Increasing rent on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement

We're renting out a house on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. The initial period was 6 months but the tenants have stayed on on a rolling 1 month basis and we now need to increase the rent at the end of the first 12 months.
There's nothing in the agreement about automatic increases so do I just send them a letter or do I need to send them a copy of Form 4b - 'Landlord’s Notice proposing a new rent under an Assured Periodic Tenancy of premises situated in England'?
TIA
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F

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Once a tenancy has been created it cannot be changed to another type of tenancy by or on renewal.
At the end of the fixed-term, therefore, there is no legal requirement for either party to do anything - the tenancy can continue on indefinitely on a periodic basis and on exactly the same terms as the original agreement, which still fully applies.
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Can fix it with an angle grinder ... probably not. uk.rec.tenancy ... possibly (if it existed). uk.legal.moderated ... almost certainly (and it does). Someone
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wrote:

They should be members of the landlord association which for a small fee offers expert advice on all sorts of landlord issues.
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Definitely the wrong place, you want the forums at landlordzone.com which are very helpful.
For what it's worth I did this a while ago using a form under s.13 of the Housing Act 1988 which I downloaded for nothing from somewhere or other. Judging from the name you've quoted, the form 4b which you're suggesting is the same thing, but I would guess that's the name given it by someone who's going to charge you for it.
Cheers!
Martin
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On 07/07/2008 09:08 Martin Pentreath wrote:

No, not the wrong place, but probably not the best: there have been quite a few landlord/tenant related discussions on here before.
We could pay someone to be our agent but we're doing-it-ourselves. Hence uk.d-i-y.

Thanks, I'll have a look over there.

That's the form - I got it for free too. It just seems a little over formal when a simple letter would do.
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Hi F,
If your letter complies with the requirements of s.13 of the Act then a letter is fine. The only reason to use the form is to make sure that all the s.13 boxes are ticked.
(By the way, interesting interpretation of the scope of uk.d-i-y, but on that basis we'd be discussing everything.)
Chreers!
Martin
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On 07/07/2008 15:01 Martin Pentreath wrote:

Letter and form then, just to make sure and to try to take out some of the formality of just the form.

It's not all angle grinders and car body filler!

But we do, and some of it is really off topic!
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On Mon, 07 Jul 2008 00:13:44 +0100, F wrote:

The best way to do this is by informal negotiation to begin with.
You explain that you would like a rent increase in >=3 months time [1]. If they agree then you draw up a new tenancy agreement to start in 3 months time[1].
If they disagree then they get served a section 21 notice explaining that they are on notice to leave. There may even be a form to state to convey this information but you'll need 3 months [1].
HOWEVER a bird in the hand is worth .... etc. etc. Reasonable tenants who are paying regularly should not be provoked into leaving. It never costs less than two full months rent to change tenants. Not only are there direct expenses but all the indirect hassles and time consuming activities. Furthermore the new ones might just be in the small percentage of tenants that you don't want.
Really the only reason to put the rent up is if the market for renting has significantly changed in 12 months in your area, why? Perhaps you did not set the correct rent initially?
HTH
[1] 2 months but rounded up to the exact date of the month in which the original agrement came into force.
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Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
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On 07/07/2008 21:52 Ed Sirett wrote:

If only! English is a second language for one of the tenants (but her command of English is far superior to my command of her language!) and for her husband thinking seems to be a problem. Any conversation seems to revolve around them telling me what the other one thinks and then them blaming each other for what was said. It's really not very efficient or rewarding.

I've spent quite some time on this today following Martin's response above and it seems that I don't need a new tenancy agreement and, in fact, I should avoid that route as everything is reset to a new fixed period which will then run out into the current position.
I don't want to be locked into a new six month period as I might need to give them notice and sell up sooner.
[snip]

Oh, I understand that!

They usually pay at the last minute or a couple or three days late. I've asked for payments by standing order but cash delivered to my front door seems to be the only way they'll do it. Which is a nuisance. Not only because I've got to be in when they call, but because it means I've got to go and pay it into the bank account and then wait over a week until it's treated as cleared.

And I understand that too!

