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Rent increase

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After almost a years tenancy (signed for 1 year) I decided that due to the fact I have had to pay for so many things to be replaced in the flat (which I believe some are due to lack of care for the property) to request and increase of 50 to the monthly rate. My tenants have not agreed to this and have written this reply (some names etc edited out for confidentiality reasons) :-

"we would not be comfortable agreeing to a fixed term at the new rate. If the rent is to increase we would want to look at other options around the area and beyond. We love the place and intended to stay here, but if the rent is going to increase it is worth us looking at options closer to ........... Also, our friends are moving into a 1 bedroom house around the corner and are only paying 950 a month so either moving to another place around here or to a different location might be cheaper. Also, there have been some issues in the property and we have been accommodating in arranging repairs and been patient in awaiting repayments and work to be completed at times. Any written document would, therefore, need to reflect a rolling contract agreement rather than another fixed term agreement. If the rent was to remain the same we'd be happy to sign another fixed term agreement or continue the current arrangement, as we are only now seriously considering other options in light of this increase'

I'm confused as to how to proceed. I do not want to look for other tenants now as it will be too costly. Also, I do not wish to sign another 12 month contract as it means I lose the ability to use section 21 if I need to get them to leave the property.

What are my best options please?
Should I back down and just continue with the rolling tenancy at same monthly amount?

Since this request, they have now become very picky and demanding and have sent me a long list of things they are demanding to be done.
I don't really know how to proceed as I'm not massively experienced with this and therefore ANY advice would be hugely HUGELY appreciated!

Thank you very much!
17/08/2015 00:07

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