AST contracts and rent reviews – latest news
Following TNRA's meeting on 5 April with Martin Atherton, the Secretary (i.e. the CEO) of Trinity House, Knight Frank and Trinity House together with their lawyers are considering alternatives to the current approach to setting AST rents. TNRA has asked for a meeting (we hope this will take place within the next two weeks) with Atherton once their position is clearer.
In the meantime we’ve submitted our own suggestions to Trinity House. From our perspective the priorities are that (a) tenants should have clarity regarding how their rent is determined during the course of a contract and (b) rent increases are fair and reflect what is happening to rents for similar properties. Our preferences for the standard AST contract are as follows:
- It should run for three years, as at present.
- Rent increases at the start of years two and three should be in line with the ONS’s Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) – we certainly do not want increases to be linked to RPI.
- There should no return to the system employed in the previous standard contract introduced in 2018 whereby rent increases were subject to a cap (maximum) and a collar (minimum) rent increase each year.
- However, in the context of the current cost of living crisis we have said that a cap (i.e. a maximum increase) of 5% in years two and three would be appreciated by tenants. Such a 5% cap featured in the AST contract introduced in 2018.
We have also asked for a separate discussion concerning the possibility of longer contracts being offered to long term residents who have good tenancy records. The terms of such contracts are likely to differ from the standard AST offering, reflecting the length of such contracts.
This is headed by Committee Vice-Chair Ed Heckels. Its other members are Simon Webster, Clive Greenwood, John Moore and Ali Walker. Working together they research, consider and formulate proposals to present to and pursue with Trinity House and Knight Frank on behalf of the Committee and our AST members. As such they also report on all relevant findings and discussions to the Committee.
Contract and rent review advice
John Moore (contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org) runs a monthly surgery for all those seeking information and help. It will greatly aid him and the Sub-Committee in providing practical advice if our AST members keep him informed of their latest rent reviews and significant contractual issues.
Forthcoming events – notes for your diary
On Sunday 21 August the London Welsh Choir makes a welcome return to Trinity Village to perform for us all in the Trinity Square garden. It’s not to be missed!
On Monday 12 September we’ll be hosting our ever popular Pub Quiz in the Roebuck.
Keep an eye out for further details in due course, plus news of additional social events.
Those living in Trinity Street and Trinity Church Square (and indeed elsewhere on the estate) are regularly disturbed by students based in the halls of residence in Great Dover Street as they go to and return from the Ministry of Sound. Such noise is a regular feature late on Tuesday evenings and in the early hours of Wednesdays.
We’re well aware of these problems and are therefore in regular touch with the hall managers, the local police and ward councillors on the matter. TNRA has received assurances from the hall managers that they are making efforts to ensure that their students behave in a responsible and considerate manner when traversing the Village. We’ll continue to notify the managers as and when we receive complaints from our members.