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...to be furious with my landlord and very worrued.....

(34 Posts)
rockmum80 Tue 27-Oct-09 16:37:52

.....i have lived in my house for nearly 4 years and been reasonably happy here apart from my landlord being a bit rubbish where upkeep of the house is concerned, ie when things go wrong (and often do) he can't be arsed to fix them, the house is damp, my garage and shed is full of his junk, and we have not had a gas safety certificate done for 3 years! and thats just a few of the things that are wrong with it.

anyway, out of the blue last week i got a letter saying he will be increasing the rent as from december 1st. he wanted to increase it by around 20% - this would effectively cost me an extra weeks rent a month. i am a single mum of 2 on housing benefit and when i spoke to them they refused to pay the extra so there was no way i could find it out of my own pocket as i can barely afford to live as it is.

so i wrote back to him straight away perfectly politely and said i did not think the increase was fair especially in light of all the things that need doing to the property. and explained that the housing benefit would not pay out what he was asking, but i did say that if i absolutely had to, i would somehow find the money, and pay more out of my own pocket if these things were done.

and today, i get a letter back from him saying he is ending my tenancy as from the 31st of january!!!!!! giving no reasons or anything!! but i am pretty sure it is just because i am giving him a hard time over the rent increase and he was expecting me to be a walkover.

OMG i am furious!!! not to mention worried as hell. has anyone ever had to deal with anything like this before?? do i have any rights?? and how the hell am i going to find a new place within 2 months?? i am not working at the moment as my youngest is only 6 months old, i dont know how this will all work. i am so worried.

and please no one slate me for being on housing benefit / single mum either; this is not a situation i want to be in (i was married, exh walked out on us, long story) and i do want to start working again once my youngest is a bit older.

sorry this is complicated and long. would really appreciate some advice i am new to mumsnet as well, so apologies if this is not in the right bit.

rockmum80 Tue 27-Oct-09 16:38:44

oops spelling mistake on my thread title, meant worried of course!

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 27-Oct-09 16:55:46

Legally he has to give two months notice so he does seem to know some of the legal obligations. The non-checking of the gas appliances is wrong though but it wont make any difference to the notice served.

Its hard to know if the 20% rent increase is good/bad - ie if you've not had one in 4 years then its not that high.

However the increase could also be that many insurers charge extra for tennants on housing benefit so if you have only be claiming this for a short while it may explain the increased cost.

As you have had notice served you need to start looking for a new place asap, especially as it may be tricky finding a landlord willing to accept DSS tennants - many insurance companies and BTL mortgages exclude DSS tennants so there may not be as much choice as you have previously had.

If you plan to go back to work shortly, you could ask the ex to help you pay the rent for a few months so that you dont have to claim HB which will give you more choice in the housing market.

somewhathorrified Tue 27-Oct-09 16:55:53

You need to go speak to your housing officer. Tell them what's going on and get on the housing list asap. You have very few rights on this as he has actually given you the notice he needs to, it is his house after all.

claw3 Tue 27-Oct-09 16:58:35

What type of tenancy agreement you have and when does it end?

claw3 Tue 27-Oct-09 16:59:33

do

rockmum80 Tue 27-Oct-09 17:01:23

thank you for the replies

my tenancy agreement is a 6 month ongoing contract.

claw3 Tue 27-Oct-09 17:03:43

Oh and he should have served a Notice of Termination stating when and why he wants you to leave, before he can evict you.

Reallytired Tue 27-Oct-09 17:09:02

I think your landlord has done you a favour evicting you. If he is not prepared to do gas safety certificates then you need to find somewhere else to live. Your landlord kicking you out may have saved your lives.

I agree with somewhathorrified that you need to speak to your local housing officer.

claw3 Tue 27-Oct-09 17:09:43

If he just wants your house back and you havent done anything wrong, he will have to wait for your lease to expire.

If he is saying you have done something wrong, he should give you the chance the put it right, within a time limit.

Either way i would be looking for somewhere more stable to live, have you put your name on the waiting list for Council properties?

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 27-Oct-09 17:10:21

A 20% rent rise is quite a hike - could it be that he imposed it because he wants you out? He hasn't been maintaining the property, he may well want to sell it, which would be easier without a sitting tenant? Just a thought.

I think it would be a good ide to go and ytalk to Citizens' Advice Bureau or Shelter or the Council to find out your options. If this would make you homeless, would the council house you perhaps?

claw3 Tue 27-Oct-09 17:12:38

and he cant increase your rent by 20% until your fixed termed tenancy has ended ie when you sign your new tenancy agreement.

