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Landlord Rent 'review' Letter

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Got a letter from my letting bods. Exactly two years after moving in. Knowing their reputation - I imagine its just a numbers game and they send to all (the ref code at the top would point to this) . Half will just accept it - free money for them.

Anyway they said they had had a rent review - and mine would increase by £25 a month from end of March. If I paid by direct debit I wouldn't have to do anything. How nice of them :)

My email reply is below (I am pretty sure an email is a legal communication these days - if not please say !!)

Anyway - I thought the folk of HPC would be proud. :)

Afternoon,

I am emailing to confirm receipt of a notification of rent increase letter dated 04/02/15.

This is in regards to the property noted below.

<<my address>>

I can confirm I am declining the increase of £25 per month from 03/15.

Please take this email as notification that I do not provide authorisation for my direct debit to increase by £25.

Can you reply to this email - or by letter to confirm receipt of my notification.

Thanks

<<my name>>

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Aye not too bothered as not even there very much.

The rent I pay for the area I am in.is not exactly cheap.

One month void would take them 23 months to get back what I would have paid.

I am totally in charge - and I will point this out if they come back to me. I highly doubt they will.

PS the landlord bought it for £126k at peak. They would be lucky to get £90k for it today.

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the key is to stick to your guns i got refused a rent reduction, until i handed my notice in a few months later. They they offered me the cut i requested, i was tempted to ask for it to be backdated to when i first requested but by then the rent had already driven me out and my moving plans too advanced.

now the flat has had a void for several months. the people farmers will try anything, be prepared to move out but don't wave the void in their faces as they will get emotional.

it only takes a few people going for cheaper rentals and the voids sting.

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My landlord tried this, so I called the letting agent the next day and asked to talk about a £100 reduction citing all the repairs that needed doing.

Never heard anything back, funnily enough.

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I'd never set up a direct debit for rent, for the very reason you've told us.

I pay rent by standing order. If they want to review it, it remains in my power. So far they've tried once, but backed off when I asked a couple of questions.

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I'd never set up a direct debit for rent, for the very reason you've told us.

I pay rent by standing order. If they want to review it, it remains in my power. So far they've tried once, but backed off when I asked a couple of questions.

Its a bit like 'we will inspect the property on xxxxx, don't worry if you are out, we have a key.' On your bike!

Presumably the only enforceable contract is the AST contract, which specifies the rent. So unless it is index linked, in order to change the rent, there needs to be a new agreement signed, or a variation to it. All I think is needed is to point this out and not consenting to have more money lifted from your account, and the OP to indicate they will not be signing to any increase if a terms are presented - and if the LL doesn't like it, he can serve notice in accordance with the H.A 1988 and the terms of the AST.

Sadly the LL interests are not important. The agent makes money from new contracts and charging fees to new tenants. 10% of one months rent is far less than what the cream off a new tenant in fees to both parties. Most LL are clueless and if the tenant did terminate their tenancy in disgust, they would probably tell their client it was 'just one of those things'.

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Thanks for the info. I an actually half hoping they do take it.

I will quite enjoy wasting as much of their time over £25 as possible.

:)

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That is funny my rent was increased by £25 pcm after a rent review. To be honest I thought as a percentage it was fairly high at about 4%. However, after the landlord sent it I was pissed off but looking at public sector rents these were capped at CPI + x%. Doubt I could find out market rents of what people actually pay without asking them all. I did that at my old place and the the other chap was paying an extra 150 for an identical flat.

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It probably depends on where you live. I don't mean to be a wet sock but look around before you make a definite decision.

We received one of these letters about a year ago - notifying us of our second inflation-busting rent increase in 3 years. After I had pointed out various problems with the property to the LA, they postponed the increase until the repairs were done.

The new proposed rent for 2015 is nearly 20% higher than the amount we paid in 2008 when we moved in.

In 2008 the rent was slightly lower than average but there were several similar properties in the area available for the same amount.

We looked on RM for similar houses available now within a 5 mile radius of the first half of the postcode.

The lowest rent being advertised for the past 6 months is on average 50% higher than our original rent and 30% higher than the proposed new amount, for something smaller and in a less pleasant area. The cheaper properties are usually let within a week.

