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Received 14 Day Notice of Arrears - not in arrears?

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  • 10-06-2016 11:22am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 320 ✭✭


    Hi ,

    Wondering if anyone could possibly shed some light on this please? We've lived in our current apartment since 2011, we like it, it's our home, and to be honest we really don't have the money to go anywhere else.

    Tuesday just gone, we received a letter from the letting agent saying that we owe them over €2.5k and we need to pay within the next 14 days otherwise they will initiate eviction proceedings, thing is, we've never missed a rental payment - ever.

    I did a mini statement from the online banking, showing where all payments have been made for the last year (as far back as I could go) and e-mailed it over. My husband then tried to call them, (4/5 times) on Wed, but didn't get through until yesterday afternoon, the guy said, he'd received the e-mail, but had to look at our account ''because it wouldn't just show up out of nowhere'' and said he'd get back to us. Nothing yet, and I fear nothing until the last minute. We're afraid that they're trying to get rid of us tbh. The only reason we can come up with for the ''arrears'', is that they tried to raise the rent last November from €800 to €1200, we were having none of it and eventually agreed €900 (but wouldn't even add up), which we didn't pay, as advised by the prtb and Threshold that until a letter is received that no rent increase is payable (and it cannot be backdated), which surprise surprise we never received (they're cowboys)

    I'm worried sick that they'll just go ahead and initiate eviction proceedings and demand we cough up or else, that just seems to be the way they operate. They blindly ignored us for over a year for a small leak, which because they ignored us ended in having to have new floors fitted for the entire apartment, they also ignored us when the washing machine broke, completely, despite numerous calls over almost a year, we ended up spending money we didn't have buying a new one. Can anyone advise what to do?
    Tagged:


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭outdoors247


    Maybe go to the bank and see can they get you proof of payments for the full term


  • Registered Users Posts: 320 ✭✭clumsyklutz


    Maybe go to the bank and see can they get you proof of payments for the full term

    We rang the bank and they said they could see the payments going through no problem for the last year, didn't mention anything beyond that. Must give them another call.


  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭outdoors247


    Ya explain why you need all records I'd think they would be happy to help .at least then the lettingagents/landlord haven't got a reason to evict you


  • Registered Users Posts: 117 ✭✭rebelwithcause


    I think they instigated the rent increase (illegally) and now the arrears are the 6/7 months of the €400 shortfall. It could be a simple error that when they wanted to raise the rent, they updated their spreadsheet to the higher amount - it seems the most logical explanation. I'm sure if they received no payment in a month, they would have been straight on to you. I would write them an email refreshing their memory about the increase not being agreed and using the legislation to show how they couldn't increase without the letter and that it can't be backdated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,191 ✭✭✭housetypeb


    Hi ,

    ... is that they tried to raise the rent last November from €800 to €1200, we were having none of it and eventually agreed €900 (but wouldn't even add up), which we didn't pay, as advised by the prtb and Threshold that until a letter is received that no rent increase is payable (and it cannot be backdated), which surprise surprise we never received..

    When you agreed to pay,verbally,I assume,the £100 extra per month,did you then inform the landlord that the PRTB had advised you not to pay the increase until you had received a proper notice?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 320 ✭✭clumsyklutz


    I think they instigated the rent increase (illegally) and now the arrears are the 6/7 months of the €400 shortfall. It could be a simple error that when they wanted to raise the rent, they updated their spreadsheet to the higher amount - it seems the most logical explanation. I'm sure if they received no payment in a month, they would have been straight on to you. I would write them an email refreshing their memory about the increase not being agreed and using the legislation to show how they couldn't increase without the letter and that it can't be backdated.

    Thanks, just did this yesterday evening as we had received no reply, despite numerous phone calls. I didn't think it could take that long just to check an account.


  • Registered Users Posts: 320 ✭✭clumsyklutz


    housetypeb wrote: »
    When you agreed to pay,verbally,I assume,the £100 extra per month,did you then inform the landlord that the PRTB had advised you not to pay the increase until you had received a proper notice?

    Again, we rang numerous times after we hadn't received one the first month (a letter is standard practice and agencies obviously have to be compliant with the law and would be aware that verbal, email or any other form of communication other than a letter is not an acceptable form of notice to increase the rent), I also emailed them after we couldn't get through asking whether we could have a letter referencing our agreed upon rent increase as we could not legally pay it without one, and never even got a response, verbal or written. We can't do much more than that, as an agency they should be complying with the law and we shouldn't have to chase them to do it.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,691 ✭✭✭4ensic15


    Open a dispute with the RTB.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 39,217 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo


    4ensic15 wrote: »
    Open a dispute with the RTB.

