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Rental increase

(36 Posts)
Feellikearightungreatfulcow Thu 21-Jul-16 11:50:32

We've been in our rental property for a year, but the last 6 months have been very disruptive as the end of Jan our landlord put the property on the market

We have had a lot of uncertainty regarding if we will be able to stay as some buyers were looking to rent it out, others to move it themselves

One lady was buying it but it fell through last minute

A couple of months ago Mr E viewed property
New to renting but had money to invest,discussed us staying long term, asked how much rent we paid and if we'd stay on - we said 100% we wanted to stay.
He puts offer in on house

Few weeks later agents ask us if he can revisit to check a few things over - yes no problem with that - we meet him again, talk about staying on, we say we'd be happy to sign 2 years and want security after these last 6 months
He says he has a 5 year fixed mortgage and would agree to 5 years, we say we would but believe an ASTA can be a max of 2 years

Anyway, cut to last week and agents contact us to say sake has completed - hooray!
They ask us what we discuss re rent, and we say a 2 year contract and assumed same £pcm as we discussed what we currently pay and Mr E didn't suggest otherwise

They come back and say he's happy to sign for 2 months ago an extra £50pcm

I am trying to word a reply to the agents. ....

1) this was a total surprise
2) I budget well, and for several months ahead but have things coming up that mean finding 50 a month (especially our rent due in 2 weeks) is going to be difficult for the next few months
3) we also have to pay a renewal fee of £140
4) when the property sold before (subsequently fell thtough) they said about a rent increase of £25pcm - we agreed, then the purchaser came back to up it again to £50 more and we said we couldn't afford that (ie the agents are aware of this)
5) I wonder if agents are instigating the raise actually (this happened to my mum - she rents through agents but it's a colleagues house. Their agents told her to up the rent at review day but as it's property for her child she is happy to just cover mortgage payments so refused)

Basically I appreciate ll may not want to tie himself in to 'current rate' for 2 years but it's a bit of a struggle for us to up it unexpectedly.

I am trying to find the right way to put it to suggest an incremental increase but don't want the agents to see us as a risk

If it was a case of pay 50 more or leave we would pay it, but would be difficult for the next 4-5 months where we have other commitments
Obviously if we had to move I realise that would be much more expensive

Any ll who would consider this?

Is it reasonable to suggest either holding off the Inc for 6 months

Or if need be we could split the Inc and do 25 now and 25 in 6 months?

Fwiw we made it clear from the day we viewed this property we didn't see ourselves moving again for forseeable future (eg until buying which isn't any time soon)
We are good tenants, we have fixed the house up, never paid late etc, keep the house like we would our own
We accommodated all the sales viewings and did most ourselves for the agents in the evenings as they weren't available

It sounds a big fuss over £50 and I don't want them to question our ability to pay, normally I save each month and it would come out of that but for next few months I have a hol booked and upcoming weddings/ anniversaries

Any advice ?
Sorry for essay

travellinghopefully12 Thu 21-Jul-16 11:57:24

Can you contact Mr E directly and ask him, telling him that the agents have requested this and you are very surprised by it. If, as you suspect, it is them and not him, then he will quickly sort it out.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 21-Jul-16 12:05:23

£50 extra in 2 weeks is harsh... I just renewed and will be paying £20 extra and had two months notice of that!

I guess it also depends on your total rent... £50 extra on £400 is a lot, £50 extra on £2500 not as much relatively speaking

I agree it's worth asking if the increase can be brought in incrementally, given the uncertainly of the last six months and that you've not had much notice of the increase. Make it clear that the increase itself is not the problem but rather the lack of notice.

If they say no deal I would say suck it up for the sake of a 2 year contract in a house you like, if you possibly can, even if it means using savings.

IceRoadDucker Thu 21-Jul-16 12:16:06

Always always talk to the owner directly. Besides anything else there's no way in hell you should be paying a "renewal fee."

