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rent increase & demanding p60 or will end our tenancy

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665 views 1 replies latest reply: 13 May 2015
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Tenant

Hi alI

New to the forum & wondering if anyone can shed any light for me on this horrible situation I am in right now.

First off I have lived in my rented apartment for almost 3 years. We signed a 6 month agreement and now roll on a assured freehold tenancy. We were managed by a company called derwent living housing association, we also had maintenance provided by a company known as lace market properties and then premier city lets, they are now known as truelove property lettings and they bought our building last year. Until March derwent still managed our building & everything was fine.

All of a sudden derwent without notifying us cancelled our direct debit and we received a letter from true love asking us to set a new payment to them. Which was a right palaver as they weren’t clear or helpful with this matter.

On the 1st of May we received half a piece of paper, without our names on saying. Please bring your p60 into our office by the 4th or your tenancy will be terminated effective immediately. At this point me and my house mate were worried sick. Speaking to friends and family etc they said oh my god no way can they ask for a p60 and evict you without breaching the contract. We checked our contract with a fine tooth comb & no, we can only be evicted on the grounds of, nuisance or illegal activity or not paying our rent and a two month notice period must be met. We spoke to a litigation officer that we know and she said, leave it, it’s not an official notice and see what happens. We called true love to find out why they wanted a p60 and apparently the council needed it.. on calling T3 Nottinghamshire council they said no, no way nothing to do with us. 

Truelove had previously sent us letters saying they’d be calling to book an appointment to do a rent inspection. We never got a call but a woman hammering my door unannounced at 8 am shouting through my letter box, after about 10 mins I got up to let her in. She was here for all of about 1 minute and she was not very pleasant.  I didn’t think anything of the racket she made trying to get an answer until speaking to 2 neighbours who were WALKED IN ON!! & my friend next door found the woman opening the door with a key. After finding this out I believe all Th3 noise was to make sure I wasn’t in if they let themselves in.

When we received the p60 notice letter we went around to around 15 other apartments in our block and told them how wrong it was and they all agreed in disgust at the threats and the privacy of our p60 is ours for a reason.

On Friday evening a letter came through our mailbox with a letter saying – your rent will be increased june 1st from £480 to £640!!!!! I just broke down, I’m off on sickness and disability at the moment and have enough going off. A little digging and in the section 13 that came with it says they cannot rise it within 52 weeks of our last rise which was 1 September 2014 so it’s 3 months premature and a rise of 28% is ridiculous. Many of our neighbours also have a rise. Some of the figures were £7, £19, £80, £90, £112 & ours is the highest at £140 rise. This proves they have not worked it out as a percentage but as a random figure. 

Meanwhile our litigation officer found the residential investment portfolio on savills online and it says… The flats at …. court, are subject to a section 106 agreement until April 2023 which means a rent restriction which must not exceed 75% of the open market value or 30% of the average earnings of a full time employee of the nottingham urban area”. I need some more info on this but that would mean they cannot make our affordable living the price that they are trying to do so… does anyone have any info on a section 106 agreement? 

In the meantime I have written a formal letter explaining they are unable to rise the rent within the 52 weeks and provided a copy of the last increase as of derwent. Also – the section 13 served with the increase suggests our rent has not been increased since February 2003. We have only lived there since 2012 AND THE BUILDING WASN’T BUILT TIL LATE 2008!!! 

Truelove have changed their name around about 5 or 6 times since 2007 which says a lot really?! They also have had recent media coverage for another apartment block having similar issues with this letting agency. Looking up premier city lets on Facebook shows 28 poor reviews included lucy trueloves name herself kicking someone out of the office swearing and pushing. . . 

Come to think of it lucy hung up twice on us last week in conversation. .!

How can such a dodgy bunch of fools get away with this? 

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Service provider

Hi, Unfortunately there are plenty of comapnies who see property management and lettings as easy money.  They get what they can, shut up shop and then re-open under a new name and start again.

 

Regarding the request for your P60, I can’t see any reason why they would want this except to see how much you earn and maybe set rents accordingly.  Ignore the request as they have no rights to ask for this.

 

Regarding the rents, it is correct that they can’t be increased via a section 13 notice more than once in any 12 month period.  If, after 12 months, they again issue you with a notice that you consider to be an unfair increase, you have the right to ask your local residential tribunal to assess a fair rent for your property.  Look online at the local property market and see what comparable properties are renting for.  This will give you an idea of how fair the proposed rent is.  Please note that, if you want the rent to be assessed, you must make an application before the new rent is to come into force.

 

The section 106 is an agreement the original developer would have entered into with the local authority to get final planning approval for the development.  These often provide caveats to the planning and can include making contributions to local amenities or, as in your case, curbing rent levels.   You should be able to find a copy of the section 106 agreement bby going to your local authority website, going to the planning section and clicking the ‘view planning applications’ link (or something similar)  If you then search for the original planning application using your address it should allow you to download copies of all the relevent planning documents.  The sec. 106 should be part of this.  If not, ask your local planning department for a copy as they are public documents.

 

Just to check I am giving you the correct info, can you clarify the tenancy you have.  You said assured freehold tenancy.  Did you mean assured shorthold tenancy?

 

If you need any further assistance then feel free to ask.

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