May 18, 2024

Has Your Rent Gone Up? Here’s What You Need To Know

If you are in a fixed-term contract, your landlord can only increase your rent if there is a specific clause written down in your tenancy agreement.

If you think the increase is unfair, then you can take your landlord to what’s called a First Tier Tribunal, where a panel will compare your proposed new rent to how much similar homes are being rented out for in the local area; they will then set how much your rent should be.

“You can also get in touch with a tenants union who can help you fight to ensure your landlord does not put the rent up. ”

What do I do if I think my landlord is breaking the law?

«You should report any suspected law-breaking on the part of your landlord to your local council’s housing team. Unfortunately, these teams have seen a lot of funding cuts over the last decade, so we recommend that you join ACORN or another tenant union to get support if you are worried about your landlord not fixing things, trying to keep your deposit, or behaving in a way which makes you uncomfortable.

“Landlords rely on their tenants being isolated when trying to get away with things like that, but with a union behind you – standing together – we can make sure you’re not isolated. ”

Am I allowed pets in a rental property?

«The government has moved towards making it easier for tenants to have pets by introducing a model tenancy agreement. Under this, consent for pets will be the default position, and landlords must object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.

“This, however, does not mean that your landlord cannot disagree with you having a pet, and they, unfortunately do not have to use the model tenancy agreement. ”

What rights do I have if my landlord asks me to leave?

«England and Wales have some of the harshest laws around eviction across Europe for tenants, and we are campaigning to get these changed, but it’s important to know that there are steps your landlord legally has to take before you have to leave.

If you don’t live with your landlord, then there is a specific legal process your landlord needs to follow to ask you to leave your home. If you do live with your landlord, then unfortunately, you don’t have very many rights at all, but your landlord should give you a month to move out.

«If you don’t live with your landlord, then he or she hasn’t officially asked you to leave until they issue you with a legal eviction notice, which will usually be either what’s called a Section 21 ‘no fault’ notice (where they don’t have to give a reason) or another type of notice where they spell out a reason they want you to go (this could be if you haven’t paid the rent for more than 2 months, or for anti-social behaviour). Lots of people think they have to leave because their landlord has asked them to, but this isn’t the case.

«We’ll talk about the Section 21 eviction notice as it’s by far the most common. This notice (which will come through the post) will include a date 2 months in the future when the landlord is asking you to leave by. This does not mean you have to leave by that date, this means that if you don’t leave by then, the landlord can start applying to a court to evict you. If you stay past the date on the Section 21 letter, then the landlord can apply to the court to have you removed. It usually takes a couple of months after the original date expires for a landlord to get a court date and for a judge to approve the eviction (or not).

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