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Thread: Energy increase and rent

  1. #1
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    Energy increase and rent

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated pls.

    I moved into a flatshare in mid February 2022, signed a 6 month AST , all bills are included ( CT, Gas Electricity etc ) I’m a bit concerned that with all these new increases the landlord will put the rent up . Could he do this before my Current tenancy runs out or does he have to wait?

    TIA

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    You are actually in a better position than your landlord.

    It's a big concern for landlords who have rented 'all inclusive' and now may/will lose money. (I'm a regular on a landlord/tenant forum too).

    Your Tenancy Agreement may (or may not) have a clause about raising the rent and if/when it can be done.
    Some do, but may don't especially 6 month ones.

    Your landlord will probably ask you to agree to an increased rent, he is going to be losing money otherwise.

    But your landlord can't legally put the rent up during the fixed term without your agreement, unless the TA has a clause about it.

    When the fixed term ends if you don't move out (you don't have to) then unless you sign a new TA your tenancy automatically becomes a 'Statuatory Periodic Tenancy'.
    Nothing needs to be signed/agreed, it happens automatically by law. The automatic SPT has same general terms that the fixed term had.

    If you don't move out when the fixed term ends then the landlord has a number of choices (as do you):

    1. He could ask you to sign a new TA with an increased rent.
      (As said above you don't have to sign, you could just let it go SPT, but that may lead to #3).
    2. If the tenancy goes 'Statuatory Periodic' with no new TA he can issue you with a 's13' notice of rent increase.
      (He can issue this while in the fixed term, but the increase can't apply before the fixed term has ended).
      (The s13 notice period is at least 'one tenancy period', ie. if your rent is paid monthly then it's 1 months notice of increase).
    3. He could start the eviction process with 's21' notice to leave.
      (or possibly 's8' if you are in rent arrears or other breach of the lease).

    An s21 notice is only the first step of an eviction.
    Currently s21 notice from a landlord has to be at least 2 full months notice.
    (That's often longer because s21's are notoriously easy to get wrong and so are invalid, the LL has to start again with a new valid s21).
    Once that 2 months has passed he can then apply to the court for a possession order. I believe at the moment it about six months to get a PO, the courts are backlogged like everything else.
    Once he has a PO then he can get the bailiffs to evict. (Currently taking another month or two depending on where you are).

    On that other forum we have one landlord who takes students and has let one property to a group of students as from next Septembers accademic year start with 'all bills included' rents.
    He signed the contract last September and didn't allow for any of the current increases, so even though they don't move in until next September he's basically stuck with the agreed rent now and will lose quite a bit. (Unless the students relent and agree to an increase, which they aren't doing so far).
    Last edited by nukecad; 03-04-22 at 13:31.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for that great advice nukecad .
    My landlord seems decent so if he asked for an extra £25 ish monthly I’d probably agree to it and as there’s another in the flat he’d probably agree to it as well . That would be an extra £50 a month ( £600 per year ) . The thing is he never gave me a gas safety certificate/ how to rent guide or anything like that so I know that means he’ll find it impossible or near impossible to issue a section 21 . Am I correct in this ? And I’m in no arrears so couldn’t issue a section 8.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I've made a slight correction above, the s21 notice period no longer has to end on a tenancy aniversary it just has to be a full 2 months.

    As you are willing to pay extra if he asks then it just comes down to negotiating how much.
    I'd get what you do agree put in writing, it doesn't necessarily mean changing the TA unless you all want to.

    Yes, a section 21 relies on all those things being issued to be valid, but if they weren't then they can be put into place and then the s21 issued.
    It seems a bit daft to make them a requirement and then allow a way around that requirement, but that's how it is with a s21.
    It's also a bit of a legal grey area with the GSC, but following an earlier ruling the courts accept it as long as there is a valid GSC in place when the s21 notice is served.

    If there isn't a GSC in place at the moment I'd be chasing your landlord about it. (assuming that there is a gas supply to the property).
    It's for your safety and it's a legal requirement. A landord can get unlimited fines and six month in prison for not having one in place.

    If you are interested this is a flowchart of how to check that a s21 notice is valid:
    https://431bj62hscf91kqmgj258yg6-wpe...dOctober21.pdf

    The s21 process is soon to be abolished anyway, too many landlords have been and still are using it for reasons it was never intended for.
    It was meant as a means where a landlord can get their property back to live in or sell, some/many landlords have been using it just to get rid of tenants they 'don't like' for whatever reason.
    All evictions will then have to be done with a s8 notice, where the landlord has to give valid grounds for evicting someone. (Which could include moving into or selling the property, but they'd have to prove that).
    Not surprisingly many 'casual' landlords (property investor types) don't like the coming change.

