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Rental Renewal and Notice Period VS Rent Increase

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344 views 1 replies latest reply: 26 February 2016
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Tenant

I have a strange conundrum and I’m not sure where I stand. I have a 12 month fixed-tem contract which has an explicit clause that either party must give 2 monts notice if they do *not* wish to renew the contract.

We are now 1 week from the renewal date and suddenly the letting agent lets me know that the landlord is demanding a £150 GBP increase in rent/month if we wish to renew.

I understand that landlords can ask for a rent increase on renewal, but how is this not at odds with the 2 month clause that is meant to protect both parties? What options do I have? They already got a 100 GBP increase last year when they pulled a similar short-notice stunt.

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Hi Ben

If you’re on a fixed term contract and neither party gives notice then I would imagine it automatically becomes a statutory periodic tenancy – which usually requires just a month’s notice depending on when you give it. A statutory periodic tenancy also normally continues on the same conditions as the previous tenancy did. For it not to become a periodic tenancy you would either have to sign a new agreement or give notice. The periodic tenancy does not require a document.

You can get a rent tribunal (rent assessement committee) to review the increase – it does sound like a lot, especially given the one last year. They can decide whether or not it’s market.

Alternatively, you could refuse to pay the rent increase and refuse to sign a new tenancy agreement. Which would mean that when the tenancy comes to an end you continue as a periodic tenant. Unless the landlord decides to serve notice to remove you – which is sort of what you wanted anyway. I’m not a lawyer so I couldn’t confirm the 100% effectiveness of doing that and no doubt the agents would try to bully you into not doing it but it might work. Speak to someone at Citizens Advice or a law centre if you want a legal view.

Alex

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