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is 17.5% rent increase too much??

22 replies

airborne · 15/04/2011 16:33

Landlord wants to put the rent up by 17.5%!!!! We have not had a rent increase for 2 years. Landlord says they have checked local housing rents and its an average and fair amount to ask, I've checked and in my opinion its on the higher side of average - yes there are similar properties that are £1000 pcm which is what he is asking, but there are also other similar ones that are the same as what we are paying now (£850). But its a massive £150 a month which we absolutely cannot afford, I've done my workings out and we would struggle to meet halfway at even £75 increase, it would literally be hand to mouth.
We are good tenants, have always paid on time, never hassle him for repairs as often do ourselves etc, and landlord seems happy enough with us.
Not long ago he did essential repairs and improvements to the property which is clearly why he is increasing rent.
Have not approached him to negotiate yet but I intend to - I just think 17.5% is just too much and the only thing I think I can say to negotiate is that the increase is too much of a jump.
Am I being unreasonable to think its a rather large increase?
Oh and also, does this mean we will have to top up our deposit to match rent? (I had this problem many years ago when I was a student,but we all moved out in the end). Thanks

OP posts:

cestlavielife · 15/04/2011 16:34

negoatiate - if you move out then he would have to pay to redecorate etc inside so might not be worthwhile - better to keep good tenants?


agedknees · 15/04/2011 16:35

YANBU. That is a huge increase. You sound like a good tenant.


Ziggyzag · 15/04/2011 16:38

Definitely negotiate. Good tenants are hard to find and if you move out he could face being without tenants for a good few weeks. A couple of months with no rental income would leave him worse off than if he kept your rent at the current rate for a year.


Ooopsadaisy · 15/04/2011 16:40

Bloody hell! That is a massive % increase.

I suppose he's paying more for everything so is trying to increase his income.

Definitely negotiate and explain how you have done DIY yourselves etc.

Hope you don't have to move, OP, and I wouldn't mention the deposit unless he does!


breatheslowly · 15/04/2011 16:40

Bear in mind that the prices of properties available to let are "asking prices" and depending on the area (supply & demand) the properties may not be being let for the asking price, but at a reasonable discount. I am not sure how you can find this out. You can also calculate how much it might cost him to find new tenants - agents fees (if used), time spent empty, redecoratioin as cestlavielife says. Use this information to give yourselves a firm negotiating position.


thomasbodley · 15/04/2011 16:44

What breatheslowly said. Most landlords will take the devil they know for less money and a quieter life.

I wouldn't be too outraged by the increase though - you haven't had an increase for 2 years, and the average is running at 10% a year according to Landlordzone.


BarbieGrows · 15/04/2011 16:45

Rentals are shocking. You can't get a 2bed flat in the dodgiest part of london for less than a grand now. It's impossible for low income families, they have to overcrowd into small places. Landlords are just plain greedy. I would vote with your feet and find somewhere else and offer him a choice whether he still wants what he calls 'market rates'.


chipmonkey · 15/04/2011 17:32

As a landlord myself, I would far prefer to keep a good tenant who paid on time and did their own repairs than have to go looking for another tenant. ( Pity you're not in Dublin! I'd have you!) Tell him you really can't afford the increase and would have to move. See whether he's willing to negotiate.


Firawla · 15/04/2011 17:36

I would try to negotiate hopefully he will meet you half way. rent prices have increased really badly in the last couple of years. we have had the same rent for 3yrs ish and now we are looking to move many of the properties are costing 50% extra on top of what we are already paying, they have just increased so much. but dont mention your deposit that seems a bit ott if he expects you to add more to that


MrsTittleMouse · 15/04/2011 17:38

We were "good" tenants - had fabulous references, really good credit refs, always paid on time, always had the deposit back etc. and I negociated down the rent in our last rental place. The estate agent was very Hmm, but I just asked her politely to tell the landlords about our offer. They were fine to take the reduced rent in order to have less hassle in their lives.

