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Rent Increase, Pressured to Sign Up New Fixed Term Contract and Deposit Issues,


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Hi

 

 

I'll break it down as I have a few queries.

 

 

SITUATION

On 3/12/2013 I signed a Subject to Contract form at the letting agents, and paid the deposit, first months rent etc before moving in on 6th January 2014 on a 6 month AST. at the end it then rolled onto a periodic rental, which I then signed up for 12 months fixed contract in December 2014.

 

 

I received a leaflet called "What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme" and in my tenancy contract it says "It is protected by the following scheme - The Dispute Service www.tds.gb.com" I do not hold any further information on the deposit.

 

 

3-4 weeks ago, the letting agents telephoned me saying I needed to come in to sign up again, and that my landlady is increasing my rent (about 9% per month extra) I explained that as I was looking to buy my first home, I cannot commit to a new 6/12 month tenancy. He said that I had to sign up, and I explained that last year I had been on a periodic contract for 6 months, before renewing for a further 12 months, and my landlady had previously had no problem with this.

 

 

He then called me back after speaking to my landlady and informed me that she was not happy with this as her financial situation had changed, and she cannot rely on me giving 1 months notice on a periodic tenancy. I explained very politely that I had already given my reason why I am not committing, and he became very pushy saying that house sales take on average 12 weeks to complete, so if I was to start looking in February, then I would be able to move out after the 6 months AST expires in early June. (Ok, no one tells me what to do!) I briefly explained that I'm a first time buyer, and there are plenty of houses in the area with no forward chain, so the sale could be a lot quicker.

 

 

He then said that if I don't sign up then I would not have much choice, and finding another property for a short-term let whilst waiting for my house purchase to go through would be very difficult, as most agents sign for a minimum of 6 months.

 

 

I panicked (all bravado went out the window) and offered to give my landlady 2 months notice to quit if she let me stay on a periodic tenancy, and I also agreed to the rent increase.

 

 

He has phoned me twice, asking me to confirm this. I returned his call after his first voicemail, confirming this with his colleague, and when he called me again and left another message asking me to confirm, I didn't bother returning his call as I was pretty fed up with him by now.

 

 

Question 1.

I emailed the letting agents to ask about the deposit, and they said that they hold a copy of the certificate - would I like to see it? Is this a breach of any law by not automatically providing it to me? TDS website says it cannot find any record of my deposit using the information I provide - name, postcode, deposit amount.

 

 

Question 2.

Even though I have verbally accepted the rent increase, should I receive proper and legal notification of rent increase, before I pay the higher amount in December?

 

 

Question 3.

As I agreed verbally to provide 2 months notice to quit when I go onto a periodic rental tenancy, to avoid my landlady serving me a Section 21, do I have to do this by law?

 

 

Question 4.

My copy of the initial 6 month AST has not been signed by the Landlord/Agent - should it have been? From memory, I think they signed the copy they kept (they had printed off 2 copies, as opposed to giving me a photocopy of the original one).

 

 

Question 2 and 3 relate to that I really did panic, as I don't want to have to move out for maybe 2 months before moving into the place I hope to buy, as I'm worried how the mortgage lender will view this in terms of credit scoring, making sure I'm on the electoral roll etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I do have to commit to the rent increase, and 2 months NTQ then fair enough, I've learnt my lesson for agreeing anything under pressure.

 

 

It's since I've tried to locate my deposit, that alarm bells are ringing.

 

 

It took my landlady 6 months last year to replace broken fence panels, which really peeved my neighbours off. They understood it wasn't my fault and that I had chased it up 3 times. When the fence was finally replaced, it was a 3 foot wire one provided by the council (the landlady had bought an ex local authority house conversion flat). Why it took so long, I have no idea. We were all laughing when it was fitted, as had we of known, we would've spent £20 purchasing it ourselves, rather than waiting for the council maintenance department to fit it.

 

 

The tenant downstairs is a local authority tenant and asked me to contact my landlady as the guttering at the back of the property is leaking badly every time it rains. This was 3.5 weeks ago, and we've heard nothing.

 

 

Any information is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Thank you smile.gif

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1.Go 'dark' on deposit protection issue. Don't raise it again with LA/LL. You have until~Jan 2020 to bring claim for deposit non-protection against LL,if you wish.

2. Rent increase was notified and agreed verbally. Both legally acceptable. Suggest you pay it on due date to appear a compliant T.

4.An AST

 

 

As for LLs concern that you may not give due Notice during SPT,your reply would be "neither can she guarantee I will pay all the rent, but in both cases her remedy is the same - sue me for amount owing + costs".

I would try to remain inconspicuous until after end of current fixed term & SPT creation.

Of course, LL can still serve 2 month s21, to be actioned after end of fixed term, so hearing unlikely before mid Feb and Bailiff eviction before mid March.

The hearing is the time to question validity of s21 due to provisions of deposit protection not compliant. If Judge agrees, LL would have to return deposit before re-serving another 2 month s21.

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