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Julia Urquhart

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  1. The landlord can increase the rent as many times as you agree to. If the rent increase is done using a S13 notice the landlord can only do it once every 12 months. You can choose not to agree to the new rent and just pay the old rent. The landlord would then have to issue you a S13 and you could go to a tribunal if you think it unreasonable, or he might issue you will a S21. I suggest you speak to the agent and try to agree a new rent. Remember, once you pay rent at a new level you are deemed to have accepted it.
  2. IMO your seller is daft - the market is weaker now than 5 months ago and they are very likely to find it difficult to sell and if they do they are 4 months away again. I think it really depends how much you want the house and how close you are to exchange. Are they really remarking or are they just trying to use this as leverage to get the sale done? Ask the agent this question. If you really want the house then get the solicitors in the chain to exchange, otherwise walk away and find a decent vendor.
  3. Laminate is probably twice the price but should last more than twice the life of a carpet in my experience. I have laminate in houses over 20 years old. Don't put it in wet areas - bathroom & kitchen - unless it is waterproof & recommended here and I wouldn't put it anywhere upstairs because of the nose (although many people do!). Don't buy the cheap stuff & get it laid professionally as that will help it last longer. Make sure your tenants are left notes on how to clean it - water (or dog pee) will ruin it.
  4. If you rent it be prepared for your furniture to be trashed, your carpets ruined, the garden run wild, the rent not to be paid and tenants refusing to leave when you come home. If you can put up with all that then rent. Otherwise (and this would be my choice) sell.
  5. You only pay the extra 3% SDLT when you purchase a property so renting out your main residence while you travel abroad will not incur any SDLT at all. If you were to continue to rent it out and but another property to live in when you return, then you would pay the extra SDLT on the new purchase.
  6. Although they appear to be messing you about it looks as if there is a fundamental change in their situation. As it stands you don't need to do anything - the tenant leaving is still responsible for & agreeing to pay the rent. If they are otherwise decent tenants I would accept the retraction & leave it as is at present & see what happens. If the payment of rent becomes a problem - which it might do if he gets a new girlfriend & can't afford both - you can look at a new tenancy agreement with the existing tenant, checking she can afford the rent. They are currently on a periodic tenancy as they didn't leave at the end of the fixed period so the notice period is short. There is no need for a new fixed term so I would leave it like that & see how it goes.
  7. What does your tenancy say about notice? Generally the tenant has to give 1 months notice on or before a rent day. If you did this you should not need to pay after that date. If you have not given official notice then you may be liable for rent for longer.
  8. If it is concerning you it may concern future buyers. Why buy anything that could be a problem?
  9. The biggest problem with older houses is the EPC rating - if we need to achieve an EPC C in the near future to rent out you don't want to buy something now that is impossible or expensive to improve. Victorian & Edwardian terraces are cheaper than newer houses but are difficult to get to an EPC C without expensive work. Houses from the 1930s mostly still have solid walls so ditto. Houses from the 1950s onward mostly were built with cavity walls which can be insulated retrospectively. Houses from the 1970s onwards were gradually built to increasingly higher insulation standards although not always very solidly built & the rooms get smaller as they get newer. The key thing for me would be reading & understanding the EPC. To achieve a C now you need insulated walls, insulated loft, GCH with condensing boiler, newish double glazing. Then there are the fittings: bathrooms & kitchens last 20 odd years so any house post 2000 will need these replacing if they haven't already been done. These are significant jobs to do but reasonably easy in an empty house. Electrics should last 30 or 40 years but an older house may need extra sockets putting in. Everything else really depends on how it has been maintained. Off street parking will be a needed for electric car charging too. If I were to buy now - and I wouldn't - I would be looking for something definitely post 1980 with GCH. Other than that I would look at everything & judge on the facts.
  10. As things stand, if you replace gas with electric you will tank your EPC. The EPC assessment is changing and we don't know so that is a bit of a guess. I put electric radiators in a property in 2012 because they Govt was banning gas boilers in 2016 - it still hasn't happened and in my view we will be using gas for a long time because there is no alternative. I would definitely keep the gas central heating.
  11. New houses generally sell at a premium and the finish may be awful plus the rooms will be as small as legally allowed. You might also find you're living in a building site with no buses or other facilities. You also usually have to complete quickly and use the builders conveyancer who may not be looking after your interests. There may also be extra charges for grounds maintenance etc. A 'used' house generally has found a more accurate value, has had its faults dealt with, has access to services and is now an established community.
  12. Landlord can raise the rent as many times as they like through agreement. If it is done with a S13 notice it can only be done once a year. In answer to the OP - LL can ask what he likes, you don't have to agree, but you must tell them if you don't agree. If your rise is done with a S13 notice then it must be in line with other similar properties and if you think it is unreasonable you can challenge it. The proposed increase equates to about 9% per year every year so I would agree it is unreasonable. Contact your LL and try to discuss it reasonably.
  13. Your contract probably states you must give 1 months notice from the rent date. You signed a contract & so did the landlord - you cannot unilaterally rip it up because it suits you & the landlord is well within their rights to hold you to the terms.
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