Firstly, TANT would like to wish all their tenant members a very happy New Year! Please share this newsletter with any National Trust tenants that you may know but who aren’t currently on our mailing list.
In a recent meeting held with Giles Hunt, NT Land and Estates Director, TANT was advised that shorthold tenants will have rent reviews in 2022, following the 2 year suspension of increases that the Trust agreed to because of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns.
The rent review procedure requires the local estate to contact the tenant to make an appointment to discuss any proposed increase before the increase is applied. This discussion will often take place at the rented property so that the tenant(s) can raise any issues and repairs that may affect the amount of any proposed increase.
TANT would always recommend making sure that all tenants are prepared for a rent review meeting and the following tips may be of assistance:
Given the recent increase in fuel costs, have copies of your most recent utility bills to hand so that you can show the real running costs of the property. This should include a copy of your most recent EPC certificate. If your home requires an EPC and you do not have a copy of your certificate to hand, you can find it here: https://www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate. If your property is expensive to heat and maintain this should be reduce the market rent.
Prepare a list of any repair work required at the property that has been reported but remains outstanding because this is relevant to whether your rent will be increased.
Prepare a list of any refurbishment (rather than repair) required for the property to be of “market quality”, such as bathrooms, kitchens, carpets, heating and general decor making sure that you exclude any items that you are responsible for under the terms of your agreement. If your property is in poor condition or has other issues this should be reduce the market rent.
You may find it helpful to be accompanied by a friend or neighbour during the meeting to take notes. Having someone else with you can often assist in ensuring that nothing is overlooked during the discussion, and you can also check with them should you have any problems remembering the details of the discussion.
After the meeting, send an email or letter to the member(s) of NT staff that attended, confirming all the points discussed and the agreed actions and conclusions. If sending by letter, we would recommend using registered post or, if by email, make sure you add both delivery and read receipts before sending. This correspondence, and any response you receive, could be useful should there be any disagreements about the discussion.
Do not agree to anything you are not comfortable with or a rent increase you cannot afford. If you are unsure, please seek further advice form the sources below and contact TANT.
If you disagree with the proposed rent, or you do not consider that the review process has been followed correctly, contact your local Let Estate in the first instance to raise it with them and discuss further.
TANT is on hand to assist where we can – please contact us or if you don’t have access to a computer please call 08045 463 3563. We are monitoring increases to ensure they are fair and reasonable so please do let us know about your experiences.
We appreciate that rent reviews can be quite daunting for many tenants and hope that the above information helps to make the process a little easier.
Further sources of help
National Trust tenant complaints procedure: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/tenant-complaint-procedure
Help if you are struggling financially