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How to negotiate with vindictive landlord?

(44 Posts)
anon97528996 Tue 30-May-17 07:26:35

Just that really - need to call him today. He has a history of letting himself into the flat without notice/permission, I finally pulled myself together and asked him to stop and he's decided to hike the rent by 15% in response, which I can't afford. We're out of contract as I chased him for 4 months before renewal but he never posted a new contract as promised. We have no heating, the building has bed bugs & mice problems, so I've had to pay out for all of these issues since living here which I couldn't afford alongside an extra 15% rent, also floors and kitchen are ancient and not really fit for use. Rent is currently just below market rate (not factoring in the issues above) but the increase is clearly above what a flat of this standard should cost.

I feel I've been a good tenant and I am really quite upset about the rent increase - I only moved here 15 months ago so no savings left to move again. If I can't negotiate him down, I'll never be able to afford an emergency. The 15% increase is equivalent to 5 times more than my annual pay rise. We're childless below 25 so no hope for any benefits help whatsoever.

I know he's punishing me because I asked for the legal notice when he plans to snoop around my home - usually around twice a month that I'm aware of. What would be your negotiation strategy?

Kokusai Tue 30-May-17 07:28:41

I wouldn't move. Life is too short to deal with that kind of shit.

strawberrypenguin Tue 30-May-17 07:29:01

Honestly I'd be finding a way to move. It sounds awful and he sounds like the worst type of landlord.

FaithAgain Tue 30-May-17 07:29:18

Honestly? I'd move! You'll never be able to negotiate with someone like this. Clearly he doesn't care about the rules or the condition of your home.

Veterinari Tue 30-May-17 07:33:13

I would lay out the problems with the flat factually as you have done above. List comparative market rates and the rate of inflation and offer to pay a small increase (perhaps 5%) in return for him sorting out the existing issues.

araiwa Tue 30-May-17 07:35:02

why the hell do you want to stay there?

it sounds a horrid place to live

anon97528996 Tue 30-May-17 07:35:56

I wish I could move! But there's no way I can afford it in the short term, and long term in frightened I'll never be able to save again if he keeps increasing rent. Besides I'm unusually close to my work so save myself train fare by living here. The flat has loads of character and I'm just gutted because I actually really enjoy living here.

Cocklodger Tue 30-May-17 07:37:48

If you're in the UK surely that's classed as a revenge eviction???

drinkingtea Tue 30-May-17 07:39:36

You could seek advice from Shelter in this situation:

m.england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_services_directory

RedHelenB Tue 30-May-17 07:39:43

If you move out it will cost him to fix the kitchen etc to get another tenant. Plus he knows you pay the rent. Stand firm and so that you are not prepared to pay the increase.

Trifleorbust Tue 30-May-17 07:40:41

How many months would it take you to save enough to move? Could you borrow it (not ideal)? Would you consider moving back home or a temporary flat share?

In your shoes I would tell him not to be ridiculous, of course I am not going to pay 15% more for a flat riddled with vermin. Tell him to get that sorted and then you will discuss the rent. By the time he has instigated legal proceedings you may be in a position to move.

First things first, have a look at the Shelter website. There are different ones for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - comes up quickly if you Google.

There are schemes available from local authorities and even some large employers to help with rental deposits, which might enable you to move even though, as you say, you're under 25 with no children.

Are you in a union? Even if you're not, there are benevolent funds run for some professions who might be able to help, too.

It sounds like a horrible situation op flowers

abbsisspartacus Tue 30-May-17 07:42:16

No contract no rent increase

ShiningWhit Tue 30-May-17 07:42:21

If your contract has ended then you are defaulted to a month by month agreement that mirrors your original contract. (Standard tenancy agreement ?) This means you just need to give him 1 months notice and you are free. It also means any increases must be within the original rental agreement formula. I believe he must give you 2 months notice to quit. Perhaps you need to be asking the council environmental health's advice about the infestation it may help to make the place habitable if you must stay.

