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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 814
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I need some advice on my rental situation. Can you

Customer Question

Hi
I need some advice on my rental situation. Can you help?.......
Its rather an usual situation.The place I currently rent is an outbuilding, a single story shed.
I have been paying a friend to occupy the out building and I have been here for 10years.The arrangement has worked for 10 years, But recently everything has changed, the owner of the outbuilding moved back into the village in May and demanded a rent increase by 50%.
At the time he also produced a piece of paper saying it was our original rent agreement. When I looked at it closely, I saw not only had the original rent amount been increased but my christian name had been filled in by some one else and spelt incorrectly 3 times.We managed to negociate a 25% increase and told him we would move out in March 2017.
He has now come back and said he wants another increase. From now till March 2017
He has been bullying me, threatening to evict me.I should also add that the building would not pass any basic building regulations, there is no insulations at all or heat provided by the owner.
He has not improved the property at all in 10years, I have paid for all improvements of which there have been many.
I thought he was paying council tax on my behalf but it turns out this is not true and no council tax has been paid at all. Also I have paid him cash for the property and don't reckon he has ever declared it.
As you can see it's a bit unusual and a bit of a mess!My questions would be
1. Can a landlord put the rent up as they see fit or is there a law that says you can only increase the rent by a certain amount per year.
2. What makes a home a legal dwelling? Will I get in trouble for living here for 10years illegally?
4. Do I have any rights now?Really hope this makes sense and some one can help?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 12 months ago.

1 The landlord can not put the rent up during the fixed term of the tenancy. However as you are presumably no longer in a fixed term he can put it up. There are no restrictions on how much. However, if you and he agreed a new rent and that you could stay until March 2017 then you effectively have a new fixed term tenancy and he can not put the rent up during that time.

2 You will not be on trouble. There is no legal definition of a dwelling. I assume you have a bed, ktichen and toilet bath/shower.

3 Yes you do have rights. A right not to be harassed, a right to quiet enjoyment and a right to live in a place where the structure and exterior are kept in repair