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Change of owner Rental Housing


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Hi,

I have lived in a rented property for the last 3 years, on an  Assured Shorthold Tenancy, no fees charged and it rolled over each year.  I have never been late with my rent and obeyed the many rules in the building.  I have a room and shower room but the 2 kitchens are shared with other tenants on each floor.  

In July this year the building was sold to new owners who do not live locally and they appointed a local Estate Agency to manage the  property on their behalf.

They put a letter through our doors with the new bank account details for rent and informing us of their location and contact details.  Then they issued new tenancy agreements. 

I took the agreement to the office and questioned some of the changes from the previous agreement, even though it is still an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.  I was not happy that we could not move out until the end of the 6 months period of the tenancy and there will be a fee charged to draw up a new agreement.  Also they are going to look at the utility charges (electricity, gas, water, council tax and wifi are all included in the rent) and if they seem high they will average out the cost and anything over what they feel it should be will be added to our rent.  Is this legal?  I explained that some tenants do three loads of washing per week, on 2 or 3 hour programmes on the automatic washing machines.  I wash clothes once on a 20 minute wash.  I also never use the ovens and the hobs, only occasionally in the winter to warm a tin of soup for a few minutes.  They control the times the heating and hot water come on and go off but I dont use the radiator in the small hall between my room and the shower room, and do not shower every day as I am retired.  People working all day may need to do so.  So I think it unfair that I should have to pay a surcharge for utilities when I don't use as much power or water as many other tenants.  They also plan to change the rents at the end of the 6 months so that everyone is paying the same.  As some rooms are larger than others some were less expensive than others.  I asked about this and was told that mine was one of the higher rents, so not to worry, even though they are putting the rents up to the same level as the highest.  I am on a state pension and housing benefit which does not cover the full amount of rent.  Again, are they entitled to charge the same for rooms even though the sizes vary considerably?

There are clauses in the agreement about nuisance tenants and even though many complaints have been made about 2 of the current tenants the agent says they need more proof.  

I was assured that I would not have to pay the utility surcharge but that was verbally and I have nothing in writing, the same applies for the fees to draw up a new agreement every 6 months.  Is this normal practice and legal?  Considering the agent told me that nothing would change in relation to our previous terms.  

I would welcome any information about the legality of these terms imposed on sitting tenants with no notice.  We were informed the building had changed hands after the fact. 

Thanks

 

.

 

Hi,

I have lived in a rented property for the last 3 years, on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, no fees charged and it rolled over each year.  I have never been late with my rent and obeyed the many rules in the building.  I have a room and shower room but the 2 kitchens are shared with other tenants on each floor.  

 

In July this year the building was sold to new owners who do not live locally and they appointed a local Estate Agency to manage the  property on their behalf. They put a letter through our doors with the new bank account details for rent and informing us of their location and contact details. Then they issued new tenancy agreements. I took the agreement to the office and questioned some of the changes from the previous agreement, even though it is still an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. 

 

I was not happy that we could not move out until the end of the 6 months period of the tenancy and there will be a fee charged to draw up a new agreement.  Also they are going to look at the utility charges (electricity, gas, water, council tax and wifi are all included in the rent) and if they seem high they will average out the cost and anything over what they feel it should be will be added to our rent.  Is this legal? 

 

I explained that some tenants do three loads of washing per week, on 2 or 3 hour programmes on the automatic washing machines.  I wash clothes once on a 20 minute wash.  I also never use the ovens and the hobs, only occasionally in the winter to warm a tin of soup for a few minutes.  They control the times the heating and hot water come on and go off but I dont use the radiator in the small hall between my room and the shower room, and do not shower every day as I am retired.  People working all day may need to do so. I think it unfair that I should have to pay a surcharge for utilities when I don't use as much power or water as many other tenants. 

 

They also plan to change the rents at the end of the 6 months so that everyone is paying the same.  As some rooms are larger than others some were less expensive than others.  I asked about this and was told that mine was one of the higher rents, so not to worry, even though they are putting the rents up to the same level as the highest.  I am on a state pension and housing benefit which does not cover the full amount of rent.  Again, are they entitled to charge the same for rooms even though the sizes vary considerably?

 

There are clauses in the agreement about nuisance tenants and even though many complaints have been made about 2 of the current tenants the agent says they need more proof.  

 

I was assured that I would not have to pay the utility surcharge but that was verbally and I have nothing in writing, the same applies for the fees to draw up a new agreement every 6 months.  Is this normal practice and legal?  Considering the agent told me that nothing would change in relation to our previous terms.  

 

I would welcome any information about the legality of these terms imposed on sitting tenants with no notice.  We were informed the building had changed hands after the fact. 

Thanks

 

Edited by dx100uk
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Couple of link for you to have a wee look at:

 

WWW.GOV.UK

Private renting as a tenant - repairs, rent increases and arrears, settling disputes, deposits and your rights and responsibilities.

 

 

WWW.CITIZENSADVICE.ORG.UK

Find out how to deal with a rent increase, find out how to negotiate to get a lower rent and check how you can challenge your rent increase.

 

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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