Bharat Dalal, who runs a Premier in Oxford, has rented for 15 years. His landlord uses agents - lots of different ones - to handle the reviews.

The original lease expired in 2005 and he got another for 15 years with reviews set for every five years. He got a letter in 2010 asking to raise the rent to £30K, but negotiated it down to £25K. Then an agent showed up in 2016 saying that he wanted to evaluate it back to 2010 and mentioned a tribunal.

Bharat says: “The landlord has 2,000 properties and is not interested. It’s the agent that’s chasing. We made improvements in return for staggered rent reviews in 2007/8. I invested £50K in this property.”

The demand at that point was for £27K. He got this down to £25K but the agent is now claiming that, valued at £26,500 and backdated, it means a claim in excess of £10K.

Via the NFRN, Bharat sought the help of property consultant Andrew Pegg, who thinks he has a good case. Because the 2010 review was abandoned by the landlord’s agent then any claim by the landlord should now be against the agent. I like the irony as obviously the agents work on commission.

The fight isn’t over as this is being written. Hopefully there will be a good outcome.

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