A person did this to me
If there is no lease, then legally the person can raise the rent by as much as they want every month. However, it's probably not legal for them to be renting the basement in the first place as the space probably isn't "habitable." You can bring a lawsuit against them to get some of the money back for renting you an illegal apartment.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
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