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Lease renewal with rent increase without proper notice

  • 16-09-2021 8:07pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ helldesign


    Hi,

    I live in my current apartment (Tallaght, Dublin) since November 2016. Last year the property was sold and I signed a new 12 month fixed term lease on 23 July 2020 with 4% increase of the rent. The contract was signed through HelloSign (I got email from the agency requesting for my signature).

    Yesterday I got text message (SMS) from the property agency, that "a lease renewal has been sent to me through "hellosign" for my signature and this is now over due".

    I did let them know that I have not received any notice via post/email/phone and this was the first time I heard about it. They asked me to confirm my email and today I received a new 12 month lease with 4% increase of the rent and starting date 23 July 2021 (nearly two months ago) waiting for a signature in my HelloSign account.

    It seems like they are asking me to sign a contract with a back date, 2 months later, with no notice and probably to pay the 4% extra rent for these 2 months. Is this legal, and how should I proceed?

    How much is the legal notice that they have to give me in order to increase the rent. Is the 4% increase per year still in effect?

    Thanks



«13

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,284 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    Notice of rent review

    Once the required period (12 or 24 months) has elapsed, your landlord can issue a notice of rent review. 

    The landlord must give you proper notice of the amount of the proposed new rent and the date from which it is to take effect. Landlords must use the RTB’s Notice of Rent Review Form when issuing a rent review. Landlords should fill out the sections of the form that are relevant to them and should not delete or change any of the form. Other forms, emails, text messages and spoken messages are not valid forms of notice.

    You must get at least 90 days’ notice of a rent review. This means that the new rent cannot then apply until 90 days after the notice has been issued.

    The landlord must also notify the RTB of the revised rent so that it can update the registration details of the tenancy.

    For more information about the new notice of rent review form and how to fill it out, see the RTB’s website.



  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ helldesign


    That was very helpful, thank you! Very much appreciated!

    So basically I can refuse to sign the backdated lease. Just one thing that bothers me is that I could get hit by a higher rent in retaliation.

    Is my 4% increase legal and inline with the current inflation based system or the rent can go up even more, given that I'm in a Rent Pressure Zone?



  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ helldesign


    Thank you for your advice!

    Is there a website that shows this index so I could keep an eye on it?



  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ helldesign


    Actually nevermind, I've found it (but unfortunately can't post the link).

    Thanks again!



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  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭ Enter name here


    How rude and unfair, I think the landlord should let you live there for free. Imagine a landlord not subsidizing his tenant what has this country become. I would sue the agent and landlord for the incredible amount of stress and hardship you must be going through. Landlords and agents need to realise they only exist to provide cheap or free accommodation to the masses.


    For the few who misunderstood this post ^^^^^^^^ that was SARCASM

    Post edited by Enter name here on


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,284 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    Without doubt, it helps to be both informed, and aware of the legal obligations associated with rent reviews. It is difficult to ascertain if you posses either.



  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭ Enter name here


    Of course, you have to love a country that dictates to you how much an investment is allowed to make and how it is the responsibility of your investment to support tenants. The legal obligations you refer are stifling to any further investment in the housing industry. Same shite every day a new thread on here on how to screw landlords over, woe is me. My landlord is mean and trying to make me pay more rent blah blah blah.



  • Registered Users Posts: 455 ✭✭ mondeoman72


    I wonder if this crap is why a house I look after, is now under notice of sale. Tenant has got notice as its not worth the hassle. Pity the government do not recognise that they are responsible for the crisis. They are the ones causing housing stocks to diminish as people are getting you.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,267 ✭✭✭ mrslancaster


    It's impossible for a lay person to keep up with all the changes to the rules and regulations, the RTA legislation has so many amendments it would wreck your head trying to read and understand it.

    If tenants don't know their rights, its easy for dodgy landlords to con them and OTOH bad tenants can make a landlords life a misery and cost them a fortune. Its not surprising that both landlords and tenants are fed up with the current situation and that so many landlords are selling up.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 455 ✭✭ mondeoman72


    I deal with someone who likes to say "I am entitled to", "all these houses have one" "its ok, the council with give me one"

    He is now under notice and the place is for sale. When told to open the windows to stop the damp, his reply was "this country is so cold"

    If Ireland is to cold for him, perhaps he should choose another warmer country for claiming his benefits.



