Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
In short no.
Your tenancy agreement is a contract.
The contract can not be changed without your consent or approval.
Therefore both parties are bound by the terms of the contract.
The only way it can be changed is if there is a clause in the contract which allows it to be changed.
So unless there is such a clause, or you agree then no it cant be changed
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
As I do not have a contract in writing, is this more problematic? I was told by judge who specialises in housing law and is a lecturer at a University that not having a written contract does not negate my tenancy contract as the implied/inferred contract would still be permissible in law. To verify my terms I can prove by the rental payments and the RR1 form from first landlord that clearly says the water charges are included, and the new landlord also in writing has accepted this. Would this be enough proof.
That is correct. Just because its not in writing does not mean that you have anything other than a protected tenancy
If water charges are included in the first tenancy, this cant be changed.
They can not change the terms without your consent
I was always told that not having a written contract puts me in a very strong position. When my first landlord attempted to get me to sign one just before he sold the property I refused as it didn't cover all the terms I had enjoyed over the extensive period, as I already stated, I am a tenant now of 30 years. I am very worried about this, but can I argue with the VOA Rent Officer that she does not have the legal jurisdiction to apply this, as this is a new proviso than came into operation in 2010, surely it doesn't override my tenancy contract?
You are correct.
Does that help?
Yes, I now have to argue this in writing before she registers it, I'm concerned that they will argue that they can now in law determine who pays this cost, even though it has always been borne by the landlord.
You have a historic tenancy which helps.
You have never paid water charges before separate, which also helps/.
I'm not sure how this site works, as I am paying just for this question or for a weeks worth?
The thread is for this question only. If you want to ask me more questions can I ask you to post a new question?
That way I am credited for the time spent on each question
But any billing questions etc can I ask you to contact customer services as I have no access to that
Can I rate you after the outcome of my arguing with the VOA about my legal rights? Does that mean I would have to pay again?
Once you rate you can come back to the question at any time (although the site may say the chat ends).
If its related to the same question and topic then you can ask follow ups for free
is there any chance of getting the exact legal wording to help me compile my complaint letter to VOA? As you've stepped out who answers me now? how do I bookmark your profile, does that mean I will always get you for any property law questions? thanks
If you want me for future questions then you simply ask for me: Alex W.
Sadly I can't draft the letter for you as it is against site rules.
You simply say that you are a protected tenant. You have been there for 30 years.
The contract is implied by law and implied by conduct.
You have the rights of a protected tenant and as a matter of contract the contract can not be amended without your consent.
Therefore on this basis that the water was always included, the terms can not be changed to exclude water
Thank you Alex, I wasn't asking for you to draft the letter, just any legalise that I could quote. Yes, that does help. I will crack on with the letter, can I let you know how I get on? thanks
I just wanted to double check a point of law. The Rent officer, when questioned said the landlord's right to seek extra charges on top is contained in 1977 Rent Act Section 70 and the VOA - Valuation Office Agency information site states following:
Water rates or water charges
Section 71 (1) of the Rent Act lays down what must be included in a registered rent. It establishes that anything payable by the tenant to the landlord must be included in the registered rent even if it is under a separate agreement from the main tenancy agreement.
However, Section 71 (2) excludes “rates” from this principle and states that if the landlord is responsible for rates the rent registered must be “as if the landlord wasn’t responsible for them but the registration must note that he is”.
This means that the rent is calculated exclusive of rates but the register must state that the landlord actually pays the rates.
Section 71 (3) then allows the landlord to add the cost of the rates to the registered rent.
In summary, if the landlord pays the rates, he can add the cost to the registered rent. If the tenant pays the rates then they do so to the billing authority directly.
Most rates ceased many years ago and local government taxation is now via council tax (which can be included in the registered rent under s71(1) as explained above).
‘Rates’ are defined in s152 as including “water rates”. This means that if a property is individually rated and the landlord pays the water rates, the rent officer registers the rent exclusive of the water rates but the landlord recovers them on top of the registered rent.
Does this constitutes 'legislation'? And if so, does this give the right now for landlord to seek extra charges even though that have always been included for last 30 years, or to reiterate, does/would my implied contract take priority in Law - if it came to a legal fight?
you said I could ask more questions on this thread, as I can't afford another question.
If that is not correct, and I will be charges again please let me know.
Gosh, this site is not easy to navigate!
I've just read your reply, just found it!
Ive now signed up to JustAnswer for a month, as I wasn't sure if you'd get a continuation of the original thread.
I wrote a letter to VOA, but as you will read from the info I've pasted, it says they '‘Rates’ are defined in s152 as including “water rates”. This means that if a property is individually rated and the landlord pays the water rates, the rent officer registers the rent exclusive of the water rates but the landlord recovers them on top of the registered rent.'
'Rent officers need to be clear about whether they are dealing with ‘water rates’ which are not included within the registered rent or ‘water charges within the service charge’ which are included in the registered rent.'
Sorry Alex, I just need absolute clalrification, especially as the VOA is a govt agency, they are obviously applying changes with legislation.
Would I argue that as they were always included, this should be considered as 'service charge'.
Thanks, ***** ***** I can find my way back to this thread!
thanks. I don't mean to be a pain, but as you know in law, if I don't cover all the bases and miss an important part, it could cost me, quite literally, as well as being incompetent. I want to be absolutely sure.
I'm just not sure how much power the VOA has, as they are a government agency and they legally Register Rents, therefore, the information I pasted comes from their own VOA Website, in the Handbook for Rent officers when considering a Rent Registration decision.
Can I ask you to directly address the wording quoted, will they counter argue that this is now the law re water rates for all tenants?
Thanks Alex, please don't get frustrated.
As you can imagine, I need to water tight when it comes to objecting to their inclusion that the landlord can now seek extra charges.
I've written a letter outlining my implied contract and what right they have to force me to relinquish those terms that have been in place for 30 yrs, I just get an awful feeling this won't be the end.
anyway I can update you on the outcome, do I just write on this feed?
thanks for your help, thus far.