This means that we would lose badly if we chose to reject the increase and move out. A house almost identical to ours a few doors down is being advertised at 40% more than our "new" rent.

As the LL (a large company) owns all the houses in our close, they would probably gain if we moved out. Every time one of the houses is advertised to let (at a higher rent than we pay, but still below the area average) they find a tenant almost immediately.

I am curious, though, to see how long it takes with the house down the road, as they have never asked that much before. The rampant rent increases in our road started 3 years ago when they changed letting agent.

We have little choice but to accept the increase, unless we move to a much smaller property (2 bed flat rather than 3 bed semi with garden, not good for children) or to somewhere about 15 miles away, which would cause problems in getting to work / childrens' school, etc.

We are in the SE in a commuter town about 45 mins drive from London.

Writing the above makes me feel thoroughly sick and I can only wish that this house of cards that is hpi and btl speculation falls to pieces as soon as possible, but I am starting to lose much hope of that ever happening.

Edited by FedupTeddiBear

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Yep some landlords take the total piss and get away with it. Hence why I am making sure it won't happen here. Its my HPC duty. :)

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Reminds me of a story about a dodgy letting agent here in Grosvenor St, Chester.

A friend of mine rented a house from them, they were told by the owner (big BTL firm) to find a tenant, then have nothing to do with the rest of the deal as tenant would pay rent & deal direct with owner.

Despite doing nothing but initial let, the local agent sent my friend a £50 renewal fee letter at end of first yr. He complained to owner, local agent said it was an error.

I told him to contact trade assoc, but he didn't bother.

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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Perhaps for good measure you should add on you'll be passing the increased rent notification on to HMRC?

Good plan :)

I am more interested to know if this is the agents at it - or it has come from.the landlord. No point asking really as I wouldn't believe a word they said anyway.

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You should cancel if it is a dd and make it a standing order, otherwise they will probably ignore you letter and take it anyway.

As I have said - I almost want this to happen.

I would then cancel by dd and not set up a standing order.

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Every time my landlord has tried this I've said no, pointing out that average rents in the area for similar properties would be cheaper after the rise, and he's said 'fair enough' and left it.

The trouble with the new 3-year tenancies the Labour party are touting are that they would automatically include an annual CPI rise, guaranteeing that rents in an area are always going to rise with no flat periods or deflation.

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Every time my landlord has tried this I've said no, pointing out that average rents in the area for similar properties would be cheaper after the rise, and he's said 'fair enough' and left it.

The trouble with the new 3-year tenancies the Labour party are touting are that they would automatically include an annual CPI rise, guaranteeing that rents in an area are always going to rise with no flat periods or deflation.

True, but people also get hit with unaffordable rent increase demands. I would rather take the certainty of CPI than the chance of negotiating a freeze.

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The trouble with the new 3-year tenancies the Labour party are touting are that they would automatically include an annual CPI rise, guaranteeing that rents in an area are always going to rise with no flat periods or deflation.

I think Labour said annual increases would be capped at CPI, not automatically linked to CPI. Anyway, if we go into full-on Japan-style deflation it might be quite good to be linked to CPI...

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I think Labour said annual increases would be capped at CPI, not automatically linked to CPI.

Just like university fees then! Capped at £9k, but of course practically all the courses are......£9k! In Labour's world prices only ever go up, because they have no idea how markets work. Locally markets can go down as well as up, such as if a large employer closes down.

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You can always claim back an unauthorised DD but there would be hassle in doing so.

No hassle at all. The Direct Debit guarantee is absolutely clear on this point, it is the cornerstone of the system.

If the LL takes too much money you get a FULL and IMMEDIATE refund from the *Bank*. The *Bank* has to refund first, and ask questions later. No ifs or buts.

I've read of cases where Banks tried to fob people off with "investigations", and when the bank was reported to BACS Ltd, they came down on the bank like a tonne of bricks.

Lloyds TSB tried to delay a refund to me when the RAC stole money from my DD. They said they needed to "investigate". Game over - a slam dunk. Because I didn't get the refund the SAME DAY I informed them of the errorcrime, they ended up gaving me several hundred pounds compensation in fear of me complaining to BACS.

So to the OP - you can win big if your LL breaks the rules *and* your bank does as well! :D:D

Edited by mrtickle

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