Rent Increase after contract renewal date passes

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Rent Increase after contract renewal date passes

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Rent Increase after contract renewal date passes

Hi, I was wondering if any one could help me out here? Rent Increase after contract renewal date passes

I have a clause on my tenancy agreement stating that rent will be increased on annual basis on 28th of September. Thus, I expected agency to send me a notice for that before September but I did not receive anything.

This month I received email about rent a increase and they state that my rent increase date on the contract is 28th of December which is wrong, of course they would also like to renew my contract which was also 28th of September and asking for renewal fee.

My questions are;

1) Can they increase my rent after the date on the contract passes or do they have to wait till next year to increase it?

2) As my contract (assured shorthold tenancy agreement) actually ended on 28th of September 2014 and rolled to periodic tenancy, can I directly talk to landlord without agency?

3) Can I refuse to pay the renewal fee? Landlord manages the property.

Many thanks

Gunes Dogan


Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Hi Gunes

In answer to your questions:0

1) Your landlord and/or your landlords agency acting on his/her behalf, can ask you to sign a new contract at any time after the existing contract has expired and there is no limit by which the rent can be increased.

2) See above - you are perfectly at liberty to contact your landlord to negotiate directly but he is equally at liberty to insist that you negotiate via his chosen agents if he chooses to do so.

3) Yes you can refuse to pay the renewal fee but on the other hand your landlord (or his agency) could serve you with two months notice (section 21 notice) of their intention to end the tenancy and thereafter, they would be at liberty to apply to the Courts for a possession order if you were to stay in the property beyond the notice date. Alternatively your landlord (or his agent) are also at liberty to serve you with a section 13 notice to increase your rent.after one month. None payment of the increased amount of rent would count as a breach of contract for rent arrears.

I think negotiating directly with your landlord is probably a good idea for you both.

I suggest that you ask your landlord to read this discussion thread.

I trust this answers your questions and that you will enjoy the festive season.

Robert Mellors

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "23/12/2014 - 15:25":

Hi Mark

I can't really add much to what you've already said, apart from posing a question:

Is there a limit to how much an agency can charge as an admin fee/application fee/referencing fee when someone applies to become a tenant, or for a tenancy renewal?

I don't use any letting agencies for letting my properties but charging hundreds of pounds for "renewing" a tenancy seems to be akin to a licence to print money, as all it takes is a few sheets of paper with a new tenancy agreement on it.

I know there are rules about some admin charges having to be reasonable (so they are not effectively a penalty charge in disguise), e.g. bank admin fees were forced down a few years ago because of this (e.g. for going over overdraft limit, or bounced standing orders, etc). Does this also apply to letting agent fees?

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "24/12/2014 - 11:02":

Hi Robert

No sadly not, but I think their should be a formula for "reasonableness" but I would have to think very long and hard about how that could work.

Robert Mellors

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "24/12/2014 - 11:39":

Would the unfair terms in consumer contracts regulations apply to letting agent fees?

“if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer”.

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "24/12/2014 - 12:27":

I believe this was tested in the OFT vs Foxtons case.

Apparently the amount and frequency cannot be ruled unfair PROVIDING the contract is clear.

Joe Bloggs

4 years ago

dont think UCTA 1977 would apply to the level of fees charged. but sure there is recent legislation that all letting agents fees should be transparent and available at outset:

Romain Garcin

4 years ago

From the tenant's point of view I think that nothing can limit these fews.

Application/referencing fees: This is the free market, the (prospective) tenant is not obliged to pay and can go elsewhere.

'Renewal' fees: I would same the same. Usually the tenant is not obliged to pay these fees as he is not obliged to 'renew'. These are not an unfair term since it is not a term of the contract that the tenant has to 'renew'.

Now, if the tenancy agreement states in the small prints that the tenant will be charged £150 every year as long as remains at the property then it may be unfair, indeed.

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