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ggrw85
31-01-2010, 14:15 PM
We have just received a letter from our landlord telling us we nopw have to pay £20 a month towards maintenance costs. Our contract states that the landlord is responsible for maintenance of the property, however this letter now says we will have to pay each month to cover the costs.

Can they legally do this? As I thought they had to provide basic maintenance on a rented property.

Any advice appreciated.

westminster
31-01-2010, 14:45 PM
It's wrong on two fronts.

Firstly, the landlord cannot charge you for performing his statutory repairing obligations. See this link (http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-factsheets/factsheets/factsheet-11-landlords-repairing-obligations.html).

Secondly, the landlord cannot alter the terms of the tenancy agreement except by mutual consent.

P.Pilcher
31-01-2010, 16:44 PM
So what is really happening is that your landlord is trying to increase your rent by £20 per month without going through the correct procedure. This is the use of section 13 or issuing and expecting you to sign a new AST at the increased rent. Neither can be used if you are still in the fixed period (usually six months) of your original AST.
Oh dear, some of my fellow landlords seem to invent a new sneaky trick every day. Is it any wonder that the labour party hate us!

P.P.

Preston
31-01-2010, 20:23 PM
We have just received a letter from our landlord telling us we nopw have to pay £20 a month towards maintenance costs. Our contract states that the landlord is responsible for maintenance of the property, however this letter now says we will have to pay each month to cover the costs.

Can they legally do this? As I thought they had to provide basic maintenance on a rented property.

Any advice appreciated.

Does your tenancy agreement say anything about service charges?

How, exactly, has the landlord described the additional charge and what, exactly, has he or she said it will be spent on?

ggrw85
01-02-2010, 08:56 AM
The tenancy agreement doesn't say anything about service charges, the letter states that because they are taking so long to reply to maintenance requests (they own several properties in my area) they are having to implement a new system. Although they will apparently cover some costs they will require us to pay a 'maintenance admin fee' of £20 per household, per month.

However, when we signed a fixed 12 month contract last April, it states that the landlord is responsible for any maintenance of the property. So I agree it does seem like they're trying to pull a fost one on us on it (this is also the same landlord who forged out signature on our contract when we first moved in, so I'm not all overly trusting of them!!!!)

Preston
01-02-2010, 09:08 AM
Well, like you, I cannot see any lawful reason that would entitle them to impose this charge unilatterally.

dominic
01-02-2010, 09:34 AM
I would write back to your landlord (politely), pointing out that you have not agreed to pay any such fee in the tenancy agreement, and accordingly you have declined their request for you to pay this "maintenance admin charge".

ggrw85
05-02-2010, 10:59 AM
So my landlord has finally replied with the below:


As per your letter it states that the reason for this is to have reasonable response times as we have no one to do the maintenance. You are paying the administrative costs as an insurance that you will be provided with a good service!

We are lawfully giving you 30 days notice to a change in the terms of your tenancy!

I listed all the points however, they still think they legally can change our contract and charge us for maintenance! Not sure what my next steps should be!

Any advice much appreciated!

jeffrey
05-02-2010, 11:03 AM
Don't pay, let them try to sue, and then defend yourself using these arguments.

mind the gap
05-02-2010, 11:11 AM
We are lawfully giving you 30 days notice to a change in the terms of your tenancy! [/I]


30 days notice of a change to terms? Who is this cowboy?

I take it you are in a periodic, rather than fixed term contract?

Is the notice period for changes not at least two months (otherwise LL could just notify you that the terms were going to change to an unbearable degree in the expectation you would leave after only one month, thus getting him off the hook re the normal notice obligations? Sort of 'illegal eviction dressed up as lamb'?)

ggrw85
05-02-2010, 11:15 AM
It's a fixed contract 12 month contract which ends (thank god) on the 18th April 2010 which is why I thought they couldn't make any amendments to the contract.

They are a bunch of cowboys as they used to have a maintenance department and are now trying to argue that the fee is an insurance on a good service! We're paying £1170 a month so we should be getting it for free!!

jeffrey
05-02-2010, 11:20 AM
Like I said, you're right; they're wrong; don't pay.

dominic
05-02-2010, 13:15 PM
I would just ignore their demands, continue to pay the rent (as set out in the tenancy agreement) until the fixed terms ends, then find somewhere else if they are giving you hassle.

P.Pilcher
05-02-2010, 18:25 PM
Jeffrey has given you free definitive legal advice on this matter a few posts before this. I recommend that you take it!

P.P.