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Reducing rent to keep nice tenant

Started by AngiM, November 01, 2022, 08:33:17 AM

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hi everyone, my lovely tenant has to start paying medical bills for his wife who is mentally unwell.   She is currently getting private care as unable to get help on national service.  He is quiet, pleasant, courteous, pays on time and has just one daughter so the house is very quiet (next door to us!).  He cam eto see me yesterday to give notice as he needs to move into a smaller, cheaper flat.  They both love living here but he could no longer pay the full rent.  We discussed it and rather than losing him, and my having to get decorators in and rent it out in January, I agreed to reduce his rent until May which is when his second year runs out.  He originally took the house via an estate agents on a three year fixed term.  I agreed we reduce and we will review in May rather than lose him.  Are there any legal limitations or penalties for doing this?  many thanks, Angi


There are some issues when you reduce the rent, relating to schemes to "hide" a deposit in the rent, but they don't apply here. So you'll be fine.
The agent may have an issue, unless you paid them upfront.
Confirm the variation in writing.

If you tenant had a three year fixed term, they may have been unable to quit, and I'd suggest in future sticking to a six month tenancy which then becomes periodic.


Many thanks jpkeates!  I appreciate your response. They do hav ea 3 year fixed tenancy and I pay the agents annually.  I have emailed the agents, called and left message to no avail.
Will have to pop in this week I think. Will suggest 6 months in future, thanks, Angi


> Will suggest 6 months in future

The important thing is:

Will suggest 6 months in future, which then becomes a monthly Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT).

This happens automatically if you do nothing at the end of the 6 months. The same contract terms will continue to apply.

Your agent will very likely try to push you to renew the contract at the end of 6 months and demand a fee for issuing the new contract, dealing with signatures, etc. When the end of the 6 month term approaches, tell them that you just want it to become an SPT. There is no fee for this and no downside for you or the tenant.


It might be time - or when it's an appropriate time... to consider whether a long-term Tenant needs the involvement of an Agent at all. However, please do not forget that "lovely" people can actually change in a heartbeat when they become under pressure. Usually this manifests itself in a complete change in a Tenant who's lost employment... one day everything was sweet and you thought you got on a like a house on fire... the next you're worrying about the missing rent trend that's just started and your house really being on fire.

I could imagine unmanageable medical bills (although I'm shocked and dismayed this is even a thing in the UK) could result in the same change. For a Tenant it's just down to priorities and their own attitude to honour. I've got a friend who says, rightly, she would never get into rent debt... she'd not be eating first. She is quite chunky, so I guess she'd have time to turns things around... but the point is - some people think rent is the first outgoing to get thrown to one side, whereas others would never contemplate that.


How very true Hippogriff.Reading the post I thought I would do the same as this landlord.I would also have the saying  "No good turn goes unpunished" ringing in my ears.It does sound promising that the tenant was open about it,and gave notice.Let's hope things go well for all concerned. 


many thanks all, sorry for the awful delay, ill health, family, job etc got in the way.  An update as you were so kind to take the trouble to reply.  My tenant did stay on, and I increased rent slightly after 6 months for one year.  This week we spoke and he is keen to stay on for a few more years and we have, tbc, agreed a slightly increased rent. I shall do a AST and one year rolling on.  I appreciate all the guidance and feedback given, and this forum has been a wonderful source of information.  I only have on property and this is my first time renting it out.  Many thanks, Angi


Quote from: AngiM on November 18, 2023, 04:42:20 PMI shall do a AST and one year rolling on.

You don't need to issue a new tenancy agreement because of a change of rent.

It's much simpler to just agree the new rent between you.

Let the tenancy reach the end of its fixed term and then it will automatically become periodic.

Much less hassle for you.

Others here will give similar advice (and have done so many times).


Pleased to hear things have been resolved.Agree with Handyman,no need to make work for yourself by setting up a new AST.


Hi everyone, had such useful advice on this forum so again many thanks to you.  My tenant, for whom I reduced the rent for a year, in order to help him out, has reached the end of the three year term with the estate agents.  He thinks I am a lovely landlord so is going to stay on for another couple of years.  Hurrah,  no estate agent fees.  I am wondering if I can use the download tenancy agreement on here as I know the rules are changing soon with the periodic tenancies.  I think as this is a continuation I can use it still?  And does anyone hove advice re deposits?  I need to get that from the agents.  You can tell this is my first rental! thanks all.  Angi


I think I'd suggest checking your agreement with the agency. It would be very unusual for you to be able to continue with the tenant without involving the agency without compensating them in some way. In some agency agreements it's not allowed at all (but that's not really possible).


many thanks, they were fine.  I explained that we both keep him on as a tenant!  They then reduced their commission for the year.

I guess I was lucky as realise now they were not expected to.  thx


Bloody hell! Never heard the like of it. Handyman, did you have a quiet word with them? 


Quote from: heavykarma on February 06, 2024, 04:21:26 PMHandyman, did you have a quiet word with them? 


I guess there are some good'uns out there.


You might want to refund part of their deposit so that it remains no more than 5 weeks rent in accordance with the Tenant Fees Act (2019), or as they are so lovely you could just refund the whole deposit to help their cash flow.

As you are local it might be worth you meeting up to discuss what support he and his wife are getting, they may be entitled to something or be able to get a grant.

Perhaps ask them to complete a statement of affairs for you or do it with them using lemonfool soa calculator.

Then refer them to Money Saving Expert forum for ways to cut their costs and to the Turn 2 Us website to see what they are entitled to.

The NHS provides healthcare so if he is choosing to pay for something it is by choice, that being said it may be social care and his wife may be entitled to something to help with that. The Turn2Us website can calculate that by asking all the appropriate questions.

Quote from: AngiM on November 01, 2022, 08:33:17 AM

  Are there any legal limitations or penalties for doing this?  many thanks, Angi