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Assured Shorthold Tenancy Expired - Rent Increase?


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Hi,

 

Our Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement expired in September 2008 and we have not signed anything to renew it, and have assumed our agreement is now a Statutory Periodic Agreement. We have in our tenancy agreement a special clause that states:

 

"The rent due referred to within this agreement will be increased as from the annual anniversary of the tenancy commencement date. This % percentage rent increase will be applied to the rent by in line with the retail price index (RPI) published in the month before this increase becomes due."

 

Due to massive building works that the landlord has undertaken on the site she has not yet increased the rent, however we are concerned that once they are complete she will drastically increase the rent as she has hinted to this previously.

 

Does the above clause mean that she can increase it at any time giving one months notice, or that she can only increase it on the anniversary of the agreement (ie: only once a year in September)?

 

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to offer.

 

Rob.

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When an AST rolls over to a periodic tenancy, all the terms within the original AST apply, except those relating to notice periods. Since the AST contains a clause relating to rent increases, this is carried over to the statutory periodic tenancy, and the LL does not need to issue an s.13 notice regarding a rent increase. She does, however, have to give you a month's notice of any proposed increase.

 

I would read the clause you have quoted exactly as it says, i.e. that any rent increase will be applied at the annual anniversary of the agreement date. By the way, the clause also specifies the percentage increase, i.e., in line with the RPI - which I think you will find is currently a minus figure so I doubt she will be implementing that clause just now.;) However, she may try to force you to sign a new AST agreement, with this clause amended!

 

The rent can only be increased once every 12 months. She cannot just shove the rent up - she needs to keep it around the market rate. However you should do a little checking around to see what the market rent is in your area for a similar property. There is nothing to stop her issuing a s.21 notice for possession if you cannot agree any rent increase with her, which I am sure you don't want to happen.

Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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