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JeffW

Can my landlord raise the rent?

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I rent a room in a house, and electricity is included in the rent.

 

Before signing the assured shorthold tenancy tenancy agreement for the room, I told my landlord that I had an electric heater on at night. He said he didn't have a problem with that.

 

He's now realised that my electric heater is costing him more than he'd anticipated, and wants to raise the rent.

 

There's nothing in my tenancy agreement about rent increases. Can he increase the rent against my will?

 

If I tell him that I am unwilling to pay any extra rent, can he evict me?

 

My tenancy agreement is ongoing; it says that, if he hasn't asked me to leave after 2 months of the tenancy starting, then it will continue until I give a month's notice.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Jeff

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Does your landlord live in the house with you? i.e. you share communal areas such as living room/kitchen/bathrooms etc?

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Hi Planner

 

No, he doesn't.

 

Jeff

 

Does your landlord live in the house with you? i.e. you share communal areas such as living room/kitchen/bathrooms etc?

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When did you move in and what was the initial fixed term?


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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I moved in at the beginning of April, and the initial fixed term was for 2 months.

 

My agreement says:

 

'You will have the property and the furniture from 1st April 2010 to 31st May 2010. If, at the end of this time, you want to continue the tenancy and you have not already received from us two months' notice to end the tenancy, it will carry on from month to month as a monthly contractual tenancy.'

 

When did you move in and what was the initial fixed term?

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OK. Landlord can increase rent by:

- Getting you to sign a new tenancy.

- Serving a valid S13 rental increase notice.

 

If he does neither, he cannot enforce increase in rent. However, if you refuse, bear in mind that you can be evicted with two months notice.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Thanks Mr Shed

 

Can the S13 rental increase procedure or the Section 21 notice be applied right away, or would my landlord need to go to court first?

 

Jeff

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If he served S13 and you challenged it, it would go before a rent assessment comittee.

 

He would have to go to court to enforce a S21 eviction, if it went that far.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Thanks Mr Shed. :)

 

Jeff

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The plot thickens...

 

My landlord now claims that, if the heating costs become excessive (in his view), then he can install onto the face of the plugs a device that will limit the amount of electricity that I can receive.

 

He said he can legally do this without giving me any notice, and even if I deny him permission to enter my room. Is he right?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Jeff

 

If he served S13 and you challenged it, it would go before a rent assessment comittee.

 

He would have to go to court to enforce a S21 eviction, if it went that far.

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Does you room have a lock? If so, no he cannot enter without your permission at all unless it is an actual emergency, ie water pouring through the ceiling, total electric failure etc.

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Thanks Dennis

 

Yes, it does.

 

I stated in an earlier post that my contract wasn't fixed term. It turns out it is - it expires in April next year (I misread the year).

 

In light of this, can my landlord evict me or raise the rent against my will?

 

He claims that, because I work from home, which my tenancy agreement prohibits, he could get me evicted on that basis. Is he right?

 

Thanks

 

Jeff

 

Does you room have a lock? If so, no he cannot enter without your permission at all unless it is an actual emergency, ie water pouring through the ceiling, total electric failure etc.

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When you say work from home, are you self employed? Or working for an employer?

 

Hes talking rubbish about the electric limiting btw.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Strictly speaking, I'm not sure either description applies to me! :)

 

I'm a self-employed gambler.

 

Jeff

 

When you say work from home, are you self employed? Or working for an employer?

 

Hes talking rubbish about the electric limiting btw.

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oh, if you have a 12 months lease then the landlord cannot evict you at all unless you breach the original lease, ie don't pay rent, damage the property or are excessively noisy etc.

 

If he included electricity at the time of that lease he cannot now restrict it or increase your rent. Tough luck on the landlord for doing something so silly AFAIK.

 

Does the lease say 'you may not work from home' or does it say 'you may not run a business from home'. VERY different things.

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Does the lease say 'you may not work from home' or does it say 'you may not run a business from home'. VERY different things.

 

Doesnt matter. Only the second term is enforceable in any event.

 

JeffW - an interesting career choice :-D

 

On (for example) a credit application, do you put self employed? Do you pay tax as if self employed (I hope you pay tax on this - although thats a very different conversation!)?


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Hi Dennis

 

It says that I should not 'carry on any profession, business or trade in the property', so unfortunately that applies to me.

 

Could my landlord not argue in court that my breach of my contract by working at home has incurred him an additional expense, in that I will have my heater on during the day during winter?

 

Regards

 

Jeff

 

oh, if you have a 12 months lease then the landlord cannot evict you at all unless you breach the original lease, ie don't pay rent, damage the property or are excessively noisy etc.

 

If he included electricity at the time of that lease he cannot now restrict it or increase your rent. Tough luck on the landlord for doing something so silly AFAIK.

 

Does the lease say 'you may not work from home' or does it say 'you may not run a business from home'. VERY different things.

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Hi Mr Shed

 

I have a default, so I don't fill in many credit application forms! :)

 

I don't pay tax - income from gambling is tax exempt in the UK. If it weren't, then every self-employed person in the country who loses money on the horses would be able to claim his losses as a business expense!

 

Jeff

 

Doesnt matter. Only the second term is enforceable in any event.

 

JeffW - an interesting career choice :-D

 

On (for example) a credit application, do you put self employed? Do you pay tax as if self employed (I hope you pay tax on this - although thats a very different conversation!)?

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Apologies - you are of course correct. I thought that if you were doing it for a living the scenario may be different, but HMRC website tells me otherwise :)

 

Ironically enough, this also answers the question - the government do not class being a professional gambler as a trade.

 

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/bimmanual/bim22017.htm

 

As such, you are not in breach of contract.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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True, although whether a judge considering a housing matter would take that view is another matter. :)

 

BTW, do you think that, by threatening to install a device on my plugs that would limit the amount of electricity I could use, my landlord was committing the criminal act of demanding money with menaces?

 

Jeff

 

Apologies - you are of course correct. I thought that if you were doing it for a living the scenario may be different, but HMRC website tells me otherwise :)

 

Ironically enough, this also answers the question - the government do not class being a professional gambler as a trade.

 

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/bimmanual/bim22017.htm

 

As such, you are not in breach of contract.

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True, although whether a judge considering a housing matter would take that view is another matter. :)

 

I cant see that he can take it any other way. The government stance is that you are not trading. As such if he viewed it differently, he would be wrong.

 

BTW, do you think that, by threatening to install a device on my plugs that would limit the amount of electricity I could use, my landlord was committing the criminal act of demanding money with menaces?

 

Jeff

 

Thats a stretch. However, he could be committing unlawful eviction...


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Because I told him. :)

 

I'm always in when he visits, and he asked me if I was working, so I told him the situation.

 

With hindsight, I should have just told him something truthful but misleading, like 'I don't have a job right now'!

 

Jeff

 

Next question. How does your landlord know you are 'working' from home?

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It really doesnt matter, its no basis to evict.

 

I would advise the following.

 

- He cannot raise the rent.

- He cannot "restrict" your electricity.

 

If he persists, I would write a letter to him, polite but formal, stating that he is not permitted to restrict the electricity, and that any attempt to do so is in breach of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. Furthermore, a breach of this act (unlawful eviction) is a criminal act, punishable with a jail term.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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I agree with Mr Shed entirely.

 

I was looking more from an invasion of privacy angle if he had been snooping around your room when you were out.

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