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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7676
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I am a private tenant renting a house in Barnet London. My

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I am a private tenant renting a house in Barnet London. My tenancy is an assured short tenancy agreement which expires on 23 February 2015. I have agreed with the landlord that i wish to stay on for another year and she has increased my monthly rent from £1,450 a month to £1,480 a month with the new tenancy with the agreement that the rent will not be increased should I stay on for a further year after the new tenancy expires. The agent is aware of this as they were copied into the email exchange between the landlord and I. The agent is in my opinion being a stumbling block.
I received the draft of the new tenancy agreement which is double the number of pages my existing agreement. And I have the following concerns
1. They insist it's the law for them to name my 8 year old daughter and her date of birth in the tenancy agreement. She could however not tell me which law this is. This information is not present in my current tenancy agreement. And I object to naming a young child in the tenancy
2. They have included a clause that says rent will be increased after 363 days using the consumer price index. I have insisted that this clause be removed.
3. One of the conditions upon which they will return my deposit to me at the end of the tenancy if i choose to move is that the Local Authority will be contacted to confirm there will be no housing benefit clawback. I'm not on any benefits. I'm renting privately and can't quite understand why this is necessary.
4. Last year, the check out inventory cost 100 plus VAT, this new tenancy puts the cost at 175 plus VAT should I wish to move out at the end of the tenancy.
The new tenancy agreement allows me to only have visitors that stay no more than 3 weeks within any 3 month period. I've told them that it's not workable for me as my family live abroad and my mum visits me once a year for 4 weeks.
5. There is a clause that says I should keep the house clean while i live here and also clean upon leaving if i choose to leave at the end of my tenancy. However, they have singled out the oven and included a separate clause that says I should leave the oven in the same state of cleanliness I met it. I asked them to remove this specific clause as it's covered by the general clause. because in reality, why stop at the oven? Why not include the dishwasher and washing machine!
I'm concerned that the lease will expire before I sign the new tenancy agreement. Also to note that i was asked to sign a Section 21 document at the beginning of this existing lease? I signed it o February last year at the same time I signed the tenancy agreement last year.
What are my options? I'm not happy to sign this new tenancy agreement in the current form. Thank you.
Thanks for your reply.
Is the landlord still willing to proceed on the basis that you agreed with them in spite of the agent attempting to renegotiate the terms?
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have to clarify that with the landlord. My understanding is that she wants to proceed.

Thanks for your patience.
If the landlord is amenable to your proposal then I would encourage them to ignore the agent. State to the landlord that you believe the agents to be needlessly complicating things simply for the purpose of making more money both out of you and out of the landlord. Keep the dialogue with the landlord even-handed and attempt to keem them onside. Tell the landlord that the agent is likely to attempt to influence them but that they can be ignored.
If the landlord accepts this then you can just agree with the landlord to tell the agents that you will not engage with them any further and will simply proceed as agreed with the landlord.
There is absoolutely not legal requirement for you to inform them of your child's age, I would inform the landlord of this stating that you consider it as evidence of their being over-aggressive.
It's importnant that you know that if you signed the s21 notice earlier in the tenancy then this means that the landlord can apply for possession if your relationship with them breaks down. Because you have already received and signed the notice it means that they can apply directly to court for an order for possession if things go south with the landlord and they decide they want to seek possession. You would receive notice of course of the application and the order for possesion, which would likely give you 28 days to leave the property from the date of the court order for possseion. I say this simply to impress upon you that although you have a good relationship with the landlord it is importnant not to overstep your bargaining position, so you've got to be clever about the situation and exploit your constructive relationship with the landlord.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.
Kind regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks I just spoke to the landlord and she said she was under the impression that all that changed in this new tenancy agreement is the date and the rent. She's coming round to me this evening to go through the agreement. Apparently she had a bit of an issue with the agent as to how much they were charging her for "changing the date and amount". So they are probably just justifying their pay!

I expect so.
You are correct in that if you execute a new tenancy agreement with the date and the rent changed then it will be legally binding so that you can forget about the agents.
Exploit her disquiet with the agents subtly and you may find things work out in your favour.
Kind regards,
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