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renting til I die

Landlord Wants To Put Up My Rent

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Had a phone call from my LL this evening just to warn me that he is looking to put the rent up on my flat (He's nice like that :unsure:). He's going to get some advice from an EA tomorrow.

I'm out of the tenancy agreement period so he could give me notice if I refuse to pay any increase.

I live in Leytonstone and I'm paying £950 a month which is slightly below market rate from my knowledge.

I would be asking for improvements to the flat if I do agree to and stay and suck up the rise but what other advice does anyone on here have for me and does anyone have any up to date data for rents in my area of London.

Edited by renting til I die

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I would work out the costs of moving, disruption etc so that you have a clear position of where you are. If he says £50 extra and month ie £600 per year and it would cost £1,000 to move it may be better to come to some agreement. Equally on his side he has the risk of a void and a two week void (plus the costs to get a new tenant) means he would lose money, having a good tenant must be an advantage rather than bringing in an unknown. Other option for him is to deal with you direct and get rid of the EA (when you leave he could probably get a better deal from another EA) and save himself between 5 and 15% of the rent in fees.

These things are never just a win (ie more money) for the LL.

Well, step one is OBVIOUSLY phoning the inland revenue and telling them your landlord is renting out the property. You never know....

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Three points to keep in mind from a standard negotiating tactics perspective:

1) Know his position.

Forcing you to move will cost your landlord. In my experience, letting agents charge about 1 month's rent to find a new tenant, plus the costs of the void and redecorating, so unless the landlord thinks he can get at least a 10%-20% increase in rent with a new tenant, it's probably not worth kicking you out if you refuse the increase even if you're paying less than the market rate.

2) Use hard data.

Rents in London have increased 1.4% over the past year. Link to ONS data here. When talking to the landlord, use hard data to argue for a very limited rent increase, if any at all. By the way, it's worth pointing out that the ONS data is the most complete and impartial source if he tries to counter the 1.4% figure by saying that another index shows higher increases.

3) Have a reason for your position.

This sounds simple, but have a "good" reason why you can't afford a rent rise right now. Saying, "I can't afford the rent rise because ..." is much more effective than just saying "I don't want to pay more". Say something like everyone at work had to take a cut in pay or hours; or you're expecting a baby; or you've had to help out with paying your mum's care home fees; etc. It doesn't necessarily matter what the reason is, just as long as it's plausible. Any reason is better than no reason.

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1) Know his position.

I know him pretty well. The mortgage is almost paid off and I know know he is also selling his company. He was pretty fair to me in the past. This is the 2nd flat I have rented from him however he did tell me a little lie to get me out of the last flat. He told me that he was going to knock everything, his house and the flat (where I was living) and garage next door and developing the site. However, after I agreed to move, and started moving (I started moving stuff the next day), I found out that he had already offered the flat to someone else he knew!

2) Use hard data.

Thanks for the link. Although the site is a little hard to follow.... is 1.4% for the past year or the past 3 months?

3) Have a reason for your position.

"This sounds simple"

This is hard. the truth is I just think the rent is too much already and I've only been here 2 years. He didn't put the rent up in the last place for 5 years, I had hoped for simliar treatment here. I can't see that the rents of the surrounding area have gone up at all (maybe I'm bais there!).

He hasn't got back to me about it yet and he is a little liase fiare, so may not get around to giving me anything in writing for ages! (esp, if I don't tell him that that is the law! :P). So, I may well play dumb and give myself alittle more time to sort out my rubbish!

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1) Know his position.

I know him pretty well. The mortgage is almost paid off and I know know he is also selling his company. He was pretty fair to me in the past. This is the 2nd flat I have rented from him however he did tell me a little lie to get me out of the last flat. He told me that he was going to knock everything, his house and the flat (where I was living) and garage next door and developing the site. However, after I agreed to move, and started moving (I started moving stuff the next day), I found out that he had already offered the flat to someone else he knew!

2) Use hard data.

Thanks for the link. Although the site is a little hard to follow.... is 1.4% for the past year or the past 3 months?

3) Have a reason for your position.

"This sounds simple"

This is hard. the truth is I just think the rent is too much already and I've only been here 2 years. He didn't put the rent up in the last place for 5 years, I had hoped for simliar treatment here. I can't see that the rents of the surrounding area have gone up at all (maybe I'm bais there!).

He hasn't got back to me about it yet and he is a little liase fiare, so may not get around to giving me anything in writing for ages! (esp, if I don't tell him that that is the law! :P). So, I may well play dumb and give myself alittle more time to sort out my rubbish!

3) Make up a reason. It doesn't have to be true.

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3) Make up a reason. It doesn't have to be true.

This is true. They've done studies showing that even if you can come up with the flimsiest of rationales for your position, it's more likely to result in the person conceding to your position than if you just demand them to do so.

I wouldn't actually lie, though, because it might make you nervous in the conversation. Just come up with some reason that's vaguely true and vaguely rational.

(And that 1.4% figure is the annual year-over-year increase.)

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3) Make up a reason. It doesn't have to be true.

The reason I know him pretty well is that he's kind of a friend of the family. My bother in law is pretty close to him so if I make up a really bullsh*t reason its possible he could find out.

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This is true. They've done studies showing that even if you can come up with the flimsiest of rationales for your position, it's more likely to result in the person conceding to your position than if you just demand them to do so.

I wouldn't actually lie, though, because it might make you nervous in the conversation. Just come up with some reason that's vaguely true and vaguely rational.

(And that 1.4% figure is the annual year-over-year increase.)

