Can I increase rent while waiting for a S21 eviction?

Can I increase rent while waiting for a S21 eviction?

9:35 AM, 28th June 2022, About 2 months ago 9

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We are using Section 21 to evict a tenant because the freeholder is legitimately complaining about overcrowding and noise (birth of two children in a one-bedroomed flat post moving in).

However, the rent has always been paid, albeit at a lower than the market level. The tenant wants to be rehoused by the Council but the Council will not rehouse them without a court order despite the overcrowding.

We did not increase the rent as we assumed we would get possession soon but have just been told by the eviction company that there is a delay of “many months” or maybe longer, with the court in our area.

So we are wondering if increasing the rent is still a possibility using a Section 13 notice as we are trying to make ends meet ourselves?

We realise we cannot create a new AST as this would invalidate the court application, but would a Section 13 notice also invalidate the application under S21?

The current rent is £950pcm. The LHA for this type of property is £1047per month and the market rent is about £1300pcm.

Many thanks

Robert



Comments

dismayed landlord

11:12 AM, 28th June 2022, About 2 months ago

I am in the same situation x 2. Tenants moved in then had the family so now overcrowded and in the old days would have been moved to the correct size of home to meet their needs. But there are no 3 bedrooms houses or flats for them. A sad sign of the times and both families are now having health issues. Very sad. I have no idea so if anyone has been here and done it I would be very interested. My rents are less than LHA so both the tenants and myself are losing out. Mine is only financial but annoying. The tenants are suffering other issues. I have nowhere to place them as I am selling up as they become vacant.

Anthony Endsor

11:14 AM, 28th June 2022, About 2 months ago

In order to increase the rent without a new AST, your tenants would have to agree to the increase in writing. As you're about to evict them I would think their tendency to co-operate would be fairly low, so it's unlikely to be a clever move.
It might not jeopardise your position in court per se, but it would certainly not help your relationship with the tenants, and at this time, if you want them to continue to pay rent to the end, you need to keep them onside.

Robert View Profile

11:38 AM, 28th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Thanks Anthony but the tenants are co-operative and want to be evicted as they are overcrowded. They are hoping for the S21 to go through.
Secondly, they wouldn't have to pay the rent increase. We would only go up to the level of the LHA so Council would presumably cover it. So it would not cost them.
So the real legal question is whether a S13 notice would invalidate the court application in legal terms, bearing in mind we may have to wait over a year for eviction.

Robert View Profile

11:39 AM, 28th June 2022, About 2 months ago

That was from Robert again who wrote the original post. Using wife's login.

Judith Wordsworth

12:33 PM, 28th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Fiona Stacey at 28/06/2022 - 11:38
The Council will likely need to see a tenancy agreement with the new rent.
TBH for 2 months till the s21 Possession Order is granted, but if wanting to be housed by LA they will be advised to stay until a Bailiffs Order is granted, I wouldn’t bother increasing the rent for a couple of hundred pounds a monthly for the time that they will be there.
You don’t want a situation where you have inadvertently created a new tenancy

DSR

12:34 PM, 28th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Fiona Stacey at 28/06/2022 - 11:38
in that case go for a rent increase. If you can get any evidence to say they do not object to an increase then even better.

I have not come across anything that 'invalidates' a S21 as once it is served that's it. Nothing after that will make any difference as there is no reason given for it in the first place (remember you don't have to give a reason) Once the expiry date has passed, the tenant has not moved and you go for Accelerated then its just a matter of a date being set. The judge has already ruled on the S21 validity.

Bearing in mind the time it may take to get acutal possession, I see a rent increase as entirely valid and as it is at the LHA rate there is no 'detriment' to the tenant.

Go for it and get what you can while you can!

MarkT

14:09 PM, 28th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Yes you can and i have done the same thing myself a number of times with a S21 in place

Make sure you use the S13 notice and i have always put a letter with it explaining the situation

the S13 does not invalidate the S21

CMS View Profile

0:55 AM, 29th June 2022, About 2 months ago

If you are outside of the fixed term of the AST then i cannot see any legal reason why you cannot serve a section 13 but i would question whether it is wise to agree a rent increase especially from the tenants point of view.

You serve the tenant with a notice of rent increase and they willingly sign it. I don't know how Council will view that when it comes to rehousing and i mean that sincerely. Will they question why the tenant didnt put this additional money to one side for a new property deposit? I really don't know the answer to this (or even if the Council would require this information) but I am juts not sure it is worth the risk if you are close to regaining possession. Good luck either way

David

18:03 PM, 30th June 2022, About 2 months ago

A s13 notice will not invalidate your s21 notice, although it will only be valid if there is no rent review clause in your tenancy agreement. If there is, then you would need to follow it.

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