I was talking to a friend who was worried that her landlord was going to be putting up her rent in the next few months. She is living in a one bedroom flat and it has a fair few issues. Despite reporting them, her landlord has done nothing to fix these issues and yet he still threatens to raise her rent.
As a landlord myself, this infuriates me. When my tenant reports an issue, I do everything within my power to sort it out as quickly as possible. When my flat was burgled, we sent a glazier round the next day to fix the broken window, we visited the flat and installed additional locks and security devices, and we purchased new window shutters for added security and privacy. I want my tenant to be happy in my home and I cannot understand why other landlords do not have the same desire. Not only is it the decent thing to do but happy tenants will want to stay in your property which means less admin and less cost for you.
No landlord wants to have their property sitting empty not earning them money. Keeping your current tenant happy means that there is less risk of this happening. If your tenant ups and leaves, you have no choice but to spend more money finding new tenants.
I know that rent in London has pretty much flatlined recently and I was advised by my estate agent that it would not be appropriate to raise the monthly rent. Keeping abreast of the London property market and wanting to keep my tenant meant I agreed with my agent and have kept the rent at the same level. As a result my tenant has renewed his tenancy and I am now paying less to my agent in commission.
Given my experience of being both a tenant and a landlord I thought I could offer her some advice.
I suggested the following:
- Firstly speak to the landlord to see what their intentions are
- If the landlord intends to raise the rent, speak to the estate agent who introduced the property to you. Ask them whether a rent increase is justified and see if they can advise the landlord on this
- Prepare a document for the landlord with photos of the property showing how well you are looking after the property including any improvements you have made
- Stress to the landlord how you have always paid your rent on time and have not been problematic tenants
- Look at property portals for similar properties in your area to see what rent is being charged. Are you overpaying or is the rent about right? Put this in your document
- If all your work falls on deaf ears and they insist on the rent rise, ask for property improvements in return. Get everything in writing with a timeline for work to be carried out
- Make sure you are covered by a contract
I really hope my friend is able to stay in her home which she shares with her husband. It is their first marital home and holds meaning to them. It would be such a shame if the greed of their landlord forced them out.
I wanted to share this just in case you too are in a similar position. Don’t let your greedy landlord win! I promise we aren’t all bad.