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Email from tenant refusing to pay rent tomorrow. AIBU to give notice by return?

(297 Posts)
birdladyfromhomealone Mon 02-Jan-17 22:01:28

Osting here for traffic also in Legal
Gave notice in September that we would be increasing rent £27 pcm. From Jan 3rd 17.
This is the first increase and they have been tenants for over three years.
Tonight we had an email that they have not signed the new contract or changed their direct debit as although they they agreed to this increase in Sept they now say they want repairs done first.
We had new DG windows fitted just before they moved in 3 years ago. They have managed to break 3 window locks in that time. The first one we replaced within the guarantee but these further two were broken in the summer.
We said they broke them so they should pay to replace them.
There was also a leak from the shower which was fixed at our expense.
We also had to have the ceiling re plastered due to the leak. We went round as planned to paint the new ceiling and the tenant a SAHM had forgotten and was out. A wasted 25mile round trip for us.
We texted and she apologised and has never come back with another convenient time so we left it.
Now they are saying they are not paying the increase tomorrow until we do the repairs.
Thoughts please

TheSnowFairy Mon 02-Jan-17 22:03:00

Do you have an agent? They should have made sure the contract was signed.

Soubriquet Mon 02-Jan-17 22:03:06


Would you consider giving them warning though if they have been loyal tenants?

"If you do not wish to pay your increase then I'm afraid we will have to issue your section 21 notice"

NotStoppedAllDay Mon 02-Jan-17 22:03:19

Nah, they are out of order

Better tenants out there who will work with you

Grilledaubergines Mon 02-Jan-17 22:04:48

They'd be foolish to not pay rent but in any event if you want them out you'll need to serve a section 21 notice. If they haven't gone on expiry of the notice youlll need to issue proceedings against them. Once the county court grab the Order, they'll either need to leave by that date but if they don't, you'll need to instruct the county court bailiff to evict them. It'll be approx 3 months by this point.

Grilledaubergines Mon 02-Jan-17 22:05:17

Grant, not grab

Ibloodyhatethomasthetankengine Mon 02-Jan-17 22:05:53

Get planning for a section21. Document all your evidence for the attempts at fixing things and prepare to fight.

How did they agree to the rental increase?

kali110 Mon 02-Jan-17 22:05:59

Yanbu, however will they then make things more difficult/expensive for you?
How did they break the locks??

strawberrypenguin Mon 02-Jan-17 22:07:28

It is your responsibility as landlord to fix problems at the property so the fact you fixed shower etc is irrelevant here. As a tenant I would replace window lock if I had broken it. Is it just the repaint the tenant wants done?
To be honest if it is I think I come down on the side of the tenant being unreasonable here. And at any rate they should have had this conversation with you before now. If however there's loads of stuff you should have dealt with I say it's you.

RandomMess Mon 02-Jan-17 22:08:09

If you go back on the market with the property would the rental be higher than what you are asking them to pay from 3rd Jan?

Ibloodyhatethomasthetankengine Mon 02-Jan-17 22:08:24

I've had to issue a section21 before and for me it was worth it. Took two months to get the tenant out but was a huge relief afterwards. Good luck x

gillybeanz Mon 02-Jan-17 22:09:09

Do the repairs that are general maintenance, but they should pay for breakages.
Give them notice of when you intend to do the jobs in return for the increased rent.
You tell them when you are making repairs, if they continue to mess you about give them notice.

Or ask them if they want to give notice from x date of email refusing the increase.

GladAllOver Mon 02-Jan-17 22:09:32

By not signing the contract, have they effectively given notice to leave?

Chipsandonionrings Mon 02-Jan-17 22:11:00

Whilst it's their home it's your investment and as a ll of course you should fix the shower and all damage done by the leak, why wouldn't you?? They should fix the window locks and when they leave if not done I would be tempted to have it fixed out of their deposit.

Did you get them to sign and agree the rent increase back in September?

I never raise the rent on a good tenant who doesn't mess me about, the cost of a void of far more than the rent increase.

Did you never contact them again about the ceiling?

I would be tempted to have a rational discussion with them and if all else fails consider giving them notice. £27 a month isn't much of a rise and look at this this way they will have switched over to a rolling contract by not signing the new contract so at least you don't have to let them stay for the 6 or 12months of the contract term before asking them to move on.

birdladyfromhomealone Mon 02-Jan-17 22:11:39

No problem fixing the leak or replastering but they have never come back to us re the painting.
Their son "plays" with locks as he is a Houdini in their words.
Three broken window locks and one back door lock and he has locked her out a few times resulting in us having to go round with spare keys.
The double glazier says the window locks are being forced and will not replace FOC now the guarantee is out of date (12mths)
Yes they are reasonable tenants but they have had since Sept to arrange the ceiling to be painted or tell us they dont accept the increase, although we have an email dated 3rd November agreeing.
The ret is at least £100 pcm under the local going rate.

Rattusn Mon 02-Jan-17 22:11:54

"If you do not wish to pay your increase then I'm afraid we will have to issue your section 21 notice" *

This. Do not engage.

LIZS Mon 02-Jan-17 22:12:19

Was the decorative damage from the leak not covered by insurance? Have they already signed a new contract for the increase?

Floralnomad Mon 02-Jan-17 22:14:34

Is it just the £27 that they are not going to pay in which case I'd just give them a date to do the repairs .

birdladyfromhomealone Mon 02-Jan-17 22:15:10

The leak in the shower was caused by the shower hose left running whilst hanging over the taps.
We had to replaster the kitchen ceiling due to their neglect. As a good will gesture.
She then forgot when we turned up to paint the ceiling sad

lastqueenofscotland Mon 02-Jan-17 22:15:20

Not signing the contract does not = notice, the tenancy will become a rolling periodic.

Definitely serve a section 21.

This is my professional area of expertise so please PM me if you have any questions

TheWitTank Mon 02-Jan-17 22:15:39

YANBU but are you sure the window locks are not faulty/badly made/fitted? We had brand new windows with locks that were expensive and totally shit. ALL locks/mechanisms broke within 6-12 months (quicker on the more used windows). They were deemed faulty and replaced.

DollyPlastic Mon 02-Jan-17 22:15:51

I'm surprised that you seem to think it worth mentioning that you fixed the shower leak at your expense, as who else would pay for it?

I think they are taking the piss though and think you need to reply as above.

Chipsandonionrings Mon 02-Jan-17 22:16:14

I would suggest pointing out the fact that the rent is cheap. If your property is that much under the going rate and in good condition you won't have any problems reletting it. I would match my rent to the average or just below it. A good tenant who stays and looks after the property should be cherished.

Cherrysoup Mon 02-Jan-17 22:17:40

Exactly what Rat says. I would, however, fix window locks, having replaced all 12 of mine because the previous owners lost all the keys and some of the windows open far too wide. I couldn't have the thought of a young child falling out playing on my mind.

The painting is trivial and unnecessary, tbh.

Section 21, because they re being arsey.

CotswoldStrife Mon 02-Jan-17 22:18:42

If the rent is due tomorrow, then you'll have to issue the section 21 for next month, if that makes sense - do you use an agent as they can help ensure that it is issued in the right timeframe, although you can also look it up.

But yes, I'd issue notice tbh.

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