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  • FIRST POST
    • cashmonger
    • By cashmonger 16th Apr 19, 6:10 AM
    • 323Posts
    • 48Thanks
    cashmonger
    Landlord/agents trying to push me onto a fixed term tenancy along with rent increase and £150 admin
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 19, 6:10 AM
    Landlord/agents trying to push me onto a fixed term tenancy along with rent increase and £150 admin 16th Apr 19 at 6:10 AM
    I have been in my property renting nearly 2 years now. Rent began at £475 on a new build property. The original fixed term was for 6 months and it specifically states in the terms that you have the option of a statutory periodic contract once the current one runs out.

    Before the 6 months finished the flat had been sold to a private owner and so too the letting agents were passed over to another company. The agents allow web login and it allows me to look at our agreements and information online. When things were passed over I notice they had extended the fixed term for another 6 months (unbeknownst to me at the time but it was on the dashboard when logging in). That wasn't a problem at the time since they didn't ask for any charges from me and I was happy living here then.

    That was around 9 months ago and I have been on an SPT since then and it also says it on my dashboard when I login that my tenancy is periodic.

    I got an email the other day saying 'my tenancy is due to expire' and they want me to renew with a fixed term.

    Here is my response:

    As it shows in my dashboard the fixed term was 29th May 2017 - 28th May 2018 so once that ended I have through default been on a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT) since 28 May 2018. I am happy living here and with being on an SPT and would like to continue with no changes as long as that is ok with the landlord so this should require no additional admin work as I have been on the same periodic tenancy since May 2018 and would like to continue as I have been since then provided the landlord is happy with this.
    But now they are responding saying the landlord wants a price increase of £20 per month; ok that is understandable but they also want to put me on a fixed term now and of course the agents take their £150 for the gruelling work of writing up a new contract.

    Here is their 2 responses:

    Thank you for your response.

    We are pleased to hear that you wish to remain at the property.

    Your landlord requires a fixed term tenancy, not a statutory periodic tenancy. Therefore, we will be going ahead with the renewal.

    There will however, be an email to follow shortly regarding the next steps and the rental increase.

    Thank you.
    Good Afternoon

    Thank you for confirming that you are happy in the above property.

    After reviewing similar rented properties within the area, we have found that properties are achieving a rental figure in the range of £500-520.

    We are pleased to be able to propose a renewal for a period of 12 months with a rental increase of £20 meaning your new monthly rent will be £495.

    Once we have your confirmation and agreement we will then process the renewal which is completed electronically.

    Please note that the cost for a renewal is £150 which is requested online.

    Please make sure you provide a colour copy of both pages of your passport along with a utility bill from within the last 3 months.

    Please can you respond to this email confirming you agree with the above.

    We look forward to hearing your response.
    (bold in original)

    I know the ban on admin charges are coming in in less than two months right? so is there a way to avoid that fee? Also I don't want to be on a fixed term contract but is that mandatory when the rent increases?

    I like the flexibility of not being tied to a contract and indeed I had been thinking of moving but within the next month will make things all the more immediate if I have to do that. I wasn't decided but I was testing the waters at other places but now this will make everything rushed.

    I was thinking I could take my time since I was on a rolling contract, having to give only a month's notice, but now it will make things urgent if I am forced into a fixed term contract for the price hike.

    So what are my options? I don't really want to be tied to another 6 months (I see they are asking for 12 months!) here because I wasn't happy where I am living already and had been going on day-trips elsewhere with a mind to see where I fancy but now everything is going to be rushed if indeed I would be forced into a contract or to leave at the end of may.
    Last edited by cashmonger; 16-04-2019 at 6:31 AM.
Page 1
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 16th Apr 19, 6:31 AM
    • 5,799 Posts
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    csgohan4
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 6:31 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 6:31 AM
    Guide by G_M says it all really


    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=67759913&postcount=4




    Just ignore them and continue on SPT. If they give you a section 21, it can still take many months to evict you
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land/Estate Agents"
    • da_rule
    • By da_rule 16th Apr 19, 6:34 AM
    • 3,132 Posts
    • 2,819 Thanks
    da_rule
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 6:34 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 6:34 AM
    You have a few options:
    1) Don’t reply and hope they give up and don’t commence possession proceedings.
    2) Agree and pay the fees.
    3) Don’t reply until 1st June (and hope they don’t commence possession proceedings) then agree and they won’t be able to charge the fees. However, they can still charge the fee to the landlord who may then put the rent up to cover this.
    • cashmonger
    • By cashmonger 16th Apr 19, 7:05 AM
    • 323 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    cashmonger
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:05 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:05 AM
    So to my other question, is a fixed term/new tenancy agreement mandatory when they increase the rent?

