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The Ayatollah Buggeri

Just Been Hit With A 10% Rent Rise

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Have been in my current flat since 2000, which I rent from The National Trust. Last AST was signed in 2005, expired and defaulted to a monthly contract a year later. Yesterday I received a letter from the LA with a new AST to sign and a rent hike of what amounts to 10.3%. No reason given in the cover letter - just please sign and return, etc.

This amounts to around a 2.5% a year - below even the CPI over that four-year period - and the rent is still significantly below the average for that sort of property in that area, and so while of course I'm not exactly overjoyed at being £35 a month down, I have no problem with the increase, as long as they remain every 4-5 years. But I do wonder what prompted its timing. Increased outgoings? LA looked at their books to identify long-term tenants and thought they'd be softer targets?

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Have been in my current flat since 2000, which I rent from The National Trust. Last AST was signed in 2005, expired and defaulted to a monthly contract a year later. Yesterday I received a letter from the LA with a new AST to sign and a rent hike of what amounts to 10.3%. No reason given in the cover letter - just please sign and return, etc.

This amounts to around a 2.5% a year - below even the CPI over that four-year period - and the rent is still significantly below the average for that sort of property in that area, and so while of course I'm not exactly overjoyed at being £35 a month down, I have no problem with the increase, as long as they remain every 4-5 years. But I do wonder what prompted its timing. Increased outgoings? LA looked at their books to identify long-term tenants and thought they'd be softer targets?

You are being far too understanding. The rent rise is not calculated from the last time it rose but from the current rate that you pay. As you say, it is a 10.3% rise from what you are currently paying so what justification do they have for that? I would quote this year's CPI to them and say that anything above that is unjustified. I certainly would not meekly accept it. Also, why do they require a new AST when you have been on a rolling contract for the last 5 years? I would be tempted to just bin the letter in the first instance and then argue the toss about the rent rise being linked to CPI when they get round to contacting you again.

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I don't want to play hardball with them because:

1. I like living in the place, a lot.

2. Even after the hike, the rent is still a lot lower than I could get anywhere comparable in the same area for from a private sector LL This is mainly because being in an historic building, there are some quirks (e.g. no central heating or double glazing) and rules and regs (e.g. absolutely no smoking allowed, even in the garden and grounds) that many tenants would not be prepared to put up with.

3. The LL is superb about maintenance and repairs.

4. The LL is a nonprofit, so it's not as if the hike is going to line the pockets of a BTL-er.

5. No issues with antisocial neighbours, noise, parking hassles etc.

If they try the same thing next year and I'm still living there (which I may well not be), then I certainly would object to a second hike of a similar magnitude.

Edited by The Ayatollah Buggeri

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I don't want to play hardball with them because:

1. I like living in the place, a lot.

2. Even after the hike, the rent is still a lot lower than I could get anywhere comparable in the same area.

3. The LL is superb about maintenance and repairs.

4. No issues with antisocial neighbours, noise, parking hassles etc.

If they try the same thing next year and I'm still living there (which I may well not be), then I certainly would object to a second hike of a similar magnitude.

I understand that you do not want to move but a 10% hike should still not go unchallenged. What is the worst that could happen? They may insist and so you agree to pay it and nothing has changed. On the other hand, they may reduce it and you can spend the money on the family. Negotiation doesn't have to be hardball and both parties can walk away satisfied with the outcome.

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Have been in my current flat since 2000, which I rent from The National Trust. Last AST was signed in 2005, expired and defaulted to a monthly contract a year later. Yesterday I received a letter from the LA with a new AST to sign and a rent hike of what amounts to 10.3%. No reason given in the cover letter - just please sign and return, etc.

This amounts to around a 2.5% a year - below even the CPI over that four-year period - and the rent is still significantly below the average for that sort of property in that area, and so while of course I'm not exactly overjoyed at being £35 a month down, I have no problem with the increase, as long as they remain every 4-5 years. But I do wonder what prompted its timing. Increased outgoings? LA looked at their books to identify long-term tenants and thought they'd be softer targets?

Lots of lettings agents are adopting the sort of sharp practice previously reserved for EAs.

This scam could net them a fee for a new contract - typically 10% of the yearly rent.

But why would the NT agree to paying them a 10% fee? Oh look, the rent has gone up 10.3%.

Try contacting the NT directly and agreeing a compromise based on your existing, rolling contract.

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Lots of lettings agents are adopting the sort of sharp practice previously reserved for EAs.

Interesting. I'm pretty sure it's a different LA from last time (didn't recognise the name on the lettterhead). As this is only the second rent rise I've had in just over a decade living here, I presume that their policy is review rents at 4-5 year intervals and then put them up 10% or so, rather than go to the admin hassle of small rises annually. Plus also, if they end up with bad tenants (unlikely, because they don't advertise their tenanted properties for rent - tenants are selected entirely through word of mouth from an existing one) they can get them out during a rolling period with minimal fuss.

As I say, I'm not inclined to make any objections this time (and the LA is not trying to charge me any renewal or admin fees), but I certainly will if they try another similar rise in anything less than 3-4 years' time. In any case, my personal circumstances have changed quite significantly recently (i.e. I've got engaged to an American), with the result that in the next 6-18 months I will probably either be emigrating or looking to move within the UK anyway, regardless of whether that's to another rent or to buy: my current flat isn't big enough for two. So it doesn't seem rocking the boat and risk having to move just for the sake of a few months.

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  • 276 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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