DEAR DEIDRE: MY landlord has threatened to evict me if I don’t pay an increase in rent to cover the utility bills, yet my flat is falling apart and he does nothing about it.
I’m a guy of 30 and have lived in the same flat for the past three years.
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The washing machine broke down just after I moved in, so I now have to pay launderette costs.
The whole house is damp and the wallpaper is peeling off the walls. There’s mould everywhere.
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I’ve emailed my landlord and he keeps saying he’ll send somebody out, but nothing changes.
Can he throw me out if I withhold the extra rent? I can’t afford to pay for the repairs myself, but can just about pay the increase if I have to.
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DEIDRE SAYS: If you’re mid-tenancy, your landlord cannot put your rent up without prior consultation with you.
Email or write to him to suggest he comes over to talk about the increase in rent, and then you can talk to him about the repairs – room by room.
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Would it work for you if, once the repairs have been made, you then paid an increase in rent?
You can find further advice through Shelter (england.shelter.org.uk).
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