    Ideally I would like the flexibility of the option to stay (even at the rent increase) while still having being on an SPT, since my mind was not made up about moving yet whether it is right or not and I will feel rushed to move by end of may.

    At the same time the last move I made was because the landlord put a fire under my a s s of £200 rent increase or leave so it can be a motivator for change you otherwise wouldn't have made.

    I think I do want to move but the question is whether it will be a hurried one or a more casual one.

    I'll re-read the above link now didn't look at it since last time I was looking at the market.
    Last edited by cashmonger; 16-04-2019 at 7:11 AM.
    • dimbo61
    • By dimbo61 16th Apr 19, 8:45 AM
    • 10,231 Posts
    • 5,548 Thanks
    dimbo61
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:45 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:45 AM
    What is the point of the landlord putting up the rent by £20 a month !
    After living in the property for 2 years he/she wants to up the rent by 4%
    and maybe lose a good tenant and have a void period of 1/2 months which will cost them over £1,000+ with letting agents fees on top.
    Do a bit of research yourself as the the letting agents seem to have done !
    How many empty properties are on the rental market in your area like your home ?
    How much are the local letting agents asking ! ( Use Rightmove )
    This is a case of the letting agents getting greedy.
    If you see a couple of nice properties near you that are the same rent send the details to the letting agents.
    Ask them for the Landlords name and contact details and which redress scheme they belong too.
    • stator
    • By stator 16th Apr 19, 8:46 AM
    • 7,119 Posts
    • 4,900 Thanks
    stator
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:46 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:46 AM
    No, a new tenancy is not mandatory when they increase the rent


    Just ignore them.


    If you receive official notice of a rent increase, pay it.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • KK14
    • By KK14 16th Apr 19, 9:36 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    KK14
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:36 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:36 AM
    It seems like letting agents are trying it on. This is what mine tried to do. My 12 month fixed term ends in April this year & they wanted me to sign up to another 12 months. They started on me about this in January this year!!
    I asked them what the rush was & that I wanted to go onto a rolling contract & avoid paying the 12 month fee.
    I didn’t want to go into a fixed contract period as despite being happy living here, my mum was at late stage dementia & sadly went into hospital & didn’t make it out again, a few weeks ago. I’m now nearly at the point of selling her bungalow & will be able to buy a house.
    Don’t let them bully you!
    • wesleyad
    • By wesleyad 16th Apr 19, 10:10 AM
    • 465 Posts
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    wesleyad
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:10 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:10 AM
    In this situation you have to try to get hold of the LL. The agent stating the LL needs a fixed term is very very likely to be complete !!!!!!!! (there are some odd times when this does happen, but its rare).

    More likely is they are charging you both, and haven't informed LL you want a SPT or they have advised the LL that its "the law" to have a fixed term.

    A quick text or call to the LL, to say "Hi I'm happy to stay, I'm even OK with rent increase, but want a SPT to avoid fees which are soon being made illegal. If you want to evict then fair enough" I dont have any stats to back this up, but you're probably looking at 99%+ of LLs saying carry on.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Apr 19, 10:11 AM
    • 47,758 Posts
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    G_M
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:11 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:11 AM
    Read:


    * Ending/renewing an AST: what happens when a fixed term ends? How can a LL or tenant end a tenancy? What is a periodic tenancy?

    * Rent increases: when & how can rent be increased?
    • SpiderLegs
    • By SpiderLegs 16th Apr 19, 11:46 AM
    • 72 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    SpiderLegs
    My guess is that the landlord neither knows nor cares that you are on an SPT. Sounds very much like the agent has gone through all their tenants who are on periodic and are having one last push to cream as many fees as possible before June.

