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  • FIRST POST
    • going.for.gold
    • By going.for.gold 17th May 17, 6:32 PM
    • 13Posts
    • 0Thanks
    going.for.gold
    Housing benefit/home owner
    • #1
    • 17th May 17, 6:32 PM
    Housing benefit/home owner 17th May 17 at 6:32 PM
    My sister and her husband are in the process of separating. They own their own home and have two children. He is making life impossible for her to remain in the house. Continual vicious arguments (not physical). Their children are under 5 and life has become impossible.
    She wants to know if she can move out and privately rent and get Housing Benefit. She works part time, however is on maternity leave at the moment, but would not be able to afford full rent. He is refusing to give her any money, but he does pay the mortgage. She is at her wits end and can't live like this as it's affecting the children and her health, she is already on anti depressants.
    Any help would be appreciated, her husband is being totally unreasonable and refuses mediation or any outside