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pinkfrost
26-03-2009, 10:32 AM
ok, i've never posted on a forum like this before, so i may babble.... sorry!

I moved into my current property on the 27th Feb 2009, with my partner and our 15 month old son.
The Previous tennants left on the 20th, but the landlord asked us if we would like to move in straight away, or give them a week to clean it- so we opted for the 27th as the previous tennants were 3 teenage boys- messy ones.

when we arrived at the property to get the keys on the 27th, it was an absolute mess.
*cream carpets were almost black, has sick, coffee, food stains all over them
*there were nails hangin out of the carpet on the stairs (carpet was also loose)
*there was mould growing on the bathroom ceiling
*the oven smoked when i first used it as it had an inch thick layer of fat, old food etc on it
*Damp patches in the living room

after we'd moved all our stuff in, we noticed the boiler was faulty when we tried to put the heating on- the pressure valve didnt work, so our heating was staying on for half hour tops, and the water was flooding out of the pipe at the back of the house.
The fire was faulty too as the spark ignition doesnt work.

the carpets got replaced, as they were really bad.

we contacted the landlords P.A (thats who we deal with) who said she'd send a boiler man out.

To cut a long story short, she sent a boiler man out to us who kept telling us he needed different parts etc, kept going away and coming back over a period of 3 weeks.
he'd tell us he was turning up at certain times, but never did, then one time, he called me when i was in bed telling me he was stood at my back door!
Eventually, he said we needed a new boiler, and said he'd contact the landlord then get back to us when he could fit it- a week and a half later, i was sick of waiting.

so i called the landlord's P.A, who said she thought it was sorted, and she'd get another boiler man out to see us, as she was under the impression that the previous boiler man was ripping her off- he'd advised her that 3 of the properties she deals with needed new boilers.

so this morning, we've had a new boiler man out to see us, who said we need a part for the boiler, n a part for the fire, n they'l take a few days, then someone should come fit them.

do i have the right to ask for a rent reduction? its due out tomorrow, but i just feel like i've been messed around something rotten.

We're having to boil the kettle numerous amounts of time to wash up, get a bath etc, and with a 15 month old baby, its been a nightmare.
also with single glazed windows, its freezing in the house with no heating!

Please help me, i dont know what to do!

Paul_f
26-03-2009, 15:03 PM
Some issues to consider (and probably a lot more!):-
If it's a gas boiler have you been given a copy of the Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate? If not your landord is committing a criminal offence and should be immediately reported to the local EHO. The boiler should also be serviced and might not have been Excuses from the landlord for lack of heating, or hot water not working is their problem not yours (spare parts delay is not a valid excuse), so you should definitely ask for a rent reduction, and compensation; I would be very reluctant to pay any more rent until all these issues have been rectified, but you would need to notify the landord of your intention to do so if you go this route. Have you paid a deposit and if so has it been registered within one of the tenancy deposit schemes? Your landlord appears to be dealing with this in a very amateurish manner.

mind the gap
27-03-2009, 21:49 PM
Pinkfrost, do you mean a rent reduction (i.e. for the duration of the tenancy) or a one-off rent rebate (by way of compensation)?

You stand virtually no chance of achieving the former; slightly more, of achieving the latter.

standleymt
27-03-2009, 22:48 PM
As a Landlord and also a tenant I am disgusted at your treatment. So lets deal in the real world. Of course you withhold rent until everything is sorted out.

There has to be a level of honesty on your part however. Are you paying the rent at the upper, middle, lower or very cheap end of the market for your property? If you are at the cheap end you should make more comprimises or move on to a much nicer, effectively run property and pay the premium.

As an example I live in house paying 30% below current market rent. However it is single glazed, has a very dated kitchen and bathrooms, inefficient boiler and cheap carpet. The landlord is completely disinterested however the house suits my needs and is very good value even with higher fuel costs, so I am happy and leave my landlord alone....

standleymt
27-03-2009, 22:53 PM
BTW talking about boilers and any other gas appliances in the property are they properly serviced and safety checked (you will have the current safety certificate and if you do check the engineer on the form is registered with CORGI).

DO NOT mess about with your families safety. People die and landlords and gas installers go to Prison for accidents that arise out of faulty appliances.

Sesame
07-05-2009, 09:45 AM
Hi,
I am only a landlord since last August so not familiar with how this should work. Any help would be apprciated.
We used a letting agent to find our tenants but we are managing the property ourselves. I recently received a letter from the agents to ask did we want to renew the lease this coming August, with the choice of a 6 or 12 month lease. After looking at the current rental prices on the same street, I realise our tenants could easily pay about £100 less a month by moving, but they are good tenants and I'm keen to keep them. Therefore, I'd like to give them a reduction of £100 a month. My first question is, the original lease says review reviews upwards only (but I assume that is only to protect me) but are we constained by that? If I lower the rent, would I, in effect, be breaking the lease?
I would like to offer this to the tenants soon, before they start looking at other properties.

Also, I would be happy for the tenants to continue to rent on a month-by-month basis, after the initial lease is up in August, instead of signing a new long lease. Is this wise? And if so, what are the implications of the agent's renewal fee? If its a percentage of the years rent, how would it work in this case?
Thanks

Poppy
08-05-2009, 11:31 AM
It's good to know that you appreciate these tenants. I do not think you should volunteer to reduce the rent, unless the tenant makes such a request.

About six/eight weeks prior to the end of this tenancy agreement, phone the tenant and ask if they have plans to stay. Make it clear that you want them to stay, if that's still the case in two/three months' time.

If you and the tenant decide not to sign a further agreement, simply let the existing agreement lapse into a statutory periodic tenancy.

