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We’re Moving (Again)

 |  Parenting

Karl and I have been living at our current address for 12 months, as of the end of February. Looking through our tenancy agreement a couple of weeks ago, I found a clause. This clause was staring right at me, and I can’t believe that I hadn’t noticed — or had decided to deal with it later and forgot all about — it previously. Without getting off my arse to go and get the thing to quote you word for word, I can tell you that it effectively says if you stay on longer than 12 months, your rent goes up year on year.

So there we were, with an impending rent rise on a property that maxs out our “comfort zone” as it is (i.e. we could afford to pay more but would prefer not to) and 2 weeks in to the 2 month notice period we’d have to give to our landlord if we wanted to move. (Too long, can’t be arsed to read? Skip from here…)

Quite by chance, I’d found a nice looking first floor flat on a local estate agent’s website prior to me finding the tenancy agreement clause. Not needing/wanting to move, I’d ignored it. When I checked again after finding the clause, I was surprised to see the flat was still there. Knowing full well we’d need to provide 2 months notice (or 1 month as of Feb 22nd) I did nothing, assuming that it would be gone by the time we needed to move.

I don’t know why, it was a random spur of the moment decision, but last Thursday I sent the estate agent an e-mail enquiring about that said same property. We have a few requirements… pets must be allowed, it must have a shower, and it has to have some sort of off-street parking. All three of these things were in our favour and so I arranged a quick viewing just for a nose. Basically, I wanted to know what was available for the money at the moment given that the housing market — and as such, the rental market — is about as stable as jelly at the moment.

The estate agent took us to two properties. The first was an absolute dive… never seen anything that scummy up for rent before. Dodgy, cramped kitchen with no space for white goods. Dirty, cramped and dark. Didn’t like it before I’d even got through the front door, so that was an absolute no. The second flat we went to see — the one I’d spotted on the website — was the total opposite. Spacious, clean, and much bigger… for about £100 less than the first place. Absolute bargain, and no apparent reason for the massive difference in rent.

Anyway, Karl and I slept on it and decided that we’d like to try for the second flat. Cue a minor heart attack when the estate agent’s wife tells us that another viewer had already offered for the property and the landlady had accepted on the condition that they could agree to a 12 month contract. Fortunately for us, they didn’t have the job security in the area, and we were able to offer a 12 month contract and a slight rise on the asking price for the rent, which (assuming we could get out of the existing tenancy) secured us the flat.

Thankfully, our landlord is a total gent and he agreed to forget the 2 extra weeks notice we should have provided, on the condition that we ring him up next month to remind him that we’re moving out.

(Too long, skipped a section? Start reading here…) The application paperwork was handed in Monday evening, and we received the all clear on credit checks/etc at 4pm-ish today. We have to go and sign the agreements tomorrow evening, and we pick up the keys on Friday 13th February. Good thing we’re not superstitious.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

26 comments so far

  1. Stephanie said:

    what a garbage contract! i’m glad you caught that before you got your notice saying, "Hey, you’re about to be billed out your ass since you’ve been here for 12 months as per the fine print of that contract you signed!"

  2. Vera said:

    Oh that sucks, but good thing you found a new apartment so soon.
    I only just finished moving in and still need to unpack some of the stuff. Moving after a year: I think I’d die. Thankfully that’s not going to be the case for me.

    Good luck in the new apartment! :)

  3. Paul said:

    Ah, moving – I miss it so much sometimes!
    Back when I was a kid we moved twice a year a few times and it was often that we would move every year or so. Getting into a new house with a brand new room was always nice.

    Now that I’m older I dread packing everything up and moving but I do miss how much fun it was when I was younger.
    Good luck with the move, and nice site!

  4. Belinda said:

    Hmmm I thought in practice now that it’s almost standard (or at least very common) that leases have clauses that say when they expire then rent will likely go up. At least that’s what I’ve heard from people, who start grumbling when their lease expires and the rent goes up incrementally.

    At least you found a new place though! Sounds lovely and affordable! And you’re very lucky to have nice existing landlords too!

  5. Mat said:

    Did you tell them about your pets? If you id then im baffled how you got a flat so quickly, it seems everywhere I look they all whinge about pets…what am i supposed to leave them in the street or something?! morons.

    Congrats anywho :D

  6. Lilian said:

    I’m glad it was all hassle free (especially with the kitties, since most landlords are funny about pets). Good luck with it all, and post some pictures when you can :)

  7. Hev said:

    Congrats! What a horrible clause. I am so glad you got a new flat (I remembered what you all call them) so quickly. Please send me your updated address when you get settled.

  8. Wendy said:

    Congrats on the new place! Rin and I are going to be shopping around for our house as well pretty soon, maybe in a month or two depending on the status of our loan application. We are hoping to find something for a steal as well.

  9. Anthony said:

    YEAR BY YEAR? I don’t see why anyone would want to live there then for extended periods of time. That’s crazy, imagine how much it would be if you wanted to live there the rest of your life. Good thing you noticed it though.

    You should post a few pictures of your new flat, it sounds lovely. Unless you fear someone might recognize it and stalk you :P

    It’s good you able to find something to your satisfaction considering the market stability.

  10. karl said:

    soon enough..:)

    And Mat – Yep, first thing we mentioned…"we have 2 cats and 2 guinea pigs"…that was priority 1. Priority 2 was a shower, 3 was no storage heaters and 4 was off road parking.

    A lot of places that say "no pets" are fairly negotiable..it’s a standard wording, I’ve been advised..it’s not always set in stone.

  11. Cristina said:

    You said your second priority is showers. Does that mean there are a lot of places without them? I can’t imagine someone trying to pass off their place as being anywhere near good without a shower. Either that or I’m just a spoiled American, hah!

    I am happy to hear you got everything sorted out, though. I know how stressful it can be trying to find a new place. And thank goodness they are okay with pets!

  12. Riitta said:

    That’s all really (well, somewhat) different to Finland. No one in their right mind would consider moving somewhere that doesn’t have a shower – I don’t think flats like that even exist. Secondly, I don’t really get the clause that made you move out – over here, the longer the tenants can stay, the happier the landlord is. They don’t usually want to deal with the hassle of people coming and going all the time. The rent usually goes up only if the index it’s tied to changes.

    Anyway, congrats on getting a new great place without big problems and hopefully the move goes smoothly too :)

  13. Val Garner said:

    That must be such a relief to have found such a nice sounding place at a good price. I wonder why the former place would put such a clause in? You’d think if they had good tenets in, they’d want to keep them.

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