Can landlord increase rent after fixed term expires?

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    Can landlord increase rent after fixed term expires?

    OK, let me start from the beginning with this one . . .

    Me and two friends rent a property together, it's not a bad property, 4 bed, reasonable decoration etc. etc. We are currently renting it through a letting agent and have been since June 25th this year.

    OK, here it gets complecated. For whatever reasons, the landlord has decided he no longer wants to rent through the letting agent and has offered us a private tennency directly with himself, which we were all ok with as long as it was all drawn up properly etc. etc. This was about 4 weeks ago this was mentioned. We waited for a while, and eventually contacted the landlord today regarding this as we hadn't heard anything for a while. So he said he'd send the documents through ASAP for our approval.

    My housemate gets a phone call about 6:30 this evening, and finds out to his astonishment the landlord is demanding we pay a rent of £800 per month if we want to rent it privately from him. We only currently pay £675 which is about the going rate for property of its type in this area. Naturally we said no we can't afford that, and haven't actually heard anything from him since. So we're now sitting in limbo!!

    I know from reading this site, if I've read it correctly, that we can't be evicted from this property until February 25th, two months after the origenal tenency agreement expires, but I got loads of questions for you guys!!

    1) Does the rent continue at its current rate for those two months?? there will be no tenency agreement in place as the current one expires on december 25th. There's no way he can impose an increased rent on us for two months is there?? On the other side, could we get away with living here free as there's no tenency agreement in place???

    2) what happens to our deposit currently held by the letting agent bearing in mind the landlords agreement with the letting agent runs out on dec 25th same as our tennency agreement.

    3) I know we are supposed to give 4 weeks notice of terminating the agreement, but we're not sure if we can find another property before christmas, and won't know until middle of next week at the earliest, this would mean we can only give 3 full weeks notice, is this allowed as the tenency agreement isn't being renewd, and it's the landlords fault we're in this situation anyway?? Simerly if we stay in this house after dec 25th, and find a property mid january, how much notice do we require to give the land lord we're gettting out, or can we just up and leave as we're outside of the tenecy agreement anyway??

    4) We've got loads of problems with this place, a lot of which I've fixed myself, and invoiced the landlord for (still waiting for my money though) The BIG problem we currently have is NO central heating that works and we never have had, dispite many calls to the landlord and esate agent about this!! We've been really relaxed about it as we all work full time and simply don't have the time to chase them up. (Insted I've actually gone out and brought a gas heater and couple of electric radiators as an easy solution.) I've been informed we might be eligeable for some of our money back in way of compensation from the landlord as this has not been resolved dispite reporting it the day after we moved in and many subsequent times since. Is this true??

    Naturally me and my housemates are a bit confused here, so any help or comments would be appriciated!!

    Many thanks


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