Friday, 27 February 2015

council make rent amount mistake on tenancy agreement

Posted in: Need to Know | Ask the Experts

10/11/2011 10:41 am

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Sancho

Sancho

Posts: 226

10/11/2011 11:26 am

How do you know yours is wrong?  Did you and your neighbour start your tenancies on the same day?

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Andrew Cotton

Andrew Cotton

Posts: 11

10/11/2011 11:29 am

Some nearly identical properties do have different rents.  £12 is quite a difference though.

The tenancy agreement is a binding document on all parites.  You may have had other correspondence from them (eg offer letter) with the correct rent on so that they could argue the tenancy was a "slip of the pen" error.  I don't think that would convince a judge if they tried to pursue arrears though.  They should give you four weeks notice to change your rent.

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F451

F451

Location: Banished from free speech
Posts: 192

10/11/2011 11:36 am

The amount either you or your neighbour are due to pay is as scheduled on your respective tenancy agreements. They may not be any error in this. You may not be aware of other factors adding to your neighbours total payment.

If you are concerned that your rent may rise and that an arrear may result, such an outcome is very unlikely (you have paid the contracted sum) - but asking your landlord for clarification (in writing is always a good idea) may set your mind at rest.

There is a sort of moral in this tale - people's financial affairs are their own and there may be dangers in digging into them.

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nichola harvey

nichola harvey

Posts: 3

10/11/2011 11:36 am

we did not start tenancys on the same day no ,i have also had my entitlement to housing benefit with the £74 on it all letters from the council have stated £74 i have asked another neighbour and her rent is also 12 more so i know mine is wrong my monthly rent statement also states the same £74.06 im so worried about what will happen should i contact the council or wait for them to contact me xx

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Derren Cooper

Derren Cooper

Posts: 56

10/11/2011 2:33 pm

There could be a number of reasons:

1.  Some properties had some refurbishments which increased their values, and yours didn't, these refurbishments may not seem significant.

2.  All the properties had a refurbishment, or some charges added on, but your property was missed out.

3.  Your property had a decanted tenant and instead of decreasing the rent relating to the account, it was decreased on the property and not taken off.

4.  The properties were built/purchased by the council at different times, with yours being an earlier version.  This may explain a lower starting rent (as markets went ballistic over the past few years), and your property will take longer to "converge" with the level of the others.

5.  There is a service charge (grounds maintenance, caretaking, CCTV, etc) which your property does not benefit from, so is not charged.

Regardless of what reason for the difference in rents, if it's a straightforward difference in rents, they cannot charge the difference for previous weeks, and must give you at least 4 weeks' notice of any increase.  If it's a service charge, they can use their discretion as to when to start (usual practice not to charge for previous weeks).

I wouldn't bother pointing out the difference to your council.  Chances are that the Rent Restructure formula will allow for your rent to increase by a little bit more each year for the next few years, in order to catch up with others.

That's if it's all done correctly :)

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Anonymous

Anonymous

10/11/2011 4:38 pm

Firstly your on HB, why do you care?

Second as has been pointed out there could be a whole host of factors why there is a £12 difference.

Third if they wanted to they could just adjust it in line with their policy in April.

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Pele Pele

Pele Pele

Posts: 6

10/11/2011 4:56 pm

Anon,

Someone being on HB will care when we move over to universal credits!

Regardless Nichola, it doesn't matter.  Plenty of identical properties have different rent - its just one of those things.  Looks like you're lucky, that said, I'd be happy with either £74 or £86 a week for a house - a bargain round my way, where you can't even get a bedsit for that.

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F451

F451

Location: Banished from free speech
Posts: 192

10/11/2011 5:09 pm

THe presumptive attitude towards this questioner is disgusting - just because they claim HB they are told they do not care what level the rent is. What a crass and narrow minded view. Of course someone on benefit cares deeply how much the rent is, and how to cease being trapped in benefit, how much of their income will be gobbled up by rent and how much benefit clawback there will be for every extra pound earned - yes nonny, people in need of HB do work and earn income too.

I'm sick and tired of the annonymous cretins that think they can post abuse against tenants and be left unchallenged.

Nichola - apologies for the anonymous poster who hopefully is not part of the housing sector.

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Melvin Bone

Melvin Bone

Posts: 193

11/11/2011 8:25 am

I'd recommend you contact the landlord asking them to confirm that your rent is correct.

If nothing else it will keep your mind at rest.

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Expert post

Abimbola  Badejo

Abimbola Badejo

Posts: 120

15/11/2011 12:07 pm

The council cannot not just increase the rent. They have to go thorough a prescribed statutory procedure to increase the rent. I do not think they can ask you to pay the difference where the mistake was theirs and not - I suspect - in any way induced by you.

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nichola harvey

nichola harvey

Posts: 3

15/11/2011 2:01 pm

thanks for all your help everyone the council have contacted me and the reason for my rent being lower is because i have been a council tenant for over ten yrs which entitles me to reduced rent , and a big thank you f451 for backing me up on a few things my partner does work all hours god sends but with children we are not entitled to any other benefit apart from hb

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Expert post

Blair Mcpherson

Blair Mcpherson

Posts: 57

16/11/2011 10:15 am

If you have a tenancy that states what the rent is then that is a contract and that is what you would expect to pay. There will of course by a provision for recalculating or revising the rent so your landlord may do this in the future but they can not reasonably backdate a rent increase as in the circumstances you describe.

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