A town centre resident says he will not be paying after he was hit with a major rent rise with just over one month's notice.

Roberto Mura, who lives in a one-bedroom apartment in One Clarendon, at the corner of Clarendon Road and Watford High Street, was sent a letter on September 4 letting him know his rent will be £200 more from October 9.

In the letter, Watford Community Housing (WCH) which manages One Clarendon said: “We are letting you know about this now so that you have enough time to plan for this change”. 

However, the 40-year-old said that many in the building would struggle to find a spare £200, or more for larger properties, each month.

Watford Observer: One Clarendon entranceOne Clarendon entrance (Image: Google Street View)

“It had never happened before then £200 suddenly, based just on property market changes, I thought ‘what is going on?’,” the IT worker said.

“Some people have never had an increase and were relying on the low rent to survive but are now paying 20 per cent or 35 per cent more.”

Mr Mura also said he could not see a justification for the rent rise, claiming the flats are in poor condition, with issues that have been reported for years not being fixed.

Watford Observer: One Clarendon communal areaOne Clarendon communal area (Image: Roberto Mura)

He added that if conditions were better and the rent hike came more slowly people would not have such a problem paying, as they understand that the price had been relatively low before.

After initially struggling to get a response from WCH, following contact on Friday (September 29) Mr Mura says he is planning to keep paying only the same rent he had previously, unless issues with the building are fixed. He claimed that other One Clarendon residents have said the same.

Watford Observer: Roberto MuraRoberto Mura (Image: Roberto Mura)

A WCH spokesperson said: “The homes at One Clarendon Road are market rent properties so, unlike most of the homes we provide, they are not designated for social rent or affordable rent.

Watford Observer: One Clarendon issuesOne Clarendon issues (Image: Roberto Mura)

“Rent levels are reviewed in line with the local market rate, in accordance with the terms of the lease. We are required to give a month’s notice of any changes to the rent, which we have done.

“As we are a not-for-profit housing association, all income received from our market rent properties goes towards providing more affordable homes and better services.

“If residents have concerns about their home, or their ability to pay their rent, we would encourage them to contact us so that we can provide support – there are a range of ways to get in touch with us.”