  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ helldesign


    Well, I am being casually asked to sign a back dated lease from two months ago with higher rent without any notice. And they also claim that I'm over due with the rent.

    How is this fair?



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,077 ✭✭✭ whomitconcerns


    In that same sarcastic vein, If only you could also backdate investments by two months generally. You could see if they performed well, then go backdate your purchase price.. Nope that doesn't work either..



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,818 ✭✭✭ Darc19


    Tell them that you simply cannot do something that is not permissible by law.


    Maybe suggest that it would be best for both parties to write to the PRTB to get the correct advice on it (you will be seen as correct and they will know that)

    If it an agency you are dealing with, I'm surprised they do not have the very basic understanding of the regulations. If its the landlord directly, he/she should read up on it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭ Enter name here


    The OP signed a 12 month lease on 23/7/20 through hellosign as stated. At the end of the 12 month lease a new lease was sent through to hellosign again as per the original lease. The OP knew they signed a 12 month lease as they have already stated that. The tenant now wants to act surprised 2 months later after not seeking any clarification to the existing lease on or about the 23/7/21. The agent sent through the new lease as required the exact same way the tenant signed initial lease. If the agent provides proof that the lease was sent as previously done the PRTB will also find that way and the tenant will have 2 options, to pay the back rent owed or give notice and vacate. Would be the same result if a tenant supplied an email address and new lease was sent through email. Only chance the op has to avoid back rent is if the rent increase is higher than permissible in an RPZ area.



  • Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭ Jmc25


    You can argue the private rented sector is over-regulated, as a great number of people on this forum routinely do. But would anyone seriously propose allowing a landlord or letting agent backdate a rent increase with no notice?

    You can be very strongly pro-landlord and property rights and still believe that the case outlined above is clearly against the rules, and should continue to be against the rules.



  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭ Enter name here


    There was notice, they signed a fixed term 12 month lease on the 23/7/20. So they tenant was aware a new lease would be forthcoming on 23/7/21. The tenant had 12 months notice of a new lease falling due. How much more notice would you like the tenant to have?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,866 ✭✭✭ Sarn


    Whatever about the fairness to the LL of the system, they needed to submit a rent review 90 days in advance of it coming into effect. My understanding is that this cannot be done during a fixed term lease. The onus is on the LL to ensure that they submit a proper rent review and ensure that the tenant receives it. As they only sent the rent review on 16/09/21, the rent increase should not come into effect for 90 days.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,284 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    The tenant should also know (let’s hope you do) that it continues to be the same tenancy agreement, the tenant has Part 4 tenancy rights, and, there is absolutely no requirement for the tenant to sign a further fixed term agreement. So even if the op received the new fixed term lease in July, he/she certainly did not have to sign it, and as the rent increase was sent only in email form, it is not valid.



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,319 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1


    And not very amusing, the OP Raised legitimate concerns and from my reading has not only being paying their rent but has also been a long standing tenant, is it perhaps your belief this behaviour by a letting agent is acceptable.

    It's disgraceful carry on and isn't it any wonder we hear daily horror stories about tenancies.

    To its credit (and I don't give it much generally) the government has brought in rules which are really quite simple for landlords to follow.

    I strongly suspect the landlord in this case , a corporate entity , not that this excuses such shoddy behaviour.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




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  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭ Enter name here


    Dav010 you seems very confused or cant actually read the full post of the OP. The tenant is at the end of the Part 4 tenancy cycle as it was before December 2016, that they initially moved in as stated in 1st post. And the OP has not mentioned at any time they informed the agent of their intent to stay past fixed term lease.

    So ill just leave this here for you and the OP...........

    Claiming a Part 4 tenancy at the end of a fixed-term lease

    If you have a fixed-term contract or lease and you want to remain in the property under the rights acquired under Part 4, you must notify your landlord of your intention to stay in the property. You must do this between 3 months and 1 month before your fixed–term tenancy or lease agreement expires. You can use this sample letter of notification to remain in the property under Part 4.

    If you do not notify your landlord, you cannot be refused coverage under Part 4, but you may have to compensate the landlord for any financial loss that they incur because you did not notify them of your intention to remain in the tenancy.

