I have a tenant who has been on a rolling periodic tenancy for years after the original AST ended after the first 12 months, I have proposed a rent increase with the minimum 1 months notice via text and to which the tenant agreed, the increase was to start from April 2023, I even agreed to defer the increase until June to aid the tenants financial situation with the arrears difference to be paid before the end of the year. I drafted a letter to this effect for her/my records and also for her benefits claim.
She is now insisting I issue a new AST or Section 13, I do not want to issue a new AST as I am intending to take the property back probably early 2024 and I am happy with the periodic arrangement as has been the case for the last few years. Also since we had agreed to the rent increase via text and reading this is sufficient (Shelter website and here) I do not see why she is now insisting I issue a section 13, I am under the impression a section 13 is if the tenant does not agree to a rent increase which she has?
Confused & frustrated
Any advice is much appreciated.
Tenant has probably read bad advice shown on citizens advice website.
Tenant can simply start paying and this is deemed that new rate is accepted and becomes legally binding.
S13 is not used to contest, may be easier just to issue.
You could issue an AST for 1 month, doesn’t have to be 6.
Many thanks for the reply. There is a lot of confusing information even on landlord sites Tbh but Shelters own website does state an S13 is not required if we have agreed via text which is the case and multiple times. If I were to issue a S13 just to appease the tenant can I back date this to start from April as was the original agreed increase start date?
I suspect I cannot, which is why I issued her with a letter to confirm the new rent increase to be deferred until June and a letter to confirm as agreed for her to catch up with the arrears (difference in increase) from April etc. She is refusing to sign this until a new AST or S13 at present.
Your issue would be enforcing the agreement you already have. I dont think it has much legal standing. It isnt signed as a deed and doesnt have all the requirements of a contract. If it went to court I think a judge would just accept that she had changed her mind. I think youll just have to serve that s13 notice.
Thank you for your reply, if I am to serve a S13 notice can I back date the start date to what was originally agreed being from April or would this contradict the 1 months notice needed in relation to the S13 even though I gave her notice back in February and to which she agreed via Text?
I’m also a little confused at paragraph 3 on the S13 notice - The first rent increase date after 11th February 2003 is …??
The guidance notes for paragraph 3 state:
Unless the tenancy is a new one (which this isnt), or one of the exceptions mentioned in note 17 applies (which I believe note 17 exception applies, as this tenancy is now periodic), you must insert in paragraph 3 of the notice the first date after 11th February 2003, on which rent is proposed to be, or was, increased under this statutory notice procedure. That date determines the date that you can specify in paragraph 4 of the notice.
Which is why I’m not sure if I can back date the S13 to April?
Sorry for asking what might seem a simple answer to those in the know but I want to get this right first time.
No, sorry, you cant backdate it.
If this is the first increase then you put the date of the increase in there.
So she’s basically once again got away with delaying paying the agreed rent increase for another month
I will issue the section 13 notice since I cannot rely on her to keep to an informal agreement and since I have never used a S13 before as you say I will put the same date in paragraph 3 & 4.
The previous increase was 3 years ago and via informal agreement.
Then its the date from 3 years ago that I think you put in that box
Reading other similar links and the way S13 notes for paragraph 3 date is worded i was under the impression because my last increase was informal and not using a S13, this being the first time then the dates are the same for 3 & 4.
S13 notes for 3 do state the first date on which rent is proposed to be, or was, increased under this statutory notice procedure.
The last rent increase was not using this S13 statutory procedure, this time effectively being the first increase using an S13 so it would look like i should put both dates as the same. ?
Ok. Youre probably right then. Its been a while since I read the notes.
As you are now issuing the s13, you could increase by more than planned to re-coup her broken arrangement. As long as you are still increasing to a fair market rent, this would likely be acceptable, and you’d win if challenged.
Must admit i don’t find the notes very clear either way, still not convinced i even need a S13 but its done and somewhat official now so see what crap she attempts next
You must not backdate it or it wont be valid.
A section 13 can only be contested through a rent tribunal. Previously negotiated rent increases are not relevant, although they should I think be at least a year ago. Only refer to rent increases through section 13 on the form.
Check rightmove.co.uk etc to ensure the rent proposed is reasonable and you shouldn’t have a problem. Make your own assessment of affordability too as if the tenant really cant afford the increase it will be a problem.