Just be polite but explain you can't pay an extra £50 a month and certainly not £140 in one hit. Long-term, good tenants are invaluable. If he has any idea what he's doing he'll accept your proposition.

londonrach Thu 21-Jul-16 12:24:22

Think you need to talk to cab as well as the owner. You can turn the rental increase down BUT the landlord can look to remove you to get someone else in who prepared to pay tge extra but has to give you proper notice. I would have thought its in your lls increase to keep you as good tenants. Any rental increase does have to be agreed by both parties and i think he has to give you notice. Im not a lawyer just a long term renter who now escaped this trap. Please talk to cab.

londonrach Thu 21-Jul-16 12:25:55

londonrach Thu 21-Jul-16 12:27:20

MatildaTheCat Thu 21-Jul-16 12:33:02

Definitely speak to Mr E to check he is aware of this. He will not want to have a rental void or uncertainty on his new investment, it sounds as if he's done his sums very carefully.

I would initially say you cannot afford the increase and see what is suggested and agree to the extra £25 if pushed. Don't offer the stages increase, I doubt if they will want the hassle and will just be happy to get the agreement signed and grab the fees which are ridiculous.

MackerelOfFact Thu 21-Jul-16 12:48:36

It sounds like the estate agents having probably been given him a potential yield figure, and he has possibly even arranged the mortgage off the back of the amount he was told he could expect.

I would try and negotiate with him. If he's bought the house on the basis that you'll stay as tenants, presumably he doesn't really want you to leave, so you're in a strong position I imagine.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 21-Jul-16 13:25:38

If the landlord decides to serve you notice on the back of it, he needs to find new tenants, you obviously are much too busy to provide any access until you actually leave, so he won't be able to let it out until you actually have, so he's going to have at least 2 weeks, probably much more, of a void. How much is 2 weeks rent? Probably more than a years worth of 50 quids.

What is your current contract? Are you there in the periodic that automatically happens after an AST?

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Thu 21-Jul-16 15:22:04

Hi all

Sorry for delay replying - will try to answer your questions

Rent is currently 750 so a relatively large increase

I could understand if he maybe arranged a mortgage based on this new rent suggested by agents to up their profits but no one told us which is our objection! We spoke about the rent we pay currently and signing for 2 years after he'd got the mortgage so thought he could have mentioned it then

As one of you suggested, if it comes to it we would suck it up but it couldn't come out of savings as I save on a monthly basis (small amounts) but what I have saved lately is spoken for for the next 4-5 months (commitments like a holiday booked a year ahead /a wedding/anniversary etc)

Currently we are on the periodic tenancy as was due for renewal when sale was going through so we said no point signing with old landlord as it would be sold within weeks (in hindsight wish I had just got them to push it through 'as is' then just transfer to new ll name) so technically they could give us a months notice but if they did they have a fight to get us out over £50

Renewal fee is annoying but not aware it can be refused can it? Though not sure what they do for the money apart from reprint a contract with new dates

Fwiw the new landlord seemed lovely and whilst you've mentioned we are in a good position as good tenants it would be nice to have a reasonable landlord (for once).
The old landlord - the house was filthy when we moved in but we didn't want to push it, being new tenants, by demanding a clean (he kept back prev tenants deposit but we never saw a penny AND had to clean house before we could move in - are we too late to try and get this off him? Agreed at time to just not clean when we left but doesn't seem fair to carry this to new LL)
turns out he was a tight arse anyway -we had rotting decking we told them about the day we moved in last year but he's patched the minimum area up only after my foot went through it that doesn't even look similar to what was there.
So from this point of view the new bloke seems nice (albeit a bit naive to renting maybe - this is his second rental property) and we don't want to lose that

We cannot contact either LL direct - everything goes through the agents

Have emailed and said it's not affordable with so little notice, when are they proposing the increase from a d will see what they say

SisyphusDad Thu 21-Jul-16 16:14:40

Not a lawyer, but found this on the web:

Section1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

In this section it states that if the tenant makes a written request for the identity of their landlord from the person who asks for the rent or from the last person that asked for the rent, then this person must provide the landlords name and address within 21 days of receiving this request for the landlords address and other details. It is a criminal offence if the person refuses to do this.

Sounds like you have the law on your side. CAB would be a good ally.

HereIAm20 Thu 21-Jul-16 16:23:01

As a LL myself I would rather hold on to pre-existing tenants who have paid on time at the same rent rather than risk losing them for the sake if £600 per year (less than one month's rent). There is the chance that the property would remain empty for a period too. I suspect this is at the agents' instigation and they'll be charging the LL for a new tenancy as well as you. Definitely try to speak to the LL.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 21-Jul-16 17:06:44

So a periodic tenancy does not mean they can give you a months notice, it will be at least 2 months.

