More rent – is there a catch?

More rent – is there a catch?

17:21 PM, 4th February 2021, About 12 months ago 15

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I have a two-bed flat let to a lady, her child and partner. Rent £630pcm – UC pays £599.99 she pays top-ups herself (as part working/claiming)

Over Dec, there were some issues with her previous partner and the two children they have together, so the kids moved in with her on a very temp basis while the adults sorted this out (I was unaware of this until she called me in early Jan to put me in the picture)

She has just called me again to state that a decision has been made with her first partner (the father of the two kids) that the children remain with her. She has called the DWP, gone over this all with them, explained her change of circumstance and they have apparently agreed to pay me now £900 towards the rent. With UC rent for period due 30 Dec – 29th Jan due, I am not sure if it will cover this period or next month so will just have to see what comes into the account in the next few days.

She said she is now looking for a bigger property but is unsure she will find one as the flat is in the perfect location for her work/kids schools etc, but a bigger house will mean a move further out.

I’m in a bit of shock to be honest, but keen to understand what to do next. Do I up the rent to meet this now by changing the TA, then have the issue of upping the deposit etc or do I leave as it is as she is looking for another house and may well be out very shortly?

Is it normal for the DWP to pay out in this way knowing that clearly 2 adults and 3 kids are in a two-bed flat?

What other implications does this have? Anyone else been in this situation? She is a lovely tenant, so I don’t need to look at this as a point to cease the tenancy, but I am not sure if on the other hand, this is a long term solution either. Wear and tear with all those people in the flat will be more and of course, there is the other tenant underneath who may object to the increased (inevitable not purposeful) noise levels.

Any ideas where to start with this anyone?

Reluctant Landlord



Comments

by DSR

11:39 AM, 8th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Harry at 08/02/2021 - 11:21
She hasn't fulfilled the min 6 month TA term yet. Does that pose a problem?

by Prakash Tanna

11:47 AM, 8th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by RL at 08/02/2021 - 11:16
I wouldn't recommend the s.13 Notice as the increase in rent amount may be deemed unreasonable from a % increase point of view.

I draft a letter to increase the rent 'By Mutual Agreement' drawing reference to the AST it relates to and setting out the new rental terms. It needs to be signed by both parties. That IMO should suffice but some legal experts on here may disagree?

by Prakash Tanna

11:48 AM, 8th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Harry at 05/02/2021 - 09:42
UC have been accepting changes without any proof since the pandemic started last year. Maybe they will request documents at some point in the future?

by Prakash Tanna

11:56 AM, 8th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by RL at 08/02/2021 - 11:39
Have a look at this ....

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

"For a fixed-term tenancy (running for a set period) your landlord can only increase the rent if you agree. If you do not agree, the rent can only be increased when the fixed term ends."

Provided you have the tenant's agreement, increasing the rent should not be an issue within the 6 month period.

by DSR

13:26 PM, 8th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Prakash Tanna at 08/02/2021 - 11:56
Thanks! I have sent her a letter outlining the increase etc, relating it to the TA, establishing the new rental terms and asked for her to sign as consent and get back to me asap. As I say she is looking to move asap so there should be no further concerns.


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