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    So in other words contrary to what the above posters have said is rubbish and the agent/landlord are well within their rights to ask for compensation past due. As the PRTB will also tell you this I have probably saved you the time of finding out the hard way. Pay your back rent and stay if you wish but it will be under the new monthly rent as of 23/7/21, unless of course it exceeds the maximum amount under RPZ regulations.



  • Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭ Jmc25


    I'd be interested to see the RTB's view on that particular position!



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,818 ✭✭✭ Darc19


    I assumed that the tenant was still paying rent at the same rate and the contention was just over the 4% increase.


    If the tenant has paid no rent since 23rd July, then they are overholding on their fixed term agreement and run the risk of eviction.

    If I were the tenant I'd be making absolutely sure that rent due 23rd July & 23rd August is paid up and that the rent for 23rd sept is paid too, so that the only argument is the 4%.



  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ helldesign


    Nope, I didn't receive a new lease at the end of the period. I only got a text message 3 days ago that a lease has been sent through HelloSign for my signature and this is now overdue.

    My HelloSign account was empty (I took screenshots), no previous emails/letters/messages. I did let them know, and only then they sent the new lease. It's the same account/email which were used to sign the first lease.

    They may have sent it to a wrong email at first, or forgot about it (it is an agency), but it doesn't change the fact that I haven't been notified.



  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ helldesign


    I live in this property for nearly 5 years and I have never been skipping or being late with the rent, ever. I didn't stop paying it now either.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,866 ✭✭✭ Sarn


    Interesting point, however, the first Part IV tenancy would have ended in November 2020. The subsequent tenancy under Part IV would have started six months after that, about May, so there is still time to request Part IV. Either way, given that the LL appears to have intended to continue the tenancy there would have been no financial loss. It is more a case when a LL has other plans after the first fixed term lease ends e.g. they may have already incurred a cost advertising for a new tenant only to find their existing one wants to stay on.

    As a matter of interest OP, when the original lease with the 4% increase was signed in July 2020, had there been a rent review on the previous November or less than 12 months? If so, the increase in July 2020 would have been illegal.



  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ helldesign


    Honestly I didn't even know that there needs to be a rent review. I've been through almost 1 tough year of insecurity and viewings, since the news for the property sale, some agents came in to take pictures and measure the rooms. But I haven't received a document from PRTB or the landlords/agents stating the higher rent, other than the lease itself. I had a verbal warning from the previous agency that the new owner is looking to up the rent by 4% and I agreed in a text message (in 2020). That's it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,866 ✭✭✭ Sarn


    Just to add, the LL cannot circumvent the requirements simply by issuing a new lease. Ignore what enter name here has said as everything is pretty much wrong. Even if the LL submitted the notice correctly, the new rent at the earliest would not take effect until 90 days after 23 July 2021 (that is, October) and so no back rent would be due.



  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭ Enter name here


    Seriously are you people ignorant of the law or just cant comprehend.


    Facts not in dispute.

    12 month fixed term lease signed 23/7/20.

    Tenant entitled to part 4 tenancy cycle 1 (lease signed prior to dec 2016)

    tenant entitled to part 4 tenancy cycle 2 (commencing approx may 21)

    Tenant did not inform agent/landlord of their intention to stay after fixed term lease ended.

    Tenant in RPZ zone.

    Landlord/agent has incurred financial loss from the 23/7/21 from the increase in rent forthcoming which has not been paid as of 19/09/21.

    Under current law Landlord/agent is entitled to seek compensation for financial loss incurred by tenant not informing them to stay past end of fixed term lease.

    The compensation has nothing to do with part 4 tenancy or rent reviews.

    New lease to continue as it with 4% rent increase from 23/7/21.

    Legal and or professional costs can be awarded to landlord in an RTB case although this normally happens only under exceptional circumstances.


    That's how it will play out in RTB and anyone telling you different is ignorant of the current laws in place to protect tenant and landlord.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,866 ✭✭✭ Sarn


    The second Part IV tenancy began November 2020. Signing a lease before it ended will not have changed that fact. The rent could only have been increased 90 days after the fixed tenancy ended in July 2021, provided a valid rent review was submitted. That is what the RTB will say.



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