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Thread: Housing costs private sector

  1. #1
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    Housing costs private sector

    So I have been hit with a proposed 30% rent increase and a requirement to provide £1850 as a security payment to stay in this flat. I checked the lettings in my area and prices for single bed lettings have skyrocketed in the entire area.

    I think I Am pretty much the only person on here not under a HA or council. I know nukecad told me a couple of years ago he was renting privately but I noticed last week he said his landlord is a HA.

    So it seems I think I am going to be homeless, the private sector for single bed properties feels like its hitting the point of unsustainably for people like me, of course LHA rates are way below real life.

    (every 4 weeks)
    LHA rate for bedsit £312
    LHA rate for 1 bed flat £414

    (calendar month) - all of these properties are asking for employed tenant, I couldnt find anywhere advertising for anyone unemployed.
    Average price of bedsit £440
    Average cost of 1 bed flat £556
    Average cost of 2 bed flat £512

    There is actually many 2 beds cheaper than 1 beds now, the market seems to be mostly affected for singletons.

    Questions.

    Given its now cheaper to rent a 2 bed property than a 1 bed flat in my area, would I get a deduction on LHA/HB if I moved to one?

    I cannot claim DHP to plug the hole, my council has a requirement you must be in rent arrears, seems dumb to me as once you get to that point eviction is inevitable.

    All HA's in my city are closed for applications, just full on closed regardless of status.
    Council housing register requires to be homeless or deemed in need of property for health reasons.
    Am registered on neighbouring county council but have been unable to get a property.
    I have a outstanding appeal with my council with a supporting letter from the Occupational therapist who assessed me who recommended I should get a property, but was overruled by a manager.

    I have already been threatened with a section 21 over the phone, I think they just want me out of my flat, as they know I dont work and want to push much higher rent (I think reported by handy man).

  2. #2
    Senior Member TimeLord's Avatar
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    Contact your council's discretionary housing payments team, to see if they can help or contact the Landlord to see if they can help negotiate with the increase, also register with your local council for housing.

    And I'm not sure of your age or disability but if you're over a certain age with a disability then providing you keep trying to pay the rent a judge would have to take notice of the disability before any eviction could happen by law.

    Also contact citizens advice for advice too.

    http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/hou...rent-increase/


    And check or take your tenancy agreement to see if they have acted outside of the agreement.


    http://www.gov.uk/private-renting/rent-disputes
    Last edited by TimeLord; 09-06-22 at 05:45.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TimeLord's Avatar
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    Eviction if you’re a disabled personhttp://scotland.shelter.org.uk/housi...isabled_person find your area on this page first as laws are different.
    Last edited by TimeLord; 09-06-22 at 05:55.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Yes I moved last year from a private rental to social.

    Q1) Are you coming to the end of a fixed term agreement and they are asking you to sign a new one?

    I dont believe that asking for a 'security payment' is legal - unless you are signing a new Tenancy Agreement and it's a new Tenancy Deposit.
    And by law they can't ask/take a tenancy deposit of more than 5 weeks rent. So for a £1,850 Tenancy Deposit your proposed rent would have to be £370 a week (£1,603 a month).
    There are also strict laws about protecting tenancy deposits and issuing you with details about that protection.

    Q2) Are you signing a new TA? Did you already pay a deposit previously when taking the flat?

    Q3) How has the rent inclease been 'proposed'? Is it a section 13 notice or is there a clause in your agreement about rises?
    S13 notices are only valid in particular tyoes of tenancy, and only of there is no clause about rises in the TA.
    If you pay rent at the increased rent then you are deemed to have accepted the increase.
    You can challenge a proposed rent increase if it's unreasonable, but as you know that's likely to lead to an s21. (That kind of behaviour is one of the reasions s21 is going to be scrapped).
    However if what you are currently paying is below market rate for the area then it's probably reasonable, although not nice to do it all at once.
    That's partly your landlords fault for not making smaller increases each year.
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ho...rent-increase/

    As to your question about LHA:
    In a private rental you are entitled to LHA or the actual rent if it's less than LHA.
    It is you that has the entitlement and how many bedrooms the property actually has is irrelevant, you'd get the same LHA in a 2 bed as you would in a 1 bed.
    (The number of bedrooms only counts in social housing, which isn't subject to LHA).

    If things do come to a head and you get a s21 (or even a s8 if you get into rent arrears) then as you know with not working you will find it difficult to get another private rental.
    The market is such that landlords can be very choosy about who they rent to.

    Threats of a s21 are often just that, threats.
    Note that a s21 or s8 notice does not requre you to move out. It's just the first step of a long process.
    After that notice expires (2 months) the LL then has to go to court to get a Posession Order.
    If the PO is granted he then has to book bailiffs to come round and do the actual eviction.
    The whole process takes months, up to a year currently.