    Personally I would not even bother replying.
    • daphnemoon
    • By daphnemoon 16th Apr 19, 1:54 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    daphnemoon
    We're in the same situation!!

    It's so difficult to find out the specific information, especially with the fear that paying the increase in rent will form a new agreement and tie you in.

    I am led to believe though that just paying the new amount will not tie you into a new contract and you can wait until the LA provides you with a formal ‘Landlord’s notice proposing a new rent’ form.

    The best, and clearest advice regarding our situation I have come across (after hours of searching!) is this link -

    https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/rent-increases

    I think this will be happening a lot in the next few weeks as the new laws commence in June. At least there's people on here that understand the worry of the situation and genuinly try to help us all though!!

    All the best with it.
    Last edited by daphnemoon; 16-04-2019 at 4:16 PM.
    I wish I knew more than I do!!
    • cashmonger
    • By cashmonger 16th Apr 19, 4:40 PM
    • 323 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    cashmonger
    Thanks. Ye next time I rent I am looking to definitely go with openrent so then you are dealing with the landlord directly and get rid of these cretins completely.

    So is it the case that if I ignore then I would get a formal letter for a rent increase and not the section 21 right away? Since I already said I was happy about living here (that was before they hit me with rent increase and admin fee and 12 month contract) so they would be wanting to get me to stay rather than thinking I want to leave if I give them silence right? so the the official rent letter would be their first port of call?

    But if they were 'trying it on' they might just drop it? I guess I will just give radio silence for now and see what their next responses are.

    We're in the same situation!!

    It's so difficult to find out the specific information, especially with the fear that paying the increase in rent will form a new agreement and tie you in.

    I am led to believe though that just paying the new amount will not tie you into a new contract and you can wait until the LA provides you with a formal ‘Landlord’s notice proposing a new rent’ form.

    The best, and clearest advice regarding our situation I have come across (after hours of searching!) is this link -

    https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/rent-increases

    I think this will be happening a lot in the next few weeks as the new laws commence in June. At least there's people on here that understand the worry of the situation and genuinly try to help us all though!!

    All the best with it.
    Originally posted by daphnemoon
    Last edited by cashmonger; 16-04-2019 at 4:43 PM.
    • cashmonger
    • By cashmonger 16th Apr 19, 5:18 PM
    • 323 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    cashmonger
    It seems like letting agents are trying it on. This is what mine tried to do. My 12 month fixed term ends in April this year & they wanted me to sign up to another 12 months. They started on me about this in January this year!!
    I asked them what the rush was & that I wanted to go onto a rolling contract & avoid paying the 12 month fee.
    I didnít want to go into a fixed contract period as despite being happy living here, my mum was at late stage dementia & sadly went into hospital & didnít make it out again, a few weeks ago. Iím now nearly at the point of selling her bungalow & will be able to buy a house.
    Donít let them bully you!
    Originally posted by KK14
    You didn't mention how you resolved the situation?
    • daphnemoon
    • By daphnemoon 16th Apr 19, 6:39 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    daphnemoon
    I think the LL/LA can serve a Section 21 at any point they want on a Periodic Tenancy. So fight too hard and they can serve you 2 months notice, as they could at any point going forward unless you sign for the new fixed term.

    So we are just going to contact the LA and explain the financial difficulties the increase will put us into and hope for the best that they don't give us notice to leave!

    We were tempted to fight the increase but have thought that its better for all to co-operate in the hopes they may lower the increase for us.

    Wish you all the best!
    Last edited by daphnemoon; 16-04-2019 at 6:42 PM.
    I wish I knew more than I do!!
    • cashmonger
    • By cashmonger 17th Apr 19, 6:15 AM
    • 323 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    cashmonger
    You gave in then.

    Why don't you contact the landlord directly to check the LA weren't having you over instead? as others have suggested above.

    That is not going to 'rock the boat' and will ensure it isn't just the LA trying to rip you off. I think I will do that in a while if the LA badgers me again with another email.
    • cashmonger
    • By cashmonger 17th Apr 19, 8:22 AM
    • 323 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    cashmonger
    Guys I just looked through my papers and the letter I received from the letting agents did not give any address for the new landlord, only their name, and that I should contact the agents for any correspondence including for the serving on notices.

