Here is a question to the blog clinic from Sarah who is a tenan
We have rented our house since 1st Dec 2003 with a standard shorthold rental agreement for 1 year, since then we have no new contract.
Recently have been trying to buy our house, but having got an offer from our landlord, we don’t think we will be granted a mortgage for that much.
So we are now worried that if we continue our tenancy, and get all the updating done that is necessary (new doors and windows as our current ones don’t work; problems with electrics; white goods not working) then our landlord will hike the rent up so high we cannot afford to even rent any more.
Is he within his rights to do so?
Well YES! You should NEVER spend money doing work on someone else’s property – not unless you have a clear, written, agreement with them that
- You will be allowed to remain in the property for an agreed period of time and
- That the rent will remain the same
For an example of the sort of thing that can happen you can see this ‘horror story’ which is based on a real case I dealt with in the 1990’s.
Alternatively, you may be able to get the landlord to agree to pay for the work and refund you the money. Bet you still run the risk of having all the inconvenience of getting the work done (albeit at the landlord’s expense) and then being served a section 21 notice and a notice of rent increase.
It would be better, if you can, to spend the money on a deposit for a house of your own.