    If that eviction process does start then you are advised to stay in the property until evicted by bailifs, the council will tell you that.
    That is because if you leave before the bailiffs turn up then the council will class you as 'intentionally homeless', which means that they don't have to help you with emergency accommodation. (saving them money).

    If you could answer Q1, 2, and 3 above, and maybe say what the proposed rent after increase will be, and just what it says about that 'security payment' (if anything).
    Then I may be able to give more definite.

    PS. One more question - is this an agent that you are dealing with or the landlord?
    Agents often do things like this, and threaten s21, without the landlord even being aware.

    EDIT - Timelord has brought something up there while I was typing the above.
    Is this in Scotland or Wales? Rental laws are different, especially in Scotland.
    Last edited by nukecad; 09-06-22 at 06:36.
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  5. #5
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    The landlord has what you might call an unusual setup.

    It probably technically is an agency but he owns it and every property is owned by him.

    When i moved in, he was a reasonable guy, he handed me the keys personally, but 20 years later he now owns 100s of lets, has a team managing the lets, and the last few times I have rang him he is basically dont ring me, ring my staff.

    I did research what I could e.g. the requirement of a section 13, the rent dispute scheme and such. However as you also said Nukecad, S21 basically trumps all of this stuff, my AST expired, so they can issue a S21 for "any" reason. If I am wrong I welcome to be corrected but thats what shelter told me. The only thing I have is if they havent followed certain processes the S21 could be made void but inevitably a new one would be issued as soon as they fixed the problem.

    Whilst a S21 may only be a threat, would you really just shrug it off and act as if nothing i going to happen, and also yes the council told me the same thing in regards to eviction that I have to stay here until the day the bailiffs drag me out to avoid intentionally homelessness.

    The existing rent is £485 (rent when I moved in and what my HB covers is £395). The new proposed rent is £630 (LHA rates 4 weekly are £414). One of my parents is my guarantor still required after 20 years, and this year they want my second parent as well. I managed yesterday to get them to drop the demand of nearly £1900.

    Given that S21 trumps everything, I feel like S13 is meaningless, it wasnt a S13 and I then point this out to them, all they going to do is either issue a S13 its basically just administrative stuff or issue a S21 for me been awkward.

    I have not currently signed the new TA, and I have already paid a security deposit.

    The council will be coming back to me, as I have asked them for advice on what to do, because in the past they have told me, if I accept a rent i cannot afford and then get evicted for not paying the rent its then intentionally homelessness, if I dont accept the agreement, its also intentionally homelessness, so I have asked them to advise me on what to do and in writing.


    Timelord I also dont qualify for discretionary payments, my council has a policy of only paying it if you in arrears, I am not in arrears. I will read the disability stuff you have given me. Thanks. The advice from CAB isnt helpful for me sadly, pretty much everything they say has been exhausted, except S13 which in itself has no power as S21 trumps it.

    Thanks for the answer on rooms for LHA, there is quite a lot of 2 bed houses cheaper than 1 bed flats here.

    England.
    Last edited by worried33; 09-06-22 at 21:07.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    As you are now in a periodic tenancy then as you say they can give a no-reason s21 with 2 months notice anytime they like.
    They still have to go through all the court procedure to be able to actually evict.

    There are two types of periodic tenancy that can arise when a fixed term ends:
    1. If your original TA contains a clause about what happens when the fixed term ends, then that's a Contractual Periodic Tenancy.
      The terms of the original TA, including any stated notice periods, stay the same it just no longer has a fixed end date.
    2. If the TA doesn't say what happens when the fixed term ends, then it becomes a Statuatory Periodic Tenancy.
      The terms of the original TA stay the same except for the notice periods which become by law - 2 months if given by the landlord, and at least 1 month ending on an aniversary of the original tenancy if given by the tenant.


    s21's are notoriously easy to get wrong, many landlords/agents do get them wrong, but as you say all that means is that they have to do it again and get it right.
    It just gives another couple of months because they have to do it all over again.

    The £1850 'Security Payment' would appear to be an unlawful fee - but you say that they have dropped that.

    PS. They can't make you sign a new TA unless you want to, if you don't sign then the tenancy remains periodic and there is nothing that they can do about that.
    Signing a new TA does give you a new fixed term, and they can't then use s21 until that new fixed term has ended.

    Basicly you seem stuck between a rock and a hard place.
    You could refuse a new TA, stay periodic, and risk s21 eviction. (or s8 eviction for arrears if they increase the rent anyway via s13).
    You could sign a new TA, fall into rent arears and risk s8 eviction.

    If you have more than 2 months arrears, both when the s8 is served and still when the case is heard, then s8 ground 8 is mandatory - ie. the court has to grant it.