    I thought by law you are supposed to have an address for the landlord?

    I looked through the AST which I downloaded from the website as well and it only shows the details of the original owners (which were the property builders).

    I was thinking I would contact the landlord directly if I was pestered again by email but I can't now if the agent didn't provide their address can I. Or should I tell the agents directly that I am not paying the admin fee and that they can section 21 me if they want but I will negotiate a rent increase after June 1 (since I imagine they would have to pass that on to the LL? and the LL wouldn't want the fees of section 21 and wouldn't mind me just waiting till after June 1 for negotiation.)
    • cashmonger
    • By cashmonger 17th Apr 19, 8:13 PM
    • 323 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    cashmonger
    I probably need to say something soon or later don't I?

    The LA email me yet again today asking for my mobile number. I don't see why they need this all of a sudden. Maybe they want to try the hard sell over the phone?

    Anyway I would not answer to them as I like to keep written evidence of all correspondence with these bloodsuckers.

    If I do decide I would like to say I don't want the landlord to think I am a troublesome; but the LA are the gatekeepers and do not want me to contact the landlord directly I bet because it could compromise their position.

    Should I tell the letting agents direct that I am not going to pay their fees? and they should pass that to the landlord and I will discuss rent after June 1. Can they be trusted though to give the message as I stated it?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th Apr 19, 8:26 PM
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    G_M
    .... the letter I received from the letting agents did not give any address for the new landlord, only their name, see my Q below and that I should contact the agents for any correspondence including for the serving on notices.
    So they have complied with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 S48 which requires the landlord to give you AN address in Eng/Wales for serving notices.

    I thought by law you are supposed to have an address for the landlord?
    Yes - provided you ask for it, in writing:
    Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 S1

    I looked through the AST which I downloaded from the website as well and it only shows the details of the original owners (which were the property builders).
    so is this the same name as above? What name is given for the landlord on the tenancy agreement you signed?

    I was thinking I would contact the landlord directly if I was pestered again by email but I can't now if the agent didn't provide their address can I.
    See Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 Section 1.

    Or should I tell the agents directly that I am not paying the admin fee and that they can section 21 me if they want
    why tell them anything? What purpose will it serve?

    but I will negotiate a rent increase after June 1 (since I imagine they would have to pass that on to the LL? and the LL wouldn't want the fees of section 21 and wouldn't mind me just waiting till after June 1 for negotiation.)
    Originally posted by cashmonger
    .................................................. .................................................. .....
    • cashmonger
    • By cashmonger 18th Apr 19, 7:08 AM
    • 323 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    cashmonger
    So they have complied with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 S48 which requires the landlord to give you AN address in Eng/Wales for serving notices.
    Originally posted by G_M
    Well they provided an address which was only the letting agents address and in the sentence it specifically states that that is the address which should be used for serving notices.

    so is this the same name as above? What name is given for the landlord on the tenancy agreement you signed?
    Originally posted by G_M
    No, I just looked and the contract they have is the original contract with the company who built the place. So I signed the original contract with them when I moved in, they sold the place within like 3 months however I didn't sign anything else with the new landlord or the new letting agent and they have just uploaded the original AST.

    So maybe that is a legitimate reason why the Landlord wants a new contract since I have never actually had a contract with them.

    why tell them anything? What purpose will it serve?
    Originally posted by G_M
    Because I don't want to seem uncooperative to the landlord? or you mean I could contact the landlord directly and have no dealings with the agent? provided I got their address.

    I think it is not good to 'just ignore' all communication with the agent as some others suggested. That would be fine if I could contact the landlord directly but I don't have a means to do so right now so the LA could spin any yarn about why I were not responding to them if they wanted.
    • stator
    • By stator 18th Apr 19, 8:33 AM
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    • 4,900 Thanks
    stator
    It's better to not engage with them, they will use tactics to manipulate you into doing what they want.


    If they send you an e-mail, you can reply with something non-comittal if you want but don't engage with them.



    You don't have to reply to their questions or requests. Just stick to your guns and ignore anything irrelevant.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
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