BexleyRae Tue 30-May-17 07:52:12

You can lodge an appeal with the Fair Rent Committee. Look online it's a form you fill in & they will visit and assess the property and make an independent decision over the rent which the landlord cannot dispute

takeabreakthatslife Tue 30-May-17 07:53:31

Move

The snooping alone is bad enough

I'd rather live in a smaller bedsit without snooping and bed bugs etc

anon97528996 Tue 30-May-17 08:02:40

Thank you all for the excellent suggestions! Would be interested to know if anyone's a landlord who's been successfully negotiated with, what matters most and is more likely to make you feel agreeable?

I know I've made the flat sound a lot like a hovel (and pizza delivery guys have been known to mistake the building as abandoned) but I love it inside and am proud of it, we've put a lot of work in, sealing the walls/skirting boards against pests & having it fumigated, replacing landlords furniture, repainting grubby walls etc. The landlord often leaves a to-do list of improvements!! I assumed the slightly low rent was in exchange for the unpaid work he wanted from me, I thought he was friendly and harmless, if a bit clueless, but it's now clear I've been played for an absolute mug and it stings.

bigbuttons Tue 30-May-17 08:05:37

My ex landlord did this. The house was awful, I complained and complained and he ended the tenancy . I think you have to stand firm, you can't live under this man's shadow.

LadySalmakia Tue 30-May-17 08:24:33

Never, ever put work into a rented flat. He's a twat, and it's not your property so you get nothing for an hour improvements - and you risk your deposit, too, because you've changed things.

I'd be looking to move to be honest, I know it's an awful stress but landlords like this never get better. He's the reason there should be proper licensing site landlords.

And in future, advice from a long term renter - save up a deposit again as soon as you've moved into somewhere, it gives you so much safety and a much stronger negotiating position if you really can just walk away and find somewhere else.

anon97528996 Tue 30-May-17 09:19:20

Ok I'm going to call him within the hour, need to get it out of the way before it drives me mad.

Ideas so far:
- tell him how much I love the flat and point out how much we've done to make it habitable, at his request. Point out this may not be possible in future if I have £0 spare cash.
- I am genuinely considering moving and sharing with a friend (as we can split costs), there is a 2 bed available in the building for just £100 more than he's asking. Should I mention this?
- I could ask him to meet me halfway with the increase, based on being a good tenant and leaving him no void period by staying

OR
- I ask for the rent to be increased gradually over a period of time, so I have time to look for a better paying job (I can earn more outside of my sector but will be more miserable)

Any of this sound sensible? I promise I can usually make decisions for myself but landlords have always scared the shit out of me and I really don't want to screw this up irreparably. sad

KatyBerry Tue 30-May-17 09:28:06

Your suggestions all sound like you have "mug me" tattooed on your forehead.
Listen to what people above have said.
Tell him how much it will cost HIM to put the place into a fit condition to be re-let for another tenant.
Tell him how much you've had to spend on it and that those expenses must be factored into what you've been paying.
Remind him that if he wishes to evict you, he must prove to the court that you are at fault.
Continue to pay the agreed rate and no more.
Remind him of a tenant's right to quiet enjoyment.
Stand firm and change teh locks, do not offer any more cash ffs. Serve notice on him when YOU are good and ready to go

Siwdmae Tue 30-May-17 09:28:36

First thing, tell him it's illegal to raise the rent by that much. He simply cannot do it. Phone Shelter for advice. Stop doing work on the flat and present him with a bill for the work you have done so far.

Siwdmae Tue 30-May-17 09:29:30

And change the locks!

MatildaTheCat Tue 30-May-17 09:29:46

Don't call him just get some clarification on your legal position. He sounds awful TBH so deal in email so you have a paper trail but only after getting professional advice.

Good luck.

Oh, and I believe you can change the locks so long as you change them back when you leave.

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 30-May-17 09:37:00

Remind him that any future tenant will object to him using his key to enter the property at any time. Remind him of the clause in the contract where it says LL inspections must be arranged at a mutually convenient time and you have the right to be there.

You are in a strong position! He will not want you to move and leave him with a void period.

But, at the same time, I'd be very tempted by the idea of sharing the 2 bed and saving myself money. You wouldn't even have to hire a van!

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