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Mago
18-04-2006, 16:37 PM
Hi advice sought.

I am living in a dwelling where the Rent Service Officer has set the rent, for individual claims,in every case where an HB claim has been granted it was stated that The Housing Benefit would be paid at sum of £55.00 on a £60.00 rent,(i.e. £60.00 PER WEEK RENT) HB would cover £55.00 of the rent with the tenant having to pay the remaining £5.00, this going towards gas and electric costs .

The landlord has now given everyone a letter stating that next month he will be charging increases of beteeen 20/25%, the reason given and I quote from the letter is as follows.

The reason for the increase is to cover the cost of heating and electric at the property.

Thanks in advance for any advice given.

davidjohnbutton
18-04-2006, 18:40 PM
If you were getting all your electricity and heating for a fiver a week which is now going up to £6.25 a week - then you are getting a bargain by the sound of it.

As to the legality - if the rent and the charge for electricity/heating are specified separately and the e/h charge is stated to be variable, then it appears the landlord has done correctly in giving you a months warning that that factor will increase.

I assume you are in an AST where because HB is claimed, the Rent Officer has set the level of HB to be paid - you do not really given enough info about the tenancy agreement - but in general terms, the rent in the agreement sticks for the fixed period, and then it is increased by the use of a S13 notice.

Generally, charges for electricty/heating can be increased "on the fly" but the landlord should not be making a profit on the charges other than making a daily charge for the supply (I think its about 10p per day)

Mago
18-04-2006, 19:01 PM
Davidjohnbutton,
Sorry I did not do my maths very well,(the red mist had apeared),the landlord is putting up everybodys rent by between £10.00/£20.00 per week,over what is already being charged.

davidjohnbutton
18-04-2006, 21:10 PM
If my assumed premises are correct and you are in an AST then, if the whole of the increase is NOT completely attributable to fuel charges, then either the contract must state and permit an increase, or the landlord must follow the S13 process.

Otherwise, the increase is illegal or an unfair contract term.

Mago
19-04-2006, 07:20 AM
Hi,
the situation is as follows,up until 6mths ago, the property belonged to the landlords brother,who let out bedsits in the property,no Tenancy Agrements were issued but(it was stated that heating,lighting etc were included in the rent charged), when the landlord died his brother(the present landlord took over the property,he issued every one with rent books which have printed on the front (Assured Shorthold Tenancy), since then he has given a date/s when he would issue Tenancy Agreements but has not done so,the mans attitude is that it is my house and I can do as I like,below is a recent example.

Several weeks ago the landlord had an arguement with his partner,he rolled up at the property at which I am at much the worse for drink and stated that he was moving in for a short period.he then went to a tenants room,looking for money (the man owed rent arears of which he was paying off at an agreeded rate, an arguement broke out,the tenant telling the landlord that he should not be in the house and by coming to his door and demanding money it was harassment,the landlords reply?you have got no rights ,this is my house,I can do what ever I want and you can get out tomorrow. The tenant went to the Police,he was informed that the Police could do nothing about the landlords threats, but would log the complaint.

The mans attitude is that if the tenants do not like what ever I do,ie increasing rents charged etc, they can f**k off

The landlord hs applied for an HMO Licence but will not get one as some years ago he tells me that he was fined several £1000.00 for evicting a tenant on his brothers behalf.

What is the legal position here and what recourse if any have the tenants got?

I must point out that although the landlord does not reside here,he uses the property as his mailing address and claims that as such this intitles him to come and go as he wishes.

Poppy
19-04-2006, 10:16 AM
Mago, I have re-read your previous postings.

My conclusion is that your tenancy is a verbal AST and has now lapsed into a statutory periodic tenancy. It is evident that your landlord is unprofessional. You have also crucially pointed out that tenants of licensable HMOs cannot be evicted by their landlord unless they have a licence.

I predict that one day the landlord will cross back to the law-abiding side of the line long enough to evict you with two months’ notice.

I personally would not stay somewhere I felt unhappy.

In the meantime, you can negotiate the rent increase with your landlord. If you cannot agree, then the landlord must serve a s13 notice - but you don’t have to tell him that if you don’t want to.

Mago
19-04-2006, 10:36 AM
Poppy,
thanks for your advice.

(I personally would not stay somewhere I felt unhappy.)
The reason that I am still here is as follows I have lived at my present address for some years and until several months ago I was more than happy to do so,my question is this,why now should I move out/find some where else to live due to an unprofessional landlord.Surely I have got some legal rights?