I have a property that has been let out for 4 years (12 month AST, now rolling contract) and I wish to return to live there.
However, the property was flooded on Christmas Eve and due to Covid, the repair work has not yet been completed.
I appreciate there is a 6 month notice to be given, but my agent is saying I cannot serve notice until all works are completed. This will delay even further my intended return.
Is she right? What are my options?
Secondly, if I do have to delay serving notice, is it reasonable to increase the rent? The contract stipulates between 3% and 8% per annum. Her present rent is £900pcm, but other similar properties on the market locally are nearer £1200 which is over the 8% increase each year.
I’m not sure why your agent is saying that, but it may be linked to the revenge eviction legislation. If the tenant wrote to you about the problem with the flood and the local authority subsequently serve you an Improvement Notice, then you are prevented from serving a s21 notice for at least 6 months and in any case until after the repairs are completed. If this is not the case, then I see no reason why you can’t serve the s21 notice now. However, if the tenant refuses to leave, you should not expect to gain possession for at least 12 months and possibly a lot longer as the notice period is now 6 months and there is a huge backlog of cases.
If your tenancy agreement specified the procedure for increasing the rent, then you must stick to it. In this case, your maximum increase would be 8%. There should also be clauses about the frequency of increases saying things such as ‘no increase during the fixed term’ and ‘no more than one increase in any 12 month period’ etc.