With the state at check-in, as long as you have reasonable evidence you can leave it without cleaning, the new landlord certainly won't have evidence that it was different.

You can certainly get the landlord's details to enable you dealing direct.

You can of course refuse a renewal fee, again the only thing the landlord can do is either suck it up, or serve you the section 21 notice, bearing in mind that will lose him at least a months rent likely, and if it's really in a state, much more, he would be insane to do it.

You are in a strong position, the landlord would have to be mad to either kick you out, or impose an increase.

OliviaStabler Thu 21-Jul-16 17:19:32

I'd reply back saying you agreed to a rent of £Xxx, nothing higher and see what they say.

emsyj Thu 21-Jul-16 17:38:10

We rent a house out for 560pcm when the 'going rate' for the street is 725/750pcm, purely because we have reliable tenants who want to stay long term. The landlord would be foolish to force an increase on you and risk you will move out, unless the house is in a super high demand area and the new rent proposed is less than he could get if he advertised for a new tenant.

RichardBucket Thu 21-Jul-16 18:02:05

Renewal fee is annoying but not aware it can be refused can it?

Yes, if you go through Mr E. Even if you don't, push the issue and they should drop it. They'd be idiots to lose reliable tenants over a ridiculous charge.

Good agents do not charge renewal fees for reprinting a contract.

emsyj Thu 21-Jul-16 20:07:28

We have refused to pay a renewal fee (as tenants). We told the estate agents that we didnt wang to sign up for another fixed term tenancy and we were happy to move to a rolling tenancy as per the standard form AST we had signed. They werent happy but they couldnt do anything. If you want to sign for a fixed term though it may be more difficult to resist the charges as you will (I think) need a new tenancy. I dont know off the top of my head whether you would need a new tenancy agreement with the new owner once the sale has been completed or whether the existing tenancy agreement survives. Not a clue on that.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 21-Jul-16 20:33:37

Sorry I didn't mean suck it up as in you are being unreasonable or that you should have to... Just that I would probably grudgingly agree to it if I possibly could manage it

pilpiloni Thu 21-Jul-16 21:25:49

I'm a landlord and there is no way in the world I would risk losing proven good tenants for the sake of £50 per month.

If an increase is fair, suggest what you can afford but don't forget that, as good tenants, you do have bargaining power

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Thu 21-Jul-16 23:05:23

Thanks all, no words from agents yet (though received a call from their insurance 'partners' trying to sell us contents insurance for 'the property you are moving into' I did advise we'd been here over a year and as such had already renewed our existing policy)

I know it's easier and quicker to call or pop in, but based on previous experience with other shitty agents, I try to get everything in writing now

harder I know what you mean, I didn't take it badly, I just meant if it comes to it we would "just accept it" as whilst 50 is a lot more to afford, we don't want to leave

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Fri 22-Jul-16 22:35:07

Agents have emailed me back saying

" I have spoken to LL and he is happy to sign for 2 years with no break, and fix the rent at £800 for the full 2 years. This is something he would want to start straight away (^the increased rent^)

Let me know your thoughts so we can arrange the new contract"

How do I reply to this so I state my position but they don't serve me notice.

Yes fixing it for 2 years is great, but it's at the higher rate we never agreed to, and doesn't help right now

Is it "acceptable" to say (more eloquently) "we are happy with the term, but not happy with the increase esp with no notice. We are good reliable tenants because x y z (do we say why) " and do we "counter-offer on the rent"
Eg say we will pay increase rebt after 6 months? Or up it by half in 3 months and the rest in 6?

We've only ever negotiated before moving in/signing, Eg after a viewing but before paying a holding fee

user1468485204 Fri 22-Jul-16 23:18:48

Is he planning on selling after the 5 years?

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Sat 23-Jul-16 11:58:17

user1468.... not as far as I am aware, he talked about how he had bought as he had come into a bit of money, and whilst property investment isn't as good these days, he would earn a pittance in the bank.

The reason he mentioned 5 year mortgage was saying he'd gladly agree a 5 year contract with us (as we had made it clear this is where we want to stay ) but I'd said AFAIK an ASTA can be a max of 2 years (though correct me if I'm wrong)

Catinthecorner Sat 23-Jul-16 12:30:25

Email back and say you're willing to sign for two years at £750 per month, but not at £800, and you won't be agreeing to the renewal fee.

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