20% Rent increase with no contract and sitting tenant

In 1996 I moved into this flat under a simple Tenancy Agreement.
As it stands I am still here and have been told I am a sitting tenant.

In 2016 I went to tribunal with my then landlord and the rent was agreed at £750.

In 2017 the landlord’s nephew took over the flat and although nothing was a signed I continued to pay rent.

This year the flat was bought by a property investor who didn’t take time to greet me or tell me his plans.
Two months ago the flat was handed over to a letting agents who have been in receipt of rent.

They have sent me a document to sign agreeing to a 20% rent increase, twice the rate of inflation.

Can anyone tell me where I stand?
I’m wondering since there are no documents signed by me and I have no agreement with anyone save the original landlord, they can’t do this, or am I being naïve?

I’m thinking perhaps this will end up with another tribunal. But in the 26 years I’ve been here there hasn’t been a new bathroom or kitchen, nor fully adequate maintenance repair or attention to neighbour disputes nor upgrade from the Economy 7 immersion heating system and tank boiler.

Thanks for any advice or help. Jonny

Unless you signed a notice in 1996 agreeing that the tenancy would be shorthold, then you likely have an Assured Tenancy. S21 cannot be used to evict you, only section 8 with fault based grounds such as rent arrears. Your rent can be increased either in line with the original contract, or in the absence of that by a s13 notice. You can challenge that notice at the First Tier Tribunal, but unless the increase puts it way above market rent, you would not win.

Thank you for this David.
The Letting Agent has sent me a rent increase form to sign, which I havent. Rent to go up 20% in December twice the national average.

They’ve also ‘advised’ me that they will serve notice to quit next week.

I would suggest you make a pro-active offer of the most you can realistically afford. No landlord wants a void or to lose a good tenant, so they should seriously consider it. Let us know what happens.

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read below with caution as it is not professional advice and carries no guarantee of being accurate. Please take legal advice.

  1. tenancies granted after 1988 are in the main ASTs which once lapsed become SPT which yours seems to be. Once That does not make you a sitting tenant. The rules concerning these are statutory and cover in your case more than is in the agreement. The ll can serve a no fault eviction notice of 2 rental periods (if you pay monthly -2 months ; quarterly 6 months) which appears to be what they are doing.

  2. If rent rises have not been taking place it is likely that 20pc is not excessive although it is a shock and most insensitive given the col crisis and may force you into arrears.

  3. The correct way to serve notice of a rent increase is through a Section 13 notice. There is a means for you to sign it but you don’t have to but that does not invalidate it. No other means of telling you is binding on you unless you agree it.
    4.I agree with David 122 try to negotiate. Have you seen how hot the market is and are you likely to find anything else? If you believe it is excessive you can appeal to the first tier rent tribunal and how to do this should be covered in the notice you receive although from the sound of it you have previous. The tribunal actually gets to hear very few cases and bases its findings on very incomplete data on comparable rentals. The tribunal can raise the rent to more than was asked by the ll.

  4. Even if notice is served you can stay in the property until bailiffs come to remove you and you can until then forbid the ll or any agent access. However, playing hardball is not for everyone and if it goes down that route a new ll will understandably balk at the idea of renting to you.

6, All said try to negotiate is the best strategy.


This sounds like sensible advice thanks. Alexander. So far they have sent me 10 renewals notices.

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