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Coming to the first year of being a landlord and a tennant. Our tennants want us to reduce the rent. Can we ask our landlord to reduce our rent?

(13 Posts)
CanvasBags Mon 08-Jun-09 11:34:28

We were forced into this situation a year ago as we had to move due to my husband's job changing. The housing market of the area we left was and still is stangnant. So, we got tennants in for a year and we're renting a house in the area to which we moved. We're planning to rent the house out for another year at least.

Our tennants have asked for a 6% reduction in rent. They claim to have found a cheaper house they are happy to move to. We've gone back with an offer of a 3% reuction but they are holding out for 6%. There's very little advertised for rent where our house is. I can only guess that our tennants are happy to move to a cheaper area. Rental prices have dropped considerably more in this area where we now live. The market is saturated with rental properties. Is it out of order to ask our landlord to reduce our rent in line with what we will have to reduce ours to keep our tennants?

I'm so new to all this, I don't know what's normal. What's the etiquette? I don't want to piss my landlord off, he's been really good. They're people who are in the same position as us - they had to rent their house out because they needed to move for new jobs and could not sell their house.

Argh! I hate being in this situation. Please help advise me if you can.

inscotland Mon 08-Jun-09 11:37:40

If it were me I'd tell your tenants to move out when their lease is up and they have given the appropriate notice. Cheeky beggars. However, my rentals are in an area where property is in demand.

It depends on how much you want them to stay on and how easy/hard you think it would be to get new tenants in against any money you would lose between them moving out, getting the place sorted and new tenants moving in.

Re your landlord, you can only ask and see what they say. If it is no then you need to decide if you want to continue living at that rate in that house.

Good luck.

Mintyy Mon 08-Jun-09 11:41:48

Have the property you own re-valued by at least 3 agents, to give you a realistic idea of what the rental income now should be.

Rents have been falling in some areas. But your tenants (it is just one n in the middle of tenants) may just be trying it on.

Rotten situation for you. Good luck.

CanvasBags Mon 08-Jun-09 11:43:11

Giving in to their reduced rent request will cost us £600 over the year. They have been good tennants. Getting in new tennants, provided we can do that quickly, will cost appx. £300 with cleaning and a week's rent to pay to the management company. But, I haven't been able to get a job and our family's finances are tight. We have no safety net at current. Sad as it might sound, losing £600 over the year as opposed to £300 up front, seems preferable to me. Especially as they are good tennants and we don't know what we'll get in their place.

CanvasBags Mon 08-Jun-09 11:45:19

Thanks for the spelling correction Mintyy shock Accurate spelling is usually my forte. I think I must have been spending too much time frequenting a forum which houses many David Tennant fans.

CanvasBags Mon 08-Jun-09 11:47:10

tenants
tenants
tenants
tenants

grin

EyeballshasBackBoobs Mon 08-Jun-09 11:51:19

I know nothing about this so ignore me but my dad rents out my old flat and always keeps an open mind about this sort of thing. According to his reasoning, he keeps the rent competetive, even slightly below average because it guarantees that the flat will be occupied. Just one month with no rental income would hit him far harder than a few quid less each month.

CanvasBags Mon 08-Jun-09 11:53:40

That's a really good point. Re-renting it and failing to get tenants in soon enough could also cost us a month's mortgage payment which we can ill afford.

I think we're decided we'll reduce the rent as per the tenants' request.

But should I, and if yes, how should I approach my landlord?

scaryteacher Mon 08-Jun-09 13:02:32

As a landlord can I suggest the following:

1: Talk to whoever lets the property for you. What has changed - why do they want a reduction? If they were happy to pay that at the start of the tenancy why alter it now? They should have negotiated that at the start.

2: Moving will cost them money - to sort out phones, Sky contracts, getting the deposit back, move furniture (I presume you rent to them unfurnished), getting the place cleaned can easily tot up to £600 without thinking about it. Plus, they'll need to pay for new tenancy agreement and credit checks etc, so that won't be cheap either.

3: I think you have been most kind offering to drop by 3%. You could say the rent stays the same as it is; but you won't put it up for another year. Why should you take a hit, because they don't want to pay a market rent?

4: You could talk to your landlord, but I would imagine he wouldn't be impressed by you asking to drop. The letting agents won't get so much either, so they won't be happy.

I think your tenants are taking the piss, good tenants or not. Yes, you're only losing £50.00 per month, but that can be the difference between eating and not sometimes. If you allow this once, what is to stop this happening again, when they feel like paying less? They are having a punt; say you'd rather not drop the rent, but can renegotiate to 3%, but that is as far as you will go, and see who blinks first.

ps: I have the DVDs of Blackpool to watch and Casanova as a reward for when I finish my GCSE marking. Sadly, ds (13) thinks I'm a very sad woman when I try to lick the TV every time his gorgeous Tennantness appears!!

CanvasBags Mon 08-Jun-09 13:19:07

Thank you for your advice. And grin at your reward for yourself. What do 13 year ols know anyway?

MizZan Mon 08-Jun-09 19:23:09

speaking as a tenant, I have to chime in here as I see most contributors are landlords. Your tenants are certainly not taking the p* by asking for a rent reduction. Rents have dropped in most places over the past year and fewer people are moving because of how slow the property market in general is. In addition, the financial situation of many tenants will have deteriorated over the past year - in many cases people were counting on interest income to help fund renting and since that has been basically zero, that reduces the available money for rent. And, many people have had to accept redundancies, reduced hours, and salary reductions. I don't think I know anyone in the private sector's who's had a raise this year. I would think hard before booting out good tenants over a relatively small rent reduction, you could potentially have a long gap before your next ones come in and if you're in a situation where you have mortgage payments to cover, that could get ugly very quickly.

bigstripeytiger Mon 08-Jun-09 19:31:24

I agree with MizZan, a month (or more) unoccupied will cost you more than the reduction, so unless you know that there will be people queueing up to rent your house I would agree to it (or maybe offer 3% + guaranteed the same for next year). Equally, if prices are dropping where you are, then I see nothing wrong with asking for a reduction on your own rent, to a level comparable with what similar properties are being offered at now.

CanvasBags Tue 09-Jun-09 19:17:46

Thank you for your comments. I did already state that we've agreed to the reduction. They would not accept a 3% reduction. They were not calling our bluff, they had another property lined up to move into. They're here from another country and working for a private company who would have paid their relocation fees if they'd had to move.

We have more furniture to move and a move is costly for us BUT we have asked our landlord if we can move our losses up the chain to him and whoever he currently lets from. For all we know he could already be reaping the rewards of a rent reduction.

I felt more comfortable asking for the reduction because I am now prepared to move if we don't get it. The rental market here is buoyant and rents have gone down considerably. We could pay removal fees and still be better off over the next 12 months. But I'd rather not move so we have to wait and see what he comes back with.

Thanks again everyone for your input.

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