Tenant ignoring section 13 notice – HELP!

by Readers Question

13:15 PM, 30th March 2015
About 4 years ago

Tenant ignoring section 13 notice – HELP!

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Tenant ignoring section 13 notice – HELP!

I have issued a Section 13 notice to increase the rent on my rental property – tenant has been in situ for over 4 years. In that time I have never increased the rent and have worked with her during difficult times she has had. However, I am now getting £100 per month LESS than the market rental and maintenance and management fees has risen significantly. Tenant ignoring section 13 notice

I am very proactive with solving problems and maintenance issues – in the past 3 months she has had a new cooker and shower and an expensive boiler repair. However now a new boiler is needed and I can’t cope with the current rent I am receiving.

I talked to her and explained and she seemed to appreciate how fortunate she has been to be paying the low rent she has.

Now she has changed – she says she has not received my rent increase notification. I have checked Royal Mail tracking and is was signed for with an un readable signature but her printed name, and she is not answering my calls.

She is on a rolling contract what should I do?

Thanks

Maria



Comments

Mark Alexander

13:22 PM, 30th March 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Maria

If it is practical to do so, why not pop around to see her at a time when she's likely to be at home?

It sounds like you've done everything right so far and the signed for letter is very strong proof of delivery.

I'd suggest your visit to her is with an independent witness. I'd also recommend you to take a section 21 notice with you together with a polite covering letter explaining that you have no intention of enforcing the notice immediately providing she starts paying the increased rent. If she not in then post it through her door. If she is in, talk her through it first and then hand her the notice.

If she continues to pay the reduced rent than you have a commercial decision to make. Nevertheless, you should send her an arrears statement for the extra £100 pcm of rent which is now due. Proof of delivery is not required, all you need is proof of posting and that's free from any post office and the letter does not need to be signed for.

If your management costs are escalating I suggest you take a look at this >>> http://www.property118.com/letting-supermarket-amend-pricing/68829/
.

Paul Franklin

10:42 AM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

I agree with Mark's approach though one thing I would like to add is don't start confusing yourself that your repairing obligations have some sort of relationship with the rent arrears -they are really seperate issues.

"She has had an expensive boiler repair" makes out that you are 'treating' your tenant to heating and hot water and you feel she should be grateful.

If the boiler needs relacing, it needs replacing. The arrears shouldn't affect your response to your repairing obligations. What they should affect is whther you choose to end the tenancy of not, as Mark discusses above.

If you feel your tenant is not treating the property with respect on the other hand and damaging the property, that is another matter.

Laura Delow

11:42 AM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Maria. I sympathize with your problem. However, a couple of things:- i) When you say your tenant is now paying £100 pm below the market rent, what is her current rent pm? I ask cause if she's paying say £650 pm, that's a 15% hike & therefore a big difference to you but to her also, hence her reaction. But if she's paying £1050 pm now then the £100 increase is only 9.5% but nevertheless may still seem a lot to her especially her having got used to 4 years of no rent increase. Have you considered agreeing with her increasing this in bite sized chunks eg £33.33 pm immediately with two further increases of the same amount in 6 months time & again in 12 months? ii) if you'd had no expensive repairs recently, would you feel the same about wanting this level of increase now?

Paul Franklin

11:47 AM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

The 'like' button appears to have dissapeared, but I would like to 'like' Laua's comment above 🙂 just so you know! She makes a good point.

Laura Delow

11:50 AM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

Can you tell my husband I make a good point please Paul !!!!! Haha!!!!

Rob Crawford

17:11 PM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

Even if she signed for receipt of the section 13 she was never going to like the increase - who would? It says a lot for incremental changes stated as a clause in the AST. So you now have to negotiate a position that is acceptable to both of you or you serve a section 21 and remarket. There is some opposition to increasing rents to match the market rate (capping etc) as it drives itself towards higher rents. It could be said that a fairer approach would be to calculate the rent increase against Gov't NSO CPI tables for housing. This is more justifiable and could be your fall back position. I wonder what figure results and how this compares to your perceived market rate? (see my web site ref rent reviews http://www.kingfisherlettings.co.uk/pages/annual-rent-review ).

Mark Alexander

17:11 PM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

I can see the like button and I've clicked it for the last three comments 😀
.

David Sweeney

23:25 PM, 31st March 2015
About 4 years ago

As your section 13 notice was correctly served and she did not appeal to the 1st Tier Tribunal, then it would seem to stand in law. I don't for one minute dismiss your right to increase rent, but when deciding what is 'market rent' are you comparing like for like? Most properties on your local letting agents lists will have been freshly decorated, a large percentage with new carpets and everything in top class condition. I suspect your tenant is not living in such conditions - when was her property last decorated? How old are HER carpets? 4 year old carpets are - frankly - tired. You can not compare the two.

Despite your legal right to insist on the new rent, I suggest you keep a little flexibility in reserve if you do 'chat' with the tenant.


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