ILoveStripeySocks Tue 27-Oct-09 17:13:13

I was in this situation exactly, and the council rehomed me in a house in the same street.

Cluckyagain Tue 27-Oct-09 17:17:24

If your tenancy agreement is the usual '6 months with a 2 month break' then he can give you 2 months notice to leave - just as you can give him 2 months notice of you leaving (or at least that's how mine works) I know this seems rough but you may find that you find a better place for the same rent. There are loads near us at the moment as nobody wants to sell and so the rents are reducing....don't forget to negotiate a price when you ask about new places too as not many landlords would expect to NOT be lowered a bit on rent. Good luck xx

ChilloHippi Tue 27-Oct-09 17:17:31

Contactyour citizens' advice asap for the best advice, but if I were you I would get onto the council list straight away.
A 20% increase is a huge rise, and maybe he feels he can get that from someone else. He is within his rights to try.
However, he is breaking the law with regard to the gas safety. I would get further advice about that.

ChilloHippi Tue 27-Oct-09 17:18:25

Also, by him serving you notice rather than you giving notice to him, he is doing you a favour when it comes to applying for a council place, as you have been made homeless and have not made yourself homeless.

JollyPirate Tue 27-Oct-09 17:23:01

.... and this is why I am sooo anti private renting and pro a huge increase in social housing. Two months notice for a mother with children who might struggle to find somewhere else to live - what a prize wanker her landlord sounds. No repairs done in the entire time she's there, no gas safety certificate but the tosser still wants a 20% increase in rent. Well just let the arsehole try letting it with all the repairs which need doing - hopefully it will stay empty for months and cost him a fortune.

Gosh I sound a bitter old bag - I am. blush

RockinSockBunnies Tue 27-Oct-09 17:27:37

In terms of your options, there are several possibilities.

Firstly, the landlord cannot take possession of your home without a court order. Therefore, you could potentially be able to stay in the house after January if you don't respond to the landlord. He'd then have to get a court order to evict you, which could give you extra time (not that I'm necessarily advocating this, but it is an option).

Secondly, in terms of finding a new place, if you are evicted and become technically homeless, then your local authority is under an obligation to re-house you quickly. Whilst you may end up in B&B accommodation initially, you should have somewhere to live within a few months. Speak to Shelter and your local council for more information.

Also, in terms of seeing how much Housing Benefit you're entitled to, this website here allows you to search for a property by postcode and states the maximum rent that Housing Benefit will pay. For example, in my area of London, they'll pay up to £330 per week.

I know it can be difficult finding landlords who are willing to accept Housing Benefit tenants. Therefore, rather than going through Letting Agents (who will generally refuse to even talk to you if they know you'll be in receipt of HB), can you look at private rental ads on websites such as gumtree.com and speak to the landlord directly? Otherwise, do you have anyone that could agree to be your guarantor for the rent?

ChilloHippi Tue 27-Oct-09 17:33:36

I have found that a lot of agencies are more lenient now than in the past with regard to housing benefit, as the money is paid to the tenant.

rockmum80 Tue 27-Oct-09 17:54:42

wow, thank you so much for all the responses, has made me worry a bit less. and i didnt expect you all to be so nice

the thought of being in b & b type temporary accomodation is awful though, i have a friend who had to live in a "mum and baby hostel" for months before she was housed and she hated it, she said it was like being babysat, I am 28, I don't want to end up somewhere like that!

i don't know why agencies/landlords are so anti HB though, since I have been receiving it, it has always been paid directly to him. so he always gets it on time and its always the correct amount. (although it was when I was responsible for it too i hasten to add!)

well I am going to contact the council first thing tomorrow and try and get things sorted.

claw3 Tue 27-Oct-09 18:03:26

Good luck rockmum80

ChilloHippi Tue 27-Oct-09 18:15:56

Yes do contact the council asap. Don't let them fob you off by telling you to come back when you are actually homeless though. They can be tricky to deal with but keep on at them.

KimiTheThreadSlayingAxeKiller Tue 27-Oct-09 18:21:38

Hijack...
CHILLIHOPPI WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU, PLEASE COME HOME....

KimiTheThreadSlayingAxeKiller Tue 27-Oct-09 18:23:18

chillihoppi you know you want too

Fraochsmum Tue 27-Oct-09 18:26:56

I hope you manage to find something rockmum80, it must be a very worrying situation to be in - particularly with such a young family.
My friend is a landlord, and now won't accept any DSS. He did have a tenant who stopped paying rent when the rent was paid directly to him to pass on to his landlord. My friend had to wait 8 weeks of not being paid then get the eviction notice, so ended up quite out of pocket. It may be different in your local authority, but that is why some here are reluctant.
Good luck x

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