    Did you pay a deposit, and if so did the landlord protect it and issue you with the 'Prescribed Information' within 30 days?
    If he didn't then he'd need to give you the full deposit back before he could issue a s21.
    If he didn't then you can also make a claim against him for a penalty of between 1x and 3x the deposit amount.
    (It's unlawful not to protect a tenants deposit, and the policing of that law is done by tenants claiming the penalty from the landlord. It's quite effective as you can imagine, landlords only tend do do it the once and are then more careful after having to pay a penalty to their ex-tenant, usually it's ex-tenants who claim for obvious reasons).
    Last edited by nukecad; 03-04-22 at 13:44.
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    Thanks for that nukecad , it was really informative.
    I didn’t pay a deposit . TBH the flat is in a shambles and probably hasn’t had any work done in years . I have a feeling the landlord will put it up for sale at the end of the year . He’s not based in London anymore and I’ve recently found out he’s sold his other 2 London properties and the one I’m in is his last.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    There are quite a few 'small' landlord selling up and leaving the rental sector or seriously considering it.

    My ex-landlord is getting out of domestic rentals and put the place on the market as soon as I moved out.
    (10 months on and no buyer yet. It needs a lot of work, and he's asking too much).

    S21 being abolished is just one factor, Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) are now mandatory every 5 years, there's also an EPC rating issue coming up (rentals will have to be above a 'C'), and an increasing number of councils are now requiring all landlords to be licenced.

    Landlords are going to need to be serious about being a landlord, and act in a more responsible business-like manner in future.
    The 'get rich quick' and slum landlord types don't like that.

    It is going to lead to a (bigger) shortage of private rentals in the near future if/when they all sell up, but may also bring some property prices down for a while.
    I wouldn't relish looking for somewhere to rent in the coming 5 to 10 years, luckilly I'm now in Social Housing and not intending going anywhere except in a box.
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  7. #7
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    It’ll definitely more difficult to find a private rental when these changes come into place, I only intend to be here until the end of the year or early 2023 , hopefully I’ll be fine until then , will probably leave London after that , absolutely had enough of this overrated and overpriced City . Just out of interest if the landlord did sell and I didn’t want to leave , he couldn’t issue a section 21 unless he issued all certificates etc and couldn’t issue a section 8 as I’m not in arrears , what would his options be ?

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau View Post
    Just out of interest if the landlord did sell and I didn’t want to leave , he couldn’t issue a section 21 unless he issued all certificates etc and couldn’t issue a section 8 as I’m not in arrears , what would his options be ?
    Section 21 only applies to Asured Shorthold tenancies, and the landlord doesn't have to give any reason for serving it.
    Which is why some landlords have been abusing what it was meant to achieve, and why it's now due to be abolished.

    If the landlord can't use s21 then currently he has 3 legal options:

    If he had previously lived in the property, and wanted to move back in then he could use s8 ground 1 to evict.
    He'd have to show/prove he used to live there and wanted to move back, it's a mandatory ground so there is no defence.

    Section 8 has 17 grounds for eviction, 1-9 are mandatory (if the landlord has the required proof the court must award a Possession Order), 10-17 are discretionary (the court doesn't have to grant a PO, even if the LL has proof, the tenant can ask for mitigating circumstances to be considered or the court could consider eviction too harsh).

    Rent arrears has 2 grounds-
    Ground 8 is mandatory where the arrears are at least 8 weeks (depends on rent payment frequency) and still owing at the date of the posession hearing.
    Ground 10 is a discretionary ground and can be for any amount of arrears.

    OR
    He could sell with a 'sitting tenant', obviously he'd get less than with 'vacant posession' and have a smaller target of buyers.
    (And as said many landlords are wanting to get out, not take on a property already with a tenant in place).

    OR
    He could offer the tenant an 'inducement' (usually money) to surrender the tenancy so that he could then sell with vacant posession.
    (It needs to be a big offer, but the difference in selling price between 'sitting tenant' and 'vacant posession' can be very big).

    Of course there are non-legal options, (including sending the boys round with big sticks), but that's a whole different territory.

    When s21 is abolished it's proposed that there will be a new ground added to s8 to cover landlords who want to sell their property, there will be conditions attached.

    As you are interested here's some light reading:
    The current s8 grounds for eviction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_8_notice
    And here is the Commons Library briefing on the abolition of s21: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk...ings/cbp-8658/
    Last edited by nukecad; 04-04-22 at 13:45.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks nukecad, I’m really just hoping he won’t sell until early next year I couldn’t face another move .
    Thank for your advice

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