the rent rental figure unless you are well under the market rate already, in which case the landlord is likely to want you to move on.

SlipperFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 17:36:36

I don't think we have a break clause, I will check though.

LIZS Sun 07-Apr-13 17:37:15

I doubt he would take you to court as long as you pay something. Presumably it is worded such that the monthly amount is 1150 unless you pay up 6 months' front and yes he could review the contract and rent after a 6 month AST anyway if he asks for a new contract. His financial benefit for having that money probably doesn't cover the difference so the only benefit to him is security of having been paid. If you can afford 3 months up front then your financial situation cannot be so desperate, pay the one month in advance of 1150 until you are in a better position to renegotiate.

SlipperFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 17:37:36

We aren't at the end of our contract, we're only half way through

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 07-Apr-13 17:38:37

Ah.

Presuming that there is no break clause at 6 months, you are legally responsible for the property for the next 6 months - so your landlord could take you to court to recover the rent payments.

However, going to court is costly and time consuming, and it's generally not in the landlord's best interests to do so, if you are a good tenant.

Have you simply enquired about changing the arrangement, or did you explain that you will be unable to stay if you cannot pay the smaller amount monthly?

Legally, you appear to be contracted to pay the new amount. Realistically, your best option might be to try and negotiate the best arrangement that you can.

SlipperFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 17:39:23

It doesn't say anything about the original asking rent being £1150, just that the rent is £1050 and to be paid in 6 monthly amounts.

Bearbehind Sun 07-Apr-13 17:39:35

Sorry, just seen your posting saying it is a year long contract, you need to get legal advice as most short term tenancy agreements are for 6 months so the fact that you've agreed to an extension and to his terms within the contract probably means you haven't got a leg to stand on.

SlipperFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 17:41:24

We explained we didn't realise that he expected the second 6 months to be paid up front and that we really can't afford it. We are good tenants and have always had a good relationship with him so thought he may be a bit more flexible. We've offered him 3 months up front, then another 3 months but he's not happy with that.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 07-Apr-13 17:42:26

Do check the contract to see if you have a break clause as a matter of urgency. If you leave it too long, you won't be able to give notice in time.

Were you credit-checked and referenced when you took the property? Did you pass, or did they suggest paying 6 months upfront to make you pass? Would you pass now?

I'm trying to think of how you could sort this out, but it's difficult without seeing your circumstances/contract.

Bearbehind Sun 07-Apr-13 17:42:37

Grrr, posted too early. Meant to add that even though you don't have much of a legal case, eviction is costly and time consuming so you might be able to appeal to your landlords better nature- if he has one!

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