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To be upset by landlord?

(63 Posts)
DumbledoresArmy Fri 27-Jan-17 07:51:04

So we rent off my uncle.
When we moved in we were promised 'don't worry I'll look after you'.

We are renting a larger house for a bit cheaper, however, we have no tenancy agreement, he's not done a gas safety check for years, we had to really clean the house & get rid of some of his broken left belongings when we moved in. We've had to re carpet most rooms as the carpets were awful & had holes & mound on.
There's a hole in the porch going into the loft he won't fix. Windows upstairs don't open, French doors don't open, we had to supply our own fire alarms, we've put in a 6ft fence as the other was broken & we've changed the boggy mess of a garden into a nice lawned area.... I could go on tbh.
Yesterday he came around and has said he is putting our rent up. Again something he said he wouldn't do. He insists he needs to to cover costs & make it worth while for him.

I understand he's completely allowed to do this but I feel like we're being mugged off!

ChicRock Fri 27-Jan-17 07:54:08

So, find somewhere else to rent and leave. You have no tenancy agreement and I'm assuming no deposit. You could be out of there next month.

PinkSwimGoggles Fri 27-Jan-17 07:54:09

did you pay a deposit?
if yes your landlord (written contract or not) has to put it in a deposit scheme.
do you have anything in writing, including emails/text messages?

picklemepopcorn Fri 27-Jan-17 07:58:00

Find another house. You are in a really vulnerable position. Get him to act like a proper landlord, contracts etc, or move out.

expatinscotland Fri 27-Jan-17 08:07:18

You don't have an agreement. I wouldn't pay him any increase because I'd move out.

DumbledoresArmy Fri 27-Jan-17 08:08:39

It's easier said than done to move out with fees etc though.

Trifleorbust Fri 27-Jan-17 08:08:53

That's why renting from family or friends is problematic. You are trying to treat it like a commercial arrangement when it is an informal arrangement. Never going to work.

tissuesosoft Fri 27-Jan-17 08:13:45

Although the onus is on your uncle to do repairs- if he hasn't increased the rent for a while then he needs to compensate somehow for increased living costs, maybe higher mortgage repayments etc.

The only thing you can do is to save what you can for fees, look around for places/areas you can afford. If there is a deposit- ask if you can have it back before you move out to pay for the deposit on another place

Frouby Fri 27-Jan-17 08:18:02

You do have a contract. Because you are paying him. He is a landlord despite no AST and has the same rights and responsibilities as a landlord.

You have 2 choices. You stay and enforce your rights as tenants. Or leave. It really is as simple as that.

If you paid a deposit it should be registered. You can force him to do a gas safety check and maintain the property to an acceptable standard. However as he is family this could cause all kinds of issues.

I would start looking for somewhere else.

Oysterbabe Fri 27-Jan-17 08:20:03

You can suck it up or move out. Surely you didn't expect the rent to stay the same forever?

melj1213 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:26:07

YABU, what do you expect him to do, rent to you at a loss just because you're family and have done some work on the place?!

I rent from my parents, they have a buy to let portfolio and when I moved home from abroad they were in the process of buying another house for it, they needed a tenant, I needed a landlord so it seemed natural that I would rent from them. Yes, I get my rent at a lower rate than they would commercially, but they also know I will look after the place and they can always pop round any time for a cup of coffee and at the same time, check up on the place.

When I first moved in there was quite a bit of cosmetic work the house needed, so my parents agreed that in place of paying rent for the first three months, I would pay for all the cosmetic work/painting/decorating that needed doing so I could get it to how I wanted it without having to find rent on top, but then after that I would just pay rent as normal and then if any other issue came up it would be treated the same as any other of their rental properties.

However, they still have a morgage to pay and costs for the house, so whilst they aren't making a huge profit from my rent, it still has to cover the morgage payments and any other cost, so there is a small buffer built in to my rent above the morgage payment. Due to some reworking of their finances recently, their morgage payment went up ... what were my parents supposed to do, just eat the extra cost? or put my rent up a bit? Of course they put my rent up, and it was totally understandable that they did so - they weren't putting it up purely because they felt like an extra £X every month, they were putting it up because their costs had increased and they needed to break even, and that is not unreasonable.

charlestrenet Fri 27-Jan-17 08:31:13

Yanbu to be upset - I would be too. You trusted him and I'm afraid that by the sounds of it he has abused that trust. It is also very stressful as a tenant when the landlord won't fulfill his obligations because it just hammers home to you how little control you have over your home.

