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Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My question is in relation to a rent increase to the site fee

Customer Question

My question is in relation to a rent increase to the site fee for my holiday chalet. Whilst I expected an increase I was shocked at the amount requested. The fee had been held at £1500.00 per yr for 5 yrs and was due to be reviewed this year. The new figure is £1850.00 per year. The site owner included information as to how this figure was achieved. This included the use of the RPI interest rate for the month of March only for the last 5 years and also included a fee of £41.14 for improvements to the site. This figure will now be added to the site fee and will be included in the site fee for ever more, and will also be subject to interest every yr.
The situation has raised a number of questions such as:
Why use RPI and not CPI?
Why not a average percentage rate throughout each year and over the 5yr period?
Open cheque book approach to improvements, no discussion, no consent from local authority (conservation area).
Does not issue invoices or receipts and charges vat on electricity bills using domestic rates and a standing charge.

I am concerned that I may be told to leave the site next week if I am unable to clarify my position with regards XXXXX XXXXX fee, I have spent my life savings buying the chalet.

Please can you help me

Regards

Colin
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Does the agreement Aer
Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Does the agreement set it out please?
JACUSTOMER-duht5p83- :

The agreement does not mention what formula will be used to calculate any increase. If required a copy of letters and agreement can be provided.

Alex Watts :

What does it say about increase, the exact wording please

JACUSTOMER-duht5p83- :

Please find attached a copy of agreement and letter relating to increase.

Full Size Image
Full Size Image

Alex Watts :

Ok - your agreement does not state they can increase the price, would you agree?

Alex Watts :

The agreement does not allow for an increase

Alex Watts :

Therefore they can not charge you such an increase

Alex Watts :

However the bad news is your licence ends on 28th May 2014

Alex Watts :

Because this is not a tenancy agreement or a lease, there is no trigger for increases.

Alex Watts :

This means they can increase it to whatever they want and sadly there is nothing you can do

Alex Watts :

Because this is a holiday chalet and not a private dwelling you are not protected by the Mobile Homes Act

Alex Watts :

Therefore I am sorry to say that it is only a matter between the parties to negotiate an increase

Alex Watts :

If you refuse your licence ends and you no longer have the land

Alex Watts :

Therefore sadly because the agreement is for a fixed period and has no formula about increases you have no protection whatsoever

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

I would suggest with any new licence you agree a price increase formula to be included in the licence, together with a right of renewal.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-duht5p83- :

for the purpose of negotiation and as point of principle, would we be in a position to query his use of RPI March figure only or is he still able to pull the figure from anywhere? The point regarding him asking us to pay for improvements that do not have consent from the Local Authority (confirmed following site visit), surely we should refuse to pay for anything that is deemed illegal? Has he the right to charge us annual interest on the improvement figure, surely this should have a fixed price associated?

Alex Watts : Because you have a licence and it has come to the end you don't actually have a right to renew.
Alex Watts : You can query RPI but he could just say its that or you leave.
Alex Watts : You can refuse to pay for anything illegal and not approved.I also agree the improvement figure should be fixed as this is also not set out for increase in the agreement.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify matters?
Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

JACUSTOMER-duht5p83- :

Should I choose to reply to the Landlord outlining my position regarding not payment for improvements that have no legal consent, and highlight that in my view the improvement figure should be set and not subject to any increase, would he be in a position to counter these points by altering any future agreement? Would I be within my right to request documentation relating to what he is charging me for in relation to the improvements? Or can he charge me for anything he chooses and at any price? What action could be taken by the residents to provide them with any protection? would forming a company help?

Alex Watts :

He can only charge you a licence. You have no real say as to the value of that, this is the problem

Alex Watts :

But outline saying improvements are without consent and this should be reflected in yourfee

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify matters?

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