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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30929
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello I have been a tenant in this property for thirty four

Customer Question

Hello I have been a tenant in this property for thirty four years it is on a country estate The Lord of the property managed the estate when I moved into a semi derelict cottage. We made a gentlemans agreement that if I renovated the cottage and maintained it at my own cost the rent would stay at a 'peppercorn level' until they carried me out in a coffin' I have built an £80000.00 extension onto the property mainly because of the yearly flooding of it in 1994 of which The Lord supervised and approved. His comment was "Mr Beattie you have built a very nice house". Sadly The Lord died a few years ago I was in the middle of a new extension which I had spent a further £30000 on the Lady of the estate stopped the project. It has been up at roof level for twelve years. Up until now the estate has honoured his promise to keep the low rent I am paying £400 per month but at the latest rent review they have asked for the rent to be set at the current market level which they put at £800 per month and are insisting that I finish the building that I began 15 years ago. I realise it has been less than a sound investment but my wife and I based our decision on the Lords promise of a peppercorn rent until they etc. We would not have invested in the propery if this verbal agreement had not been made. It is common knowledge that The Lord made this promise to me but I'm not sure how I stand n law, can you help please? Yours faithfully John Beattie
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

Do you have anything in writing from the "Lord".

Do you have a tenancy agreement?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I do have a tenancy agreement but as I said our agreement was verbal and the only proof I had has died. I considered the fact that I have paid a low rent for the property over the last 34 years to be proof of his promise, he made small rent increases to keep ahead of inflation. I will find the agreement and get back you later. Thank you. John.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
HI,

Thank you.

Yes please confirm what information the agreement says about rent increases.

You may have grounds under a equitable concept called promissory estoppel to prevent and rent increases.

If you can let me know what the agreement says I will be able to comment further.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have been unable to sort things out today due to prior commitments I will look at the tenancy agreement tomorrow and get back to you. Regards John.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you no problem.

I will be available when you are you ready.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi AJ
I have found the tenancy agreement it doesn't mention rent increases but I have records of what I have been paying over the years, as I have said I only have what I have already written, the facts are, we would not have gone ahead with the building work if we thought we would have had to pay rent at the market rate. I have photographic evidence of all building works for both projects and receipts for all materials and machinery hire etc.
I don't understand how I can rate your input after such a short period of consultation? Where do I go to give you a rating? Regards John Beattie.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

You won't be able to rate me just yet.

Can you tell me exactly what the date of the tenancy is?

Kind regards

AJ

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