I currently have a long term tenant who pays rent on time every time, pays the utilities, fixes things that don’t need specialist attention out of their own pocket, always flexible/available should I need to perform inspections (so far every inspection has been 10/10), is quiet, keeps me in the loop re: any issues that may affect the block such as roadworks etc, and deals with any workmen who need to visit i.e. boiler engineers and reports back . Literally an effortless dream tenant.
However… he’s on benefits and paying the maximum amount permitted. They always pay me immediately, so far so good – a regular income with no hiccups or delays.
If I were to increase the rent to match market value, he would (through no fault of his own bar the limit of LHA which as we know has been frozen for years and doesn’t meet the market value of rental properties ) have to leave and then I would have to find the time, money, and effort required in order to go through the process of an eviction followed by viewings, interviews, credit checks, delays, etc etc FTR I no longer live permanently in the UK, so would have to return and arrange these things.
I’ve had bad tenants and bad agents in the past and have/would rather leave my property empty or sell up than have the wrong person living in it or managing it again.
Reading through the various posts here (and horror stories!) I’ve been trying to work out what the best solution would be, so I thought I would ask your opinions on the options -
- Keep the tenant, and if/when LHA is raised, raise the rent by that much to ensure they stay i.e. still make a profit, but not a significantly larger one.
- Evict the tenant and sell – at least I don’t have to go through the chore of finding new people and can leave that task almost entirely in the hands of an estate agent. The cost of eviction and selling can be compensated for in the sale price, however it seems to take months to evict someone and couldn’t put it on the market until the property was empty and redecorated.
- Evict the tenant, increase the rent to market value, go through the process of finding new unknown quantity tenant/s who can pay the increased amount and take the risks and costs on the chin.
- Sell property with tenant in situ - the new owner can decide what they want to do.
- Wait and see what the markets do for another year before making a decision.
If you can afford it, I would keep the tenant, but possibly make a small increase in rent that they can afford. A void period of a month is about the same as a year of the rent increase.
a good tenant on a lower rent is better than a bad tenant on a higher rent
I always Base rent on 11months as new tenants and void periods take on average and if a long term tenant is on say 12months x £ 1000 is better than a tenants on £1100 for 11months and the hassle that goes with it !
What’s driving the market is immigration, and that isn’t going to stop. You didn’t provide any numbers. But you could be missing out on a permanent 20-30% increase. All depends on your own financial position.
@David122 makes a sensible comment. The LHA hasn’t been raised as the argument is that benefits have increased more than inflation in the past - if you can believe that. Most on UC are actually working as UC/LHA is there to provide a floor. So one for 1.
I’ve also done #4 but the price wasn’t great ('oop north) and invested dahn sahf which was much better - possibly due to the immigration referred to but more likely due to houses not being built / more single households.
If you listen to the politicians, they appear to have given up trying to get housebuilders to build (depresses profits) and are hoping the City will cough up the cash as they have done for student accommodation. I’d hold on a bit before getting out but if the City get involved get out sharpish.
I’m in the same situation. Tennant been in 3 years. I haven’t increased in this time. Houses ( not as nice) same size in the same area are at least £250 more.
How do I find out how much they get for the rent through benefits?
It’s not all immigration but more people are moving jobs , more single and divorced and people move for jobs and take covid , Bristol where I am was bursting at the seams where Londoners moved west!
We have good tenants and hadn’t increased the rent in three years. This year we did a small increase, just so that it didn’t fall even further behind market value. Very similar flats on the same estate are £150 pcm more.
However, I think a good tenant who looks after the place and pays their rent on time and in full is worth their weight in gold!
I would just do a very small increase, or none, unless you need the money.
Do you really need to increase the rent. Its a happy situation and life isent always about squeezing out maximum value. If you don’t need the money then let it be.
And then in a couple of years the market rent will be even higher, there’s no way T will find anything for similar price anywhere, and S21 may have been gone. No, it doesn’t pay to be a subsidising LL. It keeps T happy in the short run but creates massive problems in the long one.
Just to give a recent example. My parter did EPC for a couple in a one bed rental acccommodation - teacher and engineer. Living in an upmarket area of Bristol, near Gloucester Rd and paying £600 pm, LOL. LL plans to increase rent to £900 p/m. The going rental price for the like is £1200 or higher.
The teacher looked very unhappy and said they have all intentions challenging it through the tribunal. Apart from the fact that they will fail, look how entitled TT became to paying the peanut rent, how ungrateful they are to LL for saving their money and how they plan to challenge the new rent, even though it’s still significantly lower than the market rent. Not to mention that they have well-paid jobs.
So, the advice “If you don’t need the money then let it be” is not helpful. Plus, it’s business and is supposed to bring income. Plus, you never know when you may need more money, especially as you get older.
I have a tenant who pays £1095 and gradually gone up a little over the years and 2 years ago I put it up from 950 to 1095 and they moaned like hell , similar properties at the time were min 1200
Now since March they have shot up and one property which is identical has been let for 1450!
Even if I put it up £100 they will have a fit so it looks like after Xmas they will be moving on !
Enter the postcode into the valuation office website - it’ll tell you the various levels of LHA people receive, however it may be different for people in receipt of UC
Thank you, I think my tenant is claiming uc and also dla. Do you think this means they would get more?
Current rents in the area are 700-800 per month.
According to the calculator they can claim £108 per week! I don’t know how they are paying all of that top up.
I thought the local council give on their website the amount of H B entitlement
Speak with your tenant to begin with as he may have an option you can come to.
Benefit do sometimes do discretionary payments (subject to their approval) for certain situations and you may find he can be allowed the increase.
It’s cheaper and sensible in the long run for the system to keep him in secure housing.
Hope that helps, from a tenants perspective.
Be careful what you wish for.
A good tenant is nice a 10/10 tenant is rare.
Unless you need to increase the rent to assist you financially ie mortgage has increased etc then leave it. You sir have a dream tenant we can all wish for so hold onto them as long as you can.
Another option as many have said is to have a word with them, mention that you need to increase the rent but would like to keep them and get a feel of whether they can afford to pay more or not.
You obviously havent got a clear direction so leave things run till you have.
two things, props arent selling too well just now, i have three units on and very few bites.
secondly i dont know about UC but i believe there may be ways that top ups can be paid, might be worth investigating.
I’ve charged below market rent for years which keeps hold of good tenants which are worth their weight in gold. Market rate is useless if it’s not paid!