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Rent During Renewal

QUESTION: I have started negotiations with my landlord to renew my lease, but the premises are over-rented. Can I get the rent reduced while these negotiations are ongoing?

If you cannot reach agreement with your landlord, you can make an application to the court to determine an interim rent while your tenancy continues under part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. This will set the level of rent payable between the expiry of your lease and the granting of a new one.

How and when you make the application will depend on where you are in the negotiations.

The application can be made to the court as soon as the landlord has served a section 25 notice opposing renewal, or a tenant has served a section 26 notice requesting renewal.

It is unnecessary to wait for an application for a new tenancy to be made to the court, but it is not possible to make an application for interim rent more than six months after the termination of the old tenancy, or if your landlord has already made an application.

Interim rent will be payable from the earliest date that could have been specified in either the landlord’s section 25 notice or your section 26 request. Subject to certain conditions, the interim rent will normally be the same as the rent payable under the new tenancy.

Assuming court proceedings for the grant of a new tenancy have not been started, an application for interim rent must be made by filing a claim at the court.

The court will then normally list the matter for a case management conference and decide how the matter should be handled. Normally, the question of interim rent is deferred until the rent payable under the new lease has been decided. So your rent is unlikely to be reduced during the negotiations. In this regard, it may be more cost effective to delay making a decision on interim rent while negotiations continue.

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