    And then the council will say that because it was an eviction for rent arrears you have made yourself 'intentionally homeless' so they don't have to help you.
    Of course the council are only doing that because they have no housing available, a situation which Boris wants to make even worse by reintroducing right to buy.

    So your only real option is to try and find somewhere cheaper, if you can find a landlord who will take a non working tenant on benefits.
    There are some who do but I doubt you'll find many at all in London. (You seem to be in London or Thames Valley from that LHA rate).
    I think that to be realistic you are probably looking at a room in a HMO with shared kitchen and bathroom, (or at best a house/flat share preferably with a working friend).
    PS. I lived like that for the past 20 years, 10 of them in a room above a pub, then 10 sharing a house with 2 others on individual tenancies. Neither place was too bad.
    Then, after 5 years 'bidding', I finally got a 1-bed social housing flat last year.
    Last edited by nukecad; 09-06-22 at 23:53.
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  7. #7
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    So I got some responses from my council now.

    They told me they have had a flood of queries, including from other tenants of my landlord, they think what is happening is there is a new law coming within a year which will block certain types of eviction (I assume they mean the S21 ban) and the landlords are pre empting this by getting huge rent rises in whilst its still easy to do.

    I asked about the discretionary payment, they said its a no as I am not in arrears but have requested if an exemption can be made as they recognise the situation I am in, this would still be subject to me sending in bank statements and a decision been made on other criteria.

    On the homelessness they didnt want to give me advice I think as they trying to wiggle out of having to help me if it happens, but I eventually got an email saying if I requested in writing to have my rent increase at a more manageable level, and then requested a discretionary payment from my council before any potential eviction to show I am trying my best to not be homeless they would consider that acceptable.

  8. #8
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    Nukecad, the good news is I know I will be able to force them to do a second S21, I already know e.g. my deposit protection scheme documentation has incorrect information on it. I of course never told them this, knowing it might prove useful some day should they issue me with a S21.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    At least you know that it's not just you and that your LL is doing this with all their tenants.

    It's a combination of 2 proposals, the abolition of s21 and the new EPC minimum requirement for rented properties.
    And TBH although many are currently blaming the abolition of s21 it's the EPC requirement that is the bigger issue.

    Anecdotally most uses of s21 are for rent arrears, which are already covered by s8 anyway but s21 is seen as easier to do. (A tenant can challenge some s8 arrears grounds, but there is no challenging a s21).
    Landlords will still be able to evict for good reason, wanting to move in themselves or sell up being good reason as long as they do actually move in/sell.

    The EPC proposals are more worrying for everyone, both tenants and landlords.
    A lot of current rental properties will need thousands spent just to get the EPC up, if it even can be.
    So landlords will have to spend the money impoving insulation etc. and will put rents up to cover that cost, or stop renting the property, leading to both higher rents and an even bigger shortage of properties to rent than there is now.
    (Of course there will also be a flood of ex-rental properties on the housing market, driving down the price for those who can afford to buy).
    It's one of those well meaning proposals that is actually bonkers when you look at the ramifications, but still seems to be going ahead anyway.

    Anyway it's all just delaying tactics on your part, they will get their rise or get you out eventually.

    If you can get them to issue a s13 for the rent rise (by not agreeing to one without a s13) then you can challenge that at tribunal, who might set a lower rent increase for 12 months before they can s13 you again.

    On the homelessness they didnt want to give me advice I think as they trying to wiggle out of having to help me if it happens, but I eventually got an email saying if I requested in writing to have my rent increase at a more manageable level, and then requested a discretionary payment from my council before any potential eviction to show I am trying my best to not be homeless they would consider that acceptable.
    As you suspect that's not worth a bean, just if's and maybe's to try and keep you quiet, they will deny/retract it all later.

    Sorry, but as said before you are going to have to try to find somewhere cheaper to rent.
    Last edited by nukecad; 24-06-22 at 07:02.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by worried33 View Post
    So I got some responses from my council now.

    They told me they have had a flood of queries, including from other tenants of my landlord, they think what is happening is there is a new law coming within a year which will block certain types of eviction (I assume they mean the S21 ban) and the landlords are pre empting this by getting huge rent rises in whilst its still easy to do.

    I asked about the discretionary payment, they said its a no as I am not in arrears but have requested if an exemption can be made as they recognise the situation I am in, this would still be subject to me sending in bank statements and a decision been made on other criteria.

    On the homelessness they didnt want to give me advice I think as they trying to wiggle out of having to help me if it happens, but I eventually got an email saying if I requested in writing to have my rent increase at a more manageable level, and then requested a discretionary payment from my council before any potential eviction to show I am trying my best to not be homeless they would consider that acceptable.
    They'd probably tell you to wait until you're evicted before they would help you. Then they'd put you in a B&B out of the area so you wouldn't be their problem anymore.

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