Your LL wouldn't have to have many months of voids to completely wipe out the increase, plus he'd have to freshen up the paint and so on which would cost money. So it's well worth having a go at haggling.

Where are you, by the way? We are in an area with a fair few rental places, but also fairly high demand, so not all in the tenants' favour.


FruitSaladIsNotPudding · 15/04/2011 17:40

Definitely negotiate, and move if he won't. As someone else pointed out, advertised prices are asking prices and so you will save money in the long run, even with the cost of moving.

If he needs the money badly (ie struggling with mortgage), then you would be better off moving anyway - financially shaky landlord is not good.


airborne · 15/04/2011 18:59

I am in London MrsTittleMouse. I think the demand is high here for rental places, but as many of you say its slightly in our favour as Landlord will have to find someone else if we move out which I really don't want to do as I know of all the hidden costs of actually moving, renting a van, contract fees etc. which just don't have at the moment. I don't think Landlord is struggling with mortgage, he just wants to claw back money from the repairs and rennovation he had done recently. Time for my negotiating pants. Wow thomasbodley average 10% increase a year, thats a lot!

OP posts:

scottishmummy · 15/04/2011 19:16

when we rented we negotiated with LL,he decreased rent.established agreement between us and LL.contract written by hos solicitor.LL didnt have to pay ea fees and we got lower rent. is worth asking by all means esp if you reliable tenant


MaisyMooCow · 15/04/2011 19:36

As others have said DEFINITELY NEGOTIATE!!! Good luck!


PigletJohn · 15/04/2011 20:41

17% might or might not be unreasonable. If the current rent is unusually low, it is not unreasonable. It it is unusually high, it is unreasonable.

You and the owner both need to establish what comparable properties go for; then he has to add on the risk that he may have a void wheile he looks for a new tenant; and you have to consider the inconvenience of moving home. See if you and he can agree on a different figure.

Do your best to fix a figure that is emotionally neutral to you. E.g. at £900, you wouldn't mind staying, but you also wouldn't mind going because you could get a slightly better home elsewhere for the price.

Try not to fix a price on your mind that will leave you thinking either "I wish we hadn't agreed to pay so much" or "I wish we'd stayed and paid a bit more"


fluffles · 15/04/2011 20:45

go and look at some of the places on the maket nearby for £850 and make your decision based on that. if you think they are better value then you can either move or you can threaten to move in the hope the landlord will negotiate (but only threaten if you can follow it through).


anonymosity · 15/04/2011 20:47

should be in line with inflation which is only currently about 3%. What does it say in your lease?


WMDinthekitchen · 15/04/2011 20:49


MrsTittleMouse · 15/04/2011 20:50

Actually, rent prices in London are going up faster than inflation - 7% over the past year. :( But that's still not 17%, and there still might be a good margin to haggle over.

Very good advice to check around, by the way. Not only will it give you a good idea of prices in your area, it'll also give you an idea of how easy it would be to find something else if your bargaining went pear-shaped. :)


ifeellove · 15/04/2011 20:56

I'd get a bit of legal advice about this and maybe speak to CAB. I'm pretty sure landlords can't just stick the rent up by this much. Good luck


EricNorthmansMistress · 15/04/2011 21:01

ifeellove they can do whatever they like at the time of renewing a contract! Tenants can like it or lump it.


stoppingat3 · 15/04/2011 21:17

Check your tenancy agreement first and then if it is silent on a rent increase I would go to the landlord with the figure that you are able to pay,

Bear in mind that to actually get you out he would have to serve s.21 (at least 2 months notice) Issue proceedings and then get a bailiff appoitment, all of which will cost him and take at least 4 months.

The alternative is to say that if he puts the rent up you will not be able to afford it and that you will slowly creep into arrears whereby he will have to serve s.21 as above (although timings longer if you sign a new contract) or s.8 which is normally served when you are two months or more in arrears (which would be ages if you underpaid by 100 a month).

Its a nightmare I know but at the ARLA conference this year one of the key discussions was the demand for properties being high. So landlords are in quite a strong position.

Good luck.

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