Rent Increase notice | The Tenants' Voice
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Rent Increase notice

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554 views 1 replies latest reply: 26 January 2017
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Tenant

Hi,

So we have been in our current rental property since Nov 2012. We signed a new two year contract from Nov 2015-2017. In our tenacy agreement it states the below:

1.7.8 The yearly rent for the second year of the Term shall be increased at the commencement of the second year of the Term by the percentage increase in the Retail Price index when the index figure published immediately prior to that date is compared with the Index figure for a year earlier but provided that the increase shall not be less than 3% or more than 8%.

Our landlord doesnt usually notify us of this increase until mid December more than 4 weeks after our contract date. He says this is due to the inflation figure not being released until then. He then usually writes us something like the below:

The RPI figure for your review month have now been released, your rent will therefore, increase by 3.0%, back dated to last month.

 

Please amend your standing order to your new monthly rental figure of £914.64 from your next payment onwards.

 

The amount due today backdated to your rent review date last month, is £26.64, please make this payment within 7 days of the date of this letter, into the Account below.

 

We always pay this amount he states promptly. What he is now saying is that we owe the backdated rent for all the previous years, 2012-2015 for Novemer. The amount he states actually only covers one month. He is arguing that they give notice in the tenacy agreement so the normal backdated 4 week rule does not apply even though an exact figure is not stipulated.

 

I want to know if he can now request these amounts. Is it correct that he can wait so long for a figure meaning we have to pay the difference for two months at once? Doesnt he have to use the RPI figure released in November. Is what hes written in our tenacy agreement seen as a notice so the four week rule does not apply?

 

Any helpful response will be much appreciated! 

 

Thanks

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Tenant

Hello, 

I was going to say that the landlord is not entitled to increase your rent after the period has commenced and request backdated rent, HOWEVER, 

Due to the fact the the tenancy agreement goes into a such a fine detail over the condition of the rent increase, I would say that there is SOME merit to your landlords claim. 

Let’s look at things one at a time: 

It’s not appropriate to increase rent after the period has started and request backdate payment. This is just a bad method of working, which creates confusion and issue like this one. 

However, your tenancy agreement gives you a very defined range of minimum and maximum rent increase. Arguably, you had a full year to prepare for the possibility that your rent can increase up to 8% and prepare an adjustment sum to cover the first month of your second year with the new rent. 

The final figures might be 4 weeks late, but you already know the maximum value of the rent increase, which can easily be calculated into a fixed value. The right way to address this problem was to prepare this maximum value over the last 12 months and just keep it somewhere, for when you need it. 

As for backdated rent for all previous years, it is easy to establish if this is true by looking at the bank records of your rent payments. 

Finally, I want to say that I AM sympathetic to your case and the landlord is not right in operating in such a confusing manner. You should definitely demand that rental review months are really for rental review and you get notice of your rent increase prior to the month it gets live. 

Even though the tenancy agreement sets clear guidelines for rent increase, it’s not right to have to pay increased rent backdated with a full month. The landlord should either use an earlier version of the RPI, or should schedule the rent increase to go in force a month later to align with the report they are looking for. 

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