The rent is used to subsidise my father's nursing home fees. It was set correctly a year ago but, since then, his fees have risen by over Β£100 a week. I need to recoup some of that and, in view of the way rents have gone up in this area, a 4% rise is very reasonable.
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F wrote:

Can you get your own interpreter to go with you?

If they're on the periodic notice period and you give them two months notice, and they don't remove, then you have to give them further notice of your intention to seek a court order, then wait for a court hearing, then hope you've got grounds for possession as stated in the lease and notified to the tenant before they signed. The court will probably allow another 28 days in the order. If they don't comply with the order, go back to court again.......

I very much agree with this point.

Payment by standing order should be in the tenancy agreement if that is what you wanted.
Owain
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On 07/07/2008 23:40 Owain wrote:

As do I. I really don't want the hassle of a change of tenant, which is why I've tried to be very patient when dealing with some of the little 'problems' they've thrown at me.

The letting agent we used said that we couldn't dictate the use of a standing order as not everyone had a suitable bank account. I wish I had pushed harder at the time. As far as I can see, it would take a new tenancy agreement to get this now and they probably wouldn't play.
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F wrote:

In the current climate I'd certainly stick with tenants that are paying 4% below what you expect. It's a shame care homes aren't subject to the same kind of market fluctuations
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Well they are of course! If there weren't enough older people wanting/needing/being encouraged to enter such homes, the price would drop - but there are more than enough so it stays high. They are both "free" markets with *all* that entails.
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On 08/07/2008 11:05 Bob Mannix wrote:

Unfortunately, he has to be there as he has vascular dementia and needs nursing care. Because he had two jobs most of his life and was able to buy his own house and save some money, he has to pay.
If he had had a full blown stroke rather than his succession of relatively minor ones, his fees would be paid, in full, by the NHS. Perhaps there's a lesson there: he should have enjoyed himself more and spent it all and then let the State (ie, you and me) pay for his care.
Perhaps I need to re-think what I'm doing with current assets...
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My point was not about your or your relative's predicament, for which I am sorry and feel for you. It was a point I have made elsewhere - the "free" market is applauded (by some) when it makes house prices drop - (hooray for the fluctuations!) but it is precisely and exactly the same "free" market that is keeping the care home costs high. As I said elsewhere, there are many who applaud the "free" market as A Good Thing....until it isn't, when they complain. To avoid hypocrisy you have to say the "free" market is A Good Thing whatever happens or say it's A Bad Thing and accept that our markets shouldn't be "free".
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On 08/07/2008 11:53 Bob Mannix wrote:

Don't worry, I didn't take as such. I just needed to get something off my chest!
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F wrote:

It's a subtle way of weeding out people with lower or less certain incomes :-)

Are you insured for handling cash? My former landlord/agent refused to accept payments in cash as the risks and costs were too high.
Owain
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On 08/07/2008 13:02 Owain wrote:

On my household insurance: lost cash? Probably not then.
I'm too soft with them, but, as I said above, I don't want the hassle of finding someone else.
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On Tue, 08 Jul 2008 14:34:17 +0100, F wrote:

For 4% you really need to say to yourself. Putting up the rent /might/ work. More likely they will not understand and you will then be forced to explain that they are leaving - having now lost a few months more.
Frankly, possibly, changing tenants for 4% you are looking at two-four years pay back period. In all likely hood the tenancy won't last that long.
I have only ever had to ask one set of tenants to leave. I did this at a time that suited me as I had a block of time for the refurbishments.
Any one or two problems could have been weathered but all of them together was too much.
1) Paying rent by cash (having cancelled the standing order). 2) Paying up to three weeks late. 3) paying up to Β£5 short. 4) playing loud music at unsocial hours, annoying other occupants of the building. 5) Objecting that a solid functional (and well hidden) repair to a bed frame they broke was unsatisfactory. 6) Insisting that I organize the cleaning of the sofa cushions becasue they 'smelt'. Likewise the carpets. 7) Zero housework. 8) Cooking solely by means of the destructive distillation of cooking oil. 9) Requesting a rent holiday for Ramadan.
Turned out that there were three on the agreement, four on the electoral register, and post came for six names, and the bailiffs had to be redirected for one.
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Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
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