Tenants' outrage at 70% rent hike

By Liz HearnshawFURIOUS tenants who face a 70% rent hike have vowed to fight their landlord's demands, claiming the rise was ridiculous.Now residents in Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, plan to seek legal advice after receiving notification of the increase.

By Liz Hearnshaw

FURIOUS tenants who face a 70% rent hike have vowed to fight their landlord's demands, claiming the rise was ridiculous.

Now residents in Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, plan to seek legal advice after receiving notification of the increase.

But their landlord, David Turner, of Ampton Hall, said the increases - due to come into effect at the end of October - reflected rising house prices.

Although their homes do not have central heating, all residents have been hit with increases ranging from 40% to 70%, with some rents rising by £175 a month.

One tenant, who did not wish to be named, said: “I am devastated. I have put a lot of work into plastering, tiling and decorating this house.

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“I do not feel these homes are not worth £425 a month - there is no central heating. We are now planning to seek legal advice to see where we stand.”

Another resident, who also wished to remain anonymous, added: “I nearly passed out when I saw the letter.

“We love living here as the country setting is ideal, but this rise is ridiculous. We may as well bite the bullet and get a mortgage.

“If the landlord put the rent up by £50 a month and made improvements in some way, then that would be fair enough. But as things stand, we have got nothing to show for the increase.

“We are now going to inquire with the council about an unfair rents tribunal to see if we can get this figure brought down.”

The residents, who said they could not meet the new bills, feared they might become homeless due to a booming property market and shortage of affordable housing in the area.

Speaking through estate agents Lacy Scott and Knight, Mr Turner said the increases reflected rising house prices and he advised tenants to contact the Eastern Rents Assessment Committee if they felt the hike was unfair.

“The properties have been let for some years without a rent increase and Mr Turner has now proposed one to reflect increases in property prices,” said Rowland Beaney, of Lacy Scott and Knight.

“The residents can either agree to the rise, try to reach a compromise or refer to the Eastern Rent Assessment Committee, which will determine the dispute.”

liz.hearnshaw@eadt.co.uk

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