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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7600
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I moved into my current flat 4 years ago on standard 12 month

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I moved into my current flat 4 years ago on standard 12 month assured shorthold tenancy agreement. The managing agent kept asking to sign new contract every year. They increased the rent at some point. This time they allowed the contract to expire and the tenancy moved into periodic. At the same time they suggested a rent increase and are now asking to sign new tenancy with £20pw rent increase, plus they want 6month break clause. Managing agent told me it is all non-negotiable. What are my rights? I do not want to be stuck with expensive flat and not be able to move on normal notice. What would be the best way for me to proceed here?
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

There is no actual “law” which restricts this, it’s simply a matter for negotiation because you can either accept or reject his offer of a new tenancy at an increased rent and with an increased deposit.

I would suggest contacting the landlord directly. It may that the agent is attempting to play hardball to increase the amounts he gets in percentage. You can request a copy of the landlord’s address by law under section 48 of the landlord and tenant act 1985.

Try to negotiate with them. Presuambly they so not wish to lose a good tenant and so you may have a small measure of bargaining power.

If they stick to their guns then you either have to reject or accept it. If you reject then you will have to wait until you have received the correct notice and it has expired then move out. Details of the Notice that they are required to serve here:-
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/notice_to_quit.htm
See “notice by landlord”.

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Kind regards,


Tom
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Thomas


Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX understand that this is a matter for negotiation. What I don't understand is how much notice I should be given when landlord increases rent. There is something called section 13 notice which requires a specific amount of notice for rent increase. At the moment I don't even know when the effective date of this increase would be. Am I correct to think that there should be at least an appropriate notice (ie not for me to vacate, but more for me to know about rent increase and when this kicks in). You mentioned that landlord can serve notice on me to vacate the property. This is probably not what I am after, and in our case there is a really unpleasant managing agent. They threatened me with such statements as "this is non-negotiable", "you have to accept and then I will go away for about 9 months" implying I will have to be subjected to this again in 9 months. I'd really like to respond tactfully. Am I entitled to a notice period before rent increase kicks in? And do I have any rights as to whether to accept 6m break claise? Why does it have to be a new tenancy agreement when we already have one, and it is periodic tenancy.


 


So my specific questions are


1) Will 6m break clause mean I cannot move out for 6 months and will be liable for 6 months rent?


2) Is there a prescribed notice for rent increases? Should I be given time for new rent increase and what would this notice be? 1 moths, 6 months or another term?


3) I don't want to aggravate the landlord. I have met them. But this managing agent is really abusive. With treats described above. How can I respond to this managing agent and ensure they don't try such intimidation. This reflects badly on landlord and I know they are not so bad actually. But I still suffer from this agent.

Hi,


1) if you sign the tenancy then you cannot move until the 6m break clause, yes

2) If the landlord serves a s13 notice then (if the tenancy is a monthly tenancy) then they are required to give you one months' notice of such increase.

If you refuse to pay then they will serve the s21 notice .

3) Agent are agents, this is what they do. You should contact the landlord in writing directly and complain about the agent and negotiate directly with them. The agent must provide with their address by law (see above).

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards,

TOm
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