I think that in your shoes I would be looking to move. Yes, it will create bad feeling but really he is the one who has caused it by being such a shit landlord.

Having said that, it does cost an awful lot to move.

Some councils offer a scheme whereby they will guarantee deposit monies to landlords, which means that at least you wouldn't have to find the deposit up front before you get yours back. See if yours does this. And then give notice and go.

I'm really sorry you're in this situation and hope that you find something better soon.

Gingerbreadmam Fri 27-Jan-17 08:34:47

We rented off family who 'did us a good deal' luckily the majority of things they tried to put right quickly but there was a massive damp problem they did nothing about.

Moved and now we have a fantastic landlord who does everything by the book and is on the ball the minute there's a problem.

Our old place is still empty 18month after we moved out...

Athome77 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:39:35

No tenancy agreement- no agreement about rent etc. I'd stop paying and squat, it will cost him a lot more to get you out!

DumbledoresArmy Fri 27-Jan-17 08:45:15

The thing is he also uses our house for his post, banking, car insurance etc.
He doesn't declare that he rents it to us for tax purposes & he still says that he lives out our house.

Trifleorbust Fri 27-Jan-17 08:49:09

You took a favour when you needed it, but now you are moaning about the house not being up to spec. Your uncle would not be putting up the rent if he didn't need the money. YABU.

Trifleorbust Fri 27-Jan-17 08:49:37

Athome77: I hope no-one ever does you a favour! confused

ChicRock Fri 27-Jan-17 08:50:08

OK but you were happy to go along with the whole "not declaring for tax purposes" blah blah when you were getting a cheap rent?

You've been given several solutions on here. You can enforce your rights as tenants, or you can leave.

There is no other magical solution that'll make your uncle start behaving as the perfect landlord, and if by some miracle he did then I guarantee he'd want market value rent from you. You can't have it all ways.

PaintingOwls Fri 27-Jan-17 08:54:22

So he's committing fraud and you were happy to be an accomplice until he wanted more rent? hmm

EweAreHere Fri 27-Jan-17 08:55:59

Find a new place to live and contact HMRC re the rental income he's not declaring.

He's taking advantage of you: he's your landlord, but you don't have any tenancy rights (safety issues; repairs; functional house; you're paying to improve the property massively yourself; your deposit probably isn't protected); he still frees to use the property himself (mail, etc); and he's not declaring the income. Plus, now he's putting up your rent, even though any absolutely necessary improvements to the property have been paid by you.

He's not doing you a favor. He's taking advantage, of you and the taxpayers. He's a slum lord.

HeavenlyEyes Fri 27-Jan-17 08:56:22

no gas safety check is illegal - I am sorry I would be reporting him for that alone. And tell the tax office too. And you can call Shelter for advice also.

PinkSwimGoggles Fri 27-Jan-17 08:58:32

I would be tempted to pit all mail for him in the post "return to sender-addressee moved to xxx"

ChicRock Fri 27-Jan-17 09:03:04

Sounds to me like both of you thought you'd be getting the better side of the deal, and now you're both realising the gravy train has come to an end.

He's realised the true costs of being a landlord and it's not as simple as "put some family in the house, leavebot to go to rack and ruin and they'll sort it, you'll never hear a peep from them"... and you're realising that if you pay peanuts you get the equivalent level of accommodation.

Gingerbreadmam Fri 27-Jan-17 09:09:00

If you can find something of the same rent and spec or better then i would look at moving. I know its a big outlay but for the peace of mind of having an agreement and someone who.does repairs it will be worth it.

Admittedly you could just as easily move and end up with a crap landlord. I guess you need to weigh up which is worse.

Your uncle does sound good in that he has let you do what you like with.the house etc, not all landlords are like that.

littlemissneela Fri 27-Jan-17 09:15:41

OP, I would move out. In the meantime, make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm near the boiler and gas meter, just in case.

Can I ask those who say report him, who you report him to for the non gas safe checks etc. Ours is the same and when we tried to report it, nothing was done. We spoke to Shelter, we spoke to the council who suggested we report ours to the HSE, who have done nothing. Not that this matters in our case any more as we are moving soon.

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