In econimics I think it is something to do with game theory and anchoring. I have some reasons lined up plus some great looking example flats just around the corner from me for less than 10% more than this place. I'm also perpeared to call his bluff and cut off my nose to spite my face, if need be, because I wasn't happy with how he lied to me about the last move.

Thanks for confirming the 1.4% year on year increase, this will be my hard data plus the andotial stuff. I'm kind of thinking he's going to be looking at sites like this http://homelet.co.uk/homelet-rental-index which state rent rises in London of 9.4%! How they get that, I have no idea!

Edited by renting til I die

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The reason I know him pretty well is that he's kind of a friend of the family. My bother in law is pretty close to him so if I make up a really bullsh*t reason its possible he could find out.

When lying make it as close to the truth as possible rather than spin an elaborate story. Or make it so it could be true if your situation was viewed in a certain way. A recent episode of Game of Thrones was a master class in this. Nearly everything the character says is true, except one crucial detail.

You can just say with all of your other bills going up, and uncertainties about work, you don't think you can afford a rent rise right now.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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When lying make it as close to the truth as possible rather than spin an elaborate story. Or make it so it could be true if your situation was viewed in a certain way. A recent episode of Game of Thrones was a master class in this. Nearly everything the character says is true, expect one crucial detail.

You can just say with all of your other bills going up, and uncertainties about work, you don't think you can afford a rent rise right now.

Was you thinking about Sansa Stark's portrayal of her aunt's suicide?

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OP - its a bit difficult to say if you rental price now is reasonable market wise as we don't know the type of property or where its located. Clearly if its upper Leytonstone near the tube its a much better deal than further down Leytonstone high road.

If its the former your current rent looks reasonable - but why not search on rightmove to see comparable prices.

If its a small increase I would stay put - because its a lot of hassle and to be honest there is competition for decent flats in that area as its popular (zone 3 central line etc etc).

But sell the benefits of keeping you - he knows you and you wont do a midnight flit. Cos to be honest that area is full of lots of people who come and go (including lots of eastern Europeans). Keeping you over an unreliable tenant might well be worth a lot more than a few extra quid a week - cos the rent is irrelevant if the tenant doesn't pay up!

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UPDATE: Well, its been over a week and I haven't heard anything from my LL. Maybe he decided that it wasn't worth putting the rent up at the moment? Or maybe he just hasn't going round to looking into it?

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I disagree - just wait for him to raise it. Why bring forward your rent increase sooner by prompting him.

He wont have problems finding new tenants in Leytonstone - but the struggle is to find good tenants like you who will stick around long term. Cos all those renewals every six or 12 months are a hassle for him.

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Yes bury head in sand.

Well, I did bury my head in the sand! :P Well not quite, I have been a bit more pro-active in sorting out my junk and keeping a closer eye on the rents in areas I wouldn't mind moving to. Also keeping a bit of tally on what the moving costs and EA fee's could come in at.

So, bit of a update. My LL finally got back to me about the rent increase. He is looking for £1250 per month, up from £950. Big jump but I also realise that the market rate is about £1300. Going to have a big talk with the wife once she gets home from work and do some number crunching. I got the feeling he would accept £1200.

So, the damage is up to £300 per month, or a 31.5% increase! I'm getting the feeling that London costs too much for me now! :P

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Sorry to hear that. My Landlord has not been back in contact since asking for an extra £50pm back in April, head burying is working so far although I will have to remind about the boiler cert soon :unsure:

(Not London)

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Well, I did bury my head in the sand! :P Well not quite, I have been a bit more pro-active in sorting out my junk and keeping a closer eye on the rents in areas I wouldn't mind moving to. Also keeping a bit of tally on what the moving costs and EA fee's could come in at.

So, bit of a update. My LL finally got back to me about the rent increase. He is looking for £1250 per month, up from £950. Big jump but I also realise that the market rate is about £1300. Going to have a big talk with the wife once she gets home from work and do some number crunching. I got the feeling he would accept £1200.

So, the damage is up to £300 per month, or a 31.5% increase! I'm getting the feeling that London costs too much for me now! :P

Friends of mine have moved to a nice newly refurbished one bed flat for under £900 per month near Wood Street station. This was back in the summer.

I've been looking for a flat in the area myself, but I've given up due to agent fees and high rents. All of the agents seem to be charging at least one weeks' rent plus referencing fees and other add-ons. In Hornsey, the agents just charge a referencing fee. Plus for £1300 in Hornsey, I can get a gorgeous one bed flat, whereas I just seem to get absolute crap in Walthamstow.

Part of this might be the winter lull in rentals available, but I'm still not happy being ripped off for such a large agency fee.

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Friends of mine have moved to a nice newly refurbished one bed flat for under £900 per month near Wood Street station. This was back in the summer.

I've been looking for a flat in the area myself, but I've given up due to agent fees and high rents. All of the agents seem to be charging at least one weeks' rent plus referencing fees and other add-ons. In Hornsey, the agents just charge a referencing fee. Plus for £1300 in Hornsey, I can get a gorgeous one bed flat, whereas I just seem to get absolute crap in Walthamstow.

Part of this might be the winter lull in rentals available, but I'm still not happy being ripped off for such a large agency fee.

I know. I've been looking around at what else I can get for the money and apart from the rents, the fees are crazy! Interesting to hear that other areas don't have the same level of fees.

After speaking to the wife at length, we have decided to offer the LL £1100 per month, pointing to the fact that it is such a large jump and of course that we have been good tenants over the years. Plus we feel we could get a much nicer pad in the area for a similar amount, of course, only after all of the hassle and costs of moving! Not in much rush to contact the LL and give him my offer though. As he knows me he tends to phone rather than correspond via letters and he hasn't rung me again yet, seems to be giving me time to think things over.

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