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sanddancer

Rent Increase

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Our tenancy is coming to an end in mid-April and today the letting agency called to see if we want to stay on, but said that they would be putting up the rent 'because it hasn't been increased for 3 years'.

When we moved in 3 years ago, we naively didn't haggle on the price and the place had been empty for about 4 months before we moved in, so we feel that the landlord has done pretty well out of us. Last year there was a problem with the bath which wasn't fixed for 6 weeks, but we received no rebate on the rent. There is a new bath now, but it doesn't match the rest of the suite. So if anything, we feel that the quality of the property has declined.

The property was bought quite a few years ago, so they must be making a huge profit on the rental as it is & I don't see that there is a real justification for the increase, other than greed.

I have told the agent that we won't pay anymore & they are getting back to me about it. I don't really want to move as it is a huge hassle, the current flat is in an ideal location for us and at the current price is allowing us to save each month for a deposit when we (eventually) buy, but on principle I don't think we should pay more - I came quite close to saying that if anything we were looking for a reduction!

Do you think I'm being unreasonable? Do you think it is likely that the landlord will accept us staying on the same rent?

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To be honest, if you have not had any rent increase in three years, I think you have done pretty well out of it. If you refuse an increase, they can serve a notice to officially increase the rent. Obviously, we do however need a bit more info.....location, size of property, current rent, proposed increase.

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Its a ground-floor purpose built (80s I think) one bed flat in Acton, West London - it is part furnished (all the bedroom furniture is our own). Currently pay £800 pcm plus all bills. They haven't said how much it will increase by yet, but I don't think it is right when there are so many outstanding maintenance issues.

As well as the mis-matched bathroom, there is a bit of damp in the bathroom and in the lounge which is causing paint to peel away, which we informed them about 6 months ago & nothing has been done. I think they would struggle to find someone to rent it without fixing these problems. If these things had been seen to quickly then I wouldn't object so much to the increase.

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Well maybe you should just say you will accept an increase if and when they fix the issues? But, obviously, it totally depends upon how much they are talking about. But it is standard that rent does go up over time, as like everything else, there is inflation.

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I suggest you do some homework and compare your flat and rent against others in the area. Maybe you should go and look at a few to a) see if there is anywhere to move to and B) compare the quality on offer.

At the end of the day it is not about what is 'fair' it is about the market and the risks that either you (the risk of being asked to leave) or the landlord (the risk of a void) are prepared to take. (You need to balance the cost of the move against the cost of the increase multiplied by the time you are thinking of staying)

If you think the rent increase is unjustified (I don't know your location so can't comment) and there is a glut of property on the market then refuse the rent increase.

When I was renting (for many years) I always extended my tenancy on the condition of no rent increase - this was always agreed by the landlord. Now as a landlord I would want to avoid void periods - especially if there were no problems with the tenant and they are paying near enough the market rate.

Also note the agency may have "persuaded" the landlord to test your reaction to rent increase.

Good luck!

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Now as a landlord I would want to avoid void periods - especially if there were no problems with the tenant and they are paying near enough the market rate.

Unfortunately, too many landlord's don't seem to be savvy enough to take this view. Why would a landlord want to lose a good tenant and regular income for the sake of a few quid on a rent increase, especially if the rent they are getting is a reasonable one anyway.

How many landlords I wonder, would be prepared to sacrifice a little on the rent to keep good tenants?

As for not paying the rent increase, you should keep on reminding the agent throughout any negotiation of the condition of the flat and ask them to give you a timetable for any repairs/maintenance to be done. It sounds like the landlord would have to fix the place before he put it back on the market if you left anyway and he'd run the risk of a long void period, so don't be afraid to stand your ground.

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From a search on the internet, what we are paying now doesn't seem to be too out of step with the going-rate (there are some a bit cheaper, some a bit more) - rents haven't moved much in our area in the last three years. There are a few places on for £50 a month more, but they are all newly refurbished & some have private gardens, so I would say are better value than ours, which it must have been at least 4 years since it was decorated. There are several flats in our building that are empty - not sure exactly how many as the multiple estate agents signs could all be for the same property, but there are a few windows with no curtains, so there certainly isn't an undersupply.

I'm not particularly attached to the place, so wouldn't be that bothered about having to leave, but it is just the hassle of finding somewhere new, so I will stand my ground and see what happens. But I do suspect as suggested that it may well be the letting agency's idea rather than the landlord - perhaps they are putting up their fees.

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From a search on the internet, what we are paying now doesn't seem to be too out of step with the going-rate (there are some a bit cheaper, some a bit more) - rents haven't moved much in our area in the last three years. There are a few places on for £50 a month more, but they are all newly refurbished & some have private gardens, so I would say are better value than ours, which it must have been at least 4 years since it was decorated.

You should also point this out to the Landlord/Agent. If asking prices are only £50 more then it shows that really, if anything you are paying too much - given a void then they will definitely back down (or they are mad) - and if not you might end up renting a nicer property with a private garden.

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Move out. Sounds yucky anyway. Haggle this time. As a Landlord, I would rather keep good tenants than put the rent up. But, after 3 years I would probably want to review it at least. Then again, I am an excellent Landlord who fixes everything immediately. It's my investment after all, it pays to look after it.

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Thank you for all the replies. I have thought about this more and definitely feel that I'm doing the right thing by refusing the increase. We are now waiting to hear back from the agent, but I will stand my ground on the issue.

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  • 301 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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