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Is the letting agent up to no good?

  • 28-03-2022 8:45pm
    Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I moved into my current place in March 2021.

    Fast forward to March 2022, and I contact the letting agent about renewing for another year.

    He asked whether I would be happy with a 4% increase in rent. I emailed back saying that "isn't the legal maximum for my zone 2%"? He said, "I'll get back to you". He did, and agreed to the 2% - and I'm okay with that. The fact he wanted to scam a 4% hike, when he clearly must know the new laws on this matter, started to make me suspicious about what else he might try to get away with.

    He asked me to set up a standing order, and that too I've done.

    Two days later, I ask for a contract or memorandum of understanding about the new terms etc., so I have some legal security about things.

    Almost one week later, and no response.

    My fear is that he, for some reason, wants just to bob along without a contract - and somehow argue that he can take the deposit (which is worth 2,200 euros). Alternatively, he could legally argue that I could just be kicked out whenever he chooses, as I've no certainty or backup.

    So is the letting agent up to no good, and should I be concerned about not having a contract, and whether my deposit can just be unilaterally taken by him.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,126 ✭✭✭ meijin


    did you receive proper formal notice of the rent review? email agreement is not enough

    you have your initial contract, right? there is really no need for another - you have "part 4" tenancy - see more at

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    No, I wasn't aware of the notice period.

    Basically once the past contract expired, he emailed me back asking whether I'd be happy with 4%. I only knew about 2%, and said about that, but this all happened within 24-hours.

    I received no notice at all, and now the 2% is agreed. Does my agreeing to it matter? Or is he deemed to be in the wrong regardless of what decision I made?

    I have the initial contract yes. I wasn't aware of Part 4 tenancy at all; I'll look into it further now, thanks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,126 ✭✭✭ meijin

    email agreement means nothing, especially as it's an agent, they should know the regulations

    "In order for a rent review to be valid, landlords must give tenants at least 90 days’ notice and use the prescribed Notice of Rent Review Form to serve it on the tenant."

    and there are more requirements, for example, they need to provide 3 comparable properties, there is a special form, etc. - see my previous links :)

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    So, is there anything I can do now?

    Should I complain to the letting agent and refer to what are criminal acts?

    Do you think the letting agent is pocketing the rent increase without the landlord knowing?

    I don't want to compromise my position in the property, either.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,126 ✭✭✭ meijin

    there is no criminal act

    you can send them the link about the rent review procedure, and that you will wait for the correct review notice

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    In the meantime, I've already paid the increased rent for March.

    That said, we're not talking a huge amount, only 45 euros. He wanted to increase the rent by 100 euros from 2,195 to 2,295.

    But on matter of principle, I can't let this slide.

    Does he now legally owe me the 45 euros back for March?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Actually, it's pretty obvious now.

    I've lost my deposit, too (see below).

    I contacted the letting agent 2-3 days after the lease expired.

    Based on this paragraph, it seems he has all bases covered.

    What an evil human being.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,158 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    That contract clause would not withstand an RTB hearing. It breaches the regulations in so many ways it can basically be deemed to not exist.

    You do not need a new contract, you have Part IV rights.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Are you referring to the contract clause I've just quoted, or my previous comments about the matter?

    As I say, this whole subject is new to me - and I'm absolutely offended that the letting agent, who hitherto I believed to be a good person, has sought to take advantage of me in this malign, disgusting manner.

    I'm still as yet unsure what to do here: whether to contact the letting agent direct and threaten him with the truth and implications of his behaviour, or whether to contact a lawyer.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,158 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    That clause. Its bobbins. Written by someone who probably is aware of the legislation but decided to bibble anyway - the immediate vacating and landlord reoccupying bits are illegal immediately.

    You don't need to sign a new contract, and instructing a lawyer would cost far more than is currently in play. Be prepared to have to take an RTB case to get your deposit back, though.

    You should politely yet forcefully remind the agent of the minimum notice period for increases like you did for the max increase. And that's about all you need to do now.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I'll do precisely that, and politely inform the letting agent about what I have since learned. I appreciate your comments in that regard.

    In terms of the deposit etc., can you explain why you feel that an RTB case would be required and, if so, who do you think the case (currently) favours?

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,158 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    Someone who writes a clause like that sounds like someone who assumes the deposit is theirs and will basically make stuff up to try keep it.

    If you leave with appropriate notice (as per the RTB NOT that contract, unless the contract gives you more beneficial terms than the RTB regs), and the place is clean and with only normal wear and tear rather than damage there's nothing that will justify a deposit being kept - but expect phantom damage and cleaning bills or just plain refusals.

    They'd lose, outright, at RTB in such a circumstance.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I see.

    I do keep the place in maximum possible condition.

    In many respects, I've improved the property - changed the fire alarms and so on, adding security etc.

    But I do have this fear that if I try to double-down on this rent increase, the letting agent will somehow sneakily double-down on how the property has been kept: so he gets to keep it.