    The first thing I'd do me self.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 423 ✭✭Clampdown


    Definitely open a PRTB dispute right away. Costs 15 euro and can be done online.

    Totally ridiculous tactics, why didn't they give you notice of arrears the first time they realized they hadn't received the higher rent? Most likely because they realized they had no right to get the higher rent and as a last resort they chanced their arm at letting it build up to a large amount of money that they knew you couldn't pay to try and force you out.

    Sending the email was a good idea, get onto the PRTB straight away and when they receive the dispute they'll hopefully realize that you're not going to let them run you over.

    We really need more regulation in this area, the increases being forced onto people are out of control. Landlords should have to make an application to the PRTB to raise the rent so it is always done according to the rules in place with proper notice/market value assessed by a third party.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,042 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12


    The 2500 "arrears" would be roughly the full increase they sought since November. I'm not suggesting that you owe this but unless I'm doing my sums wrong this seems to be how they came up with that figure.
    Hopefully this is all it is and hopefully they'll rectify it soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,077 ✭✭✭percy212


    Open your case with the PRTB. You have made every possible effort to deal with this yourself. Sit back, relax, and let them figure it out with the PRTB. You are in the clear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,191 ✭✭✭housetypeb


    The agents should/will figure out eventually that they can't really evict you for arrears as they didn't follow proper procedures.
    They'll lose if it even got as far as a RTB hearing or mediation, as they don't have a paper trail for the arrears. so you have absolutely no need to worry that you're facing eviction.

    But what they might do is start over by sending you a properly written notice of a rent increase with all the i's dotted and t's crossed.
    This time they probably won't be too inclined to negotiate a reduced amount.
    This increase you can also dispute and take to the RTB. If you can show that it's above market rate for your area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,077 ✭✭✭percy212


    You can argue that the rent was reviewed 6/7 months ago when they lost the last case, meaning you are good for two years...:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,191 ✭✭✭housetypeb


    percy212 wrote: »
    You can argue that the rent was reviewed 6/7 months ago when they lost the last case, meaning you are good for two years...:)

    OP seems to be a by the book type,so I don't think that they would try to argue that a technically incorrect rent increase notice also constitutes a valid rent review at the same time.:)


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 6,376 Mod ✭✭✭✭Macha


    How is it a technically incorrect rent increase notice? They negotiated and agreed the rent would go up 100/month. That is a valid rent increase and therefore they cannot revisit the issue for 2 year's.

    I rent in Belgium where you can only review the rent every 3 years and only according to a national index. Two weeks notice for eviction? Even in valid circumstances that's inhumane.
    .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,040 ✭✭✭12Phase


    A Benelux country with a well regulated, well organised rental market with adequate supply vs the wild west of the European rental market in Ireland.

    You're comparing apples and oranges.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,191 ✭✭✭housetypeb


    Macha wrote: »
    How is it a technically incorrect rent increase notice? They negotiated and agreed the rent would go up 100/month. That is a valid rent increase and therefore they cannot revisit the issue for 2 year's.
    .

    I would have called it a valid rent increase myself, negotiated and agreed between the OP and the agent,valid for two years.
    ...If the op had paid it.

    The OP claimed it wasn't valid,so didn't pay it.
    If it's not valid, they can review it again.

    The problem is that RTB and Threshold both said that it had to be in writing to be valid,technically correct,letter of the law and all that, while maybe ignoring the spirit...
    This advice seems to have encouraged the OP to renege on paying the agreed amount until she received proper notice which lead to the situation she find herself in now.
    I don't think that the OP is in any danger of eviction for arrears.
    but will probably be getting formal notice of a rent increase soon.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,285 Mod ✭✭✭✭The_Conductor


    The letter of the law is that it is supposed to be in writing- however, the Residential Tenancies Board- have accepted all manner of notifications at tribunals- all the way down to text messages on phones........

    If there was an agreement that the increase was only to be a hundred extra per month- was this agreed in writing?

    One way or the other- I honestly think the OP is fully justified to pre-emptively lob a case to the RTB- just to cover themselves- by their own acknowledgement the agent is a cowboy- its better to be safe than sorry..........

    While they're at it- I'd also suggest lobbing a complaint to the PSRA


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