Help with bad landlord

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  • nukecad
    She should not pay any increased rent, that would be an acceptance of the increase.

    She should pay her usual rent and inform the LL that she needs to issue a section 13 notice to increase the rent, and then challenge that notice.
    See the advice here on challenging the notice:

    This will probably all end in an eviction, but if your friend is already looking for somewhere else then so what.
    For the LL to evict she initially has to give 2 months notice by a section 21 notice, and after the 2 months has to go to court to get a posession order which can take up to 9 months.
    As said by others any attempt to evict without a posession order is a criminal offence.

    I would tell the ex-husband not to pass anything on to you friend, it's not his problem.
    If the LL refuses to have contact with the tenant that's the LL's problem.
    Just keep paying the usual rent untill she finds somewhere else.

    When she does find somewehere else she should give the LL at least one months notice, ending on the monthly anniversary of the Tenancy Agreement.
    Just because the LL is doing things wrong doesn't mean that your friend should.

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  • leaseholder64
    Especially as we have established that this is non an excluded tenancy, changing the locks whilst the tenant is out is a criminal offence.

    Unfortunately, I think criminal landlords do target foreigners.

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  • SacreLao
    Thank you for your advice. Shelter has advised me that raising the rent will be seen as passing the repair costs onto the tenant as the landlord basically emailed saying fine I’ll repair the boiler but I’m increasing the rent now. They have said this is illegal and the tenant can refuse, they haven’t really explained what happens next however. The landlord hasn’t issued a section 13 simply emailed saying it increases (by 17%} as of the 1st March (just over 1 weeks notice) when she also wants a new AST signed. She knows the tenant can’t afford this so I suspect it’s her way of getting rid.

    Should I be asking the landlord to issue a section 13 and then raising a dispute? Does this all still apply if the landlord only has this 1 property?

    The landlord is truely vile, I’ve never experienced anything like it. She only rents to people new to the country apparently as in the case of my friend, I suspect so she can ignore the law. Environmental health didn’t issue a notice of improvement, they emailed the landlord stating that if they refuse to repair the boiler this is what they will do and they will also seek to prosecute the landlord, she agreed to repair based on this email. Does this still mean she is protected from a revenge eviction?

    The landlord actually emailed (I have seen it) saying ignore the gas engineer he was wrong, the boiler is safe turn it back on. Despite having been given a warning notice condemning the boiler and knowing that the boiler is in the bedroom of my friends children! She is dangerous and someone else, with limited English and understanding of the law, may well have followed her instructions!

    She is also refusing to communicate with the tenant now, as I have assisted my friend by writing an email on her behalf in English, stating the UK laws she was breaching, she is now saying she will not speak to me or my friend. Instead she has been sending emails to my friends ex-husband to pass on, despite him moving out 2 years ago and not being named on the tenancy for the last 2 years! He is understandably annoyed at being involved in this situation.

    I am helping my friend find a new property as she cannot afford this new rent and knows the landlord will now make her life hell because she dared to ask for a repair, 1 repair in 3 years! So what we need now is time to find somewhere. She is worried that if on the 1st March she does not pay the new rent she will be evicted. The landlord has previously threatened to change the locks while she is out. If the landlord has not issued a section 13 and my friend pays her usual rent on the 1st March and refuses to sign the new contract, is this grounds for the landlord to evict?

    Thank you

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  • KeepTheFaith
    Originally posted by SacreLao View Post
    On the same email as stating she will repair the boiler she has also stated she will be asking my friend to sign a new tenancy and is increasing the rent. Now I know that it is illegal to make tenants financially liable for repairs and increasing the rent on the same day as agreeing to repair the boiler is an attempt to recover these costs.
    There isn't any law against what some might construe as a 'revenge rent increase' in this country. Increasing the rent in response to having to fix the boiler won't be seen as the same as directly getting the tenant to pay for fixing the boiler. So increasing the rent seemingly in response to asking for a repair to be done is not illegal. (It is in some US states).
    The only way to challenge a rent increase is to not agree then the landlord will have to serve a section 13 rent increase notice then you can appeal it as jpkeates says. If you do that then the tribunal will take into account repair works needed and come and inspect the property then you would attend a tribunal hearing.

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  • theartfullodger
    Follow Shelter's excellent advice on things needing repair here, including draft letter & how to involve council.

    Sorry to read of this, shouldn't happen to anyone...

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  • jpkeates
    The landlord can increase the rent in a periodic tenancy by issuing a section 13 notice.
    That can be appealed to a tribunal, but isn't something that the tenant has to agree to.

    Your friend can decline to sign a new tenancy agreement and the landlord can't make them sign.

    The landlord can serve notice under s21 at any time, giving no reason.
    The landlord could not do that if they had been served a formal notice by the council (there are specific notices that have this effect).
    Threatening action or complaining to the council isn't enough.

    If the property is mouldy and leaking, you could actually involve the environmental health team and ask them to formally raise an improvement notice on the landlord.

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