Preston
15-05-2009, 19:12 PM
Hi

You have the choice of either granting a new AST, which will give the tenant a further period of security (6 months minimum) or varying the existing agreement, which is best done by deed (at least from the tenant's point of view).

Be careful though; if there are arrears at the time that you grant a new tenancy then those arrears will become a "former tenant" debt and so cannot be used as a ground for possession in relation to the new tenancy (unless you include a rather unusual and slightly technical clause in the new tenancy agreement making the repayment of any former arrears a condition of the new agreement).

The deed option will not affect the arrears position, but my personal view would be that before you embark on either option, insist on the arrears being cleared; if you don't do so at this stage you will be foregoing a key bargaining position.

Good luck

Preston

silvercar
15-05-2009, 21:04 PM
The easiest way to increase rent without starting a new tenancy is by serving a section 13 notice. I can't see why there would be a problem in using this to serve a rent reduction.

Out of interest, why would you want to serve a rent reduction with a tenant in arrears? Surely the incentive to get the arrears cleared is to wait.

mind the gap
17-05-2009, 08:04 AM
Have the agreement amended on back of it with the new rent amount. That will suffice for u. No need to go for new agreements.


No, this is not a good idea. Use a deed, as Preston suggests.

Supsect above poster (#5) is spamming his signature strip.

johnjw
17-05-2009, 12:20 PM
I'd suggest that the best way forward would be;

1. The present AST to be ended by mutual agreement - a letter to this effect signed by both LL and T would suffice.
2. The tenant pays off all arrears
3. A new AST is drawn up incorporating the reduced rent provision. If you do this yourself the cost is very little

If the tenant can't go along with this, then you're better without him.
However, the incentive of a fresh start and a reduced rent might induce him to pull out all the stops and clear the debt, plus of course paying one month's rent in advance on the new tenancy.

jeffrey
17-05-2009, 16:43 PM
The easiest way to increase rent without starting a new tenancy is by serving a section 13 notice. I can't see why there would be a problem in using this to serve a rent reduction.
Wrong, because s.13:
a. deals with rent increase only; and
b. operates only once the fixed term has expired, not during it.

silvercar
18-05-2009, 10:33 AM
Wrong, because s.13:
a. deals with rent increase only; and
b. operates only once the fixed term has expired, not during it.

On (b) I thought that the intial term had expired. Apologies for reading that wrong. Interesting that the "reward" for being in rent arrears is a rent reduction - should all tenants take note of this?

On (a) a rent increase of a negative amount would be a rent reduction.

jeffrey
18-05-2009, 11:27 AM
On (a) a rent increase of a negative amount would be a rent reduction.
Eh? Are you on medication? Section 13 refers to 'increase' [meaning upwards only], not 'variation' [meaning upwards or downwards].

jeffrey
18-05-2009, 12:13 PM
What would be the best mechanism to instigate a rent reduction. Just a letter or verbal agreement?
Neither of the above. The problem is contractual; each (a letter or an oral Agreement) would be unenforceable, as would even a merely written Agreement, for lack of contractual consideration [look it up on LZ if you don't understand the concept].

The only sure ways to reduce rent are:
a. new Agreement at reduced rent; or
b. Deed of Variation (because anything embodied in a Deed circumvents the 'lack of contractual consideration' problem).

shaz
24-07-2009, 01:42 AM
hi,

I am new to this forum, so bear with me if i have posted this incorrectly.

I have a quick question, if a tenant after 4 months of entering a 12 months ast turns around and say that i cannot afford to pay the full amount of the agreed rent due to pay cut(let say 550 pm for arguments sake) can know only afford to pay 475 pm, what do you do? do you tell him/her that we have a agreement written up for 550 pm and you have to pay, tell the landlord and get his approval or something else.

your reply will be great. thanks

Poppy
24-07-2009, 07:12 AM
Ask for proof of pay cut. I would say if you do agree on an informal rent reduction, specify a limited time, otherwise someone may take advantage. For clarity, put what you have agreed in writing.

jta
24-07-2009, 11:55 AM
Also remember, you cannot refuse rent if offered, and anyway 475 you have is better than 550 you don't have, You could accept the 475 for now, without dropping the rent, keep a careful record of what he owes you and take it from his deposit at the end of the tenancy.

Of course, you have protected the deposit in one of the schemes haven't you?
And given the tenant the required information?

westminster
24-07-2009, 13:23 PM
I'm with jta - I wouldn't surrender the entitlement to the full rent. Take what rent is paid, and at a later date either deduct the unpaid rent from the deposit or if necessary issue a claim against the T after the tenancy ends.

havensRus
24-07-2009, 23:23 PM
Hi,

We used a letting agent to find our tenants but we are managing the property ourselves. I recently received a letter from the agents to ask did we want to renew the lease this coming August, with the choice of a 6 or 12 month lease. .....

Also, I would be happy for the tenants to continue to rent on a month-by-month basis, after the initial lease is up in August, instead of signing a new long lease. Is this wise? And if so, what are the implications of the agent's renewal fee? If its a percentage of the years rent, how would it work in this case?


The Agent did a tenant find only, so as far as I'm concerned that was job done. goodbye and thank you. They are trying to earn more off you by asking you to pay huge sums for them to issue another one of their ASTs. You don't have to do it.

Write to them and politely tell them where to go! Let it run into a periodic, unless tenants insist on wanting further security of tenure. But I'm sure if they know you are happy with them etc.etc., running into a periodic would be no issue.

I had a similar scenario before with a well know chain - the agent even held the deposit and I had to go through hoops and hoops to get them to release it to me (I use mydeposits.co.uk) then they had the audacity to come ask me for renewal...considering their service was poor in the first place, I'm afraid I gave them short shrift.