    I didn't take any pictures when I first entered the place. So, I can't really prove anything.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,158 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    Did you ask for permission for those changes? That is something a landlord can look for costs of reinstatement on even if it is an improvement over what was there.

    If you're intending to stay there for a while, an argument over 3 months of 45 quid isn't going to be remembered when you leave anyway.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The fire and smoke alarms were playing up; clearly gone into degenerate mode.

    I had to replace them for safety reasons, they were ringing all day. I was told by the electrician that they should have been replaced several years ago. But one of the clauses in the contract was that I was responsible for changing things - and so, I did it.

    In terms of permission, I contacted the letting agent - and I was referred to the electrician.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,158 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    Keep a copy of that comms if it was done by email, or the dates otherwise, just in case...

    Fire alarms are part of the minimum spec for rentals and entirely the landlords responsibility to maintain, though. Further evidence that you may need to use the RTB to get that deposit back.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I understand you mention concern about getting the deposit back.

    If you don't mind me saying so, you seem to believe - perhaps for very good reason - that my chances of getting that deposit back are nil.

    Is this a correct assessment?

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,158 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    No, I don't think your chances of getting it back are nil

    I suspect your chances of getting it back without at least competently threatening to go to the RTB are low as the agents adherence to the law seems fleeting at best. However you'd get most or all back via the RTB.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Basically, you think the letting agents are chancers?

    Unfortunately, that seems to be the conclusion I'm coming to.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,158 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    From what you've shown and told here, yes. However there is a good chance they'll abide by the rules with polite yet forceful reminders thereof; including getting your deposit back. But its a fail to prepare situation in case you need to use the RTB when that comes up.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 983 ✭✭✭ JohnnyChimpo

    The quickest way to get your deposit back is to stiff them on the last month's rent if you ever move out. Or of course you can go through a protracted RTB process, the choice is yours

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,643 ✭✭✭ Caranica

    You've made a couple of mistakes here OP.

    You did not need a new contract, without asking for one you may not have had the rent increase just yet.

    You accepted an illegal rent increase.

    You incurred costs to update the landlord's property.

    The letting agent seems to be taking advantage of your naivety when it comes to tenant's rights and landlord responsibilities. Do yourself a favour and spend half an hour going through the citizens information pages on renting.

    Don't worry about your deposit for now, that contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on. You cannot contract away your legal rights.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,468 ✭✭✭ brainboru1104

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I agree, mistakes were made.

    I shouldn't have contacted him at the end of the original lease and just let things continue.

    If I complain to him about the rent increase and his illegal manoeuvres, presumably he'll just initiate the 3-month notice period for a rent increase - meaning it may stay at 45 euros extra per month or may be even more - starting from July.

    As for the deposit, is it fair to say that as long as I give 1-months notice (or is it 3-months?), that there is no reason for him to keep the deposit? I keep the place in excellent condition, but I didn't keep photos when I moved in. Another rookie mistake, I guess.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    First of all, that's an improper course of action - and would make me just as bad as the letting agent. So that's a no no.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,468 ✭✭✭ brainboru1104

    I feel it in my lungs, this is the right choice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,989 ✭✭✭✭ o1s1n

    This is also a good way to get no reference when you move out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,126 ✭✭✭ meijin

    sure, just do everything the LL wants, even if it's illegal, right?

  • Registered Users Posts: 983 ✭✭✭ JohnnyChimpo

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,416 ✭✭✭ Diemos

    It does not have to be that blunt.

    We had major concern about our deposit, we had been in the apartment for almost 5 years, paid rent on time every month.

    Like you, I fixed or replaced everything, we didn't once reach out to the landlord in the 5 years (that I can remember).

    And we barely heard from him, but the last year 18months he started to play games, instead of transferring to his account we were asked to transfer the rent to his wife, then am almost 50% rent hike (we were pay below market rates but this would have brought us above market rates, in line with 5* apartments in our area) We negotiated and met in the middle. Then 3 month later he tried another rent hike, I told him 1 per year and take it up with the RTB if he has an issue with that.

    Then we got a shock when we learned that he hadn't been paying the mortgage and the place was being repossessed.

    So despite being great tenant I was really concerned about getting our deposit back. So I jus wrote to him and told him to use our deposit for our last months rent, if he wanted to view the pace for prospective damage etc. that we would be happy to work with him. I'm assuming that as he was loosing the property and didn't care, he just never replied. We didn't pay the last rent and moved out on time and left the place spotless. We were buying so we didn't need a reference. But as he had changed him number rand by the end we only had his email, I doubt he would have cared enough to provide a reference regardless.

    In summary, it does not have to be a 2 finger approach, you can float it as an idea and they may take it. much better to ask than go down the whole RTB route, as other have said you will probably win but it may takes a long time to see any of that cash. Much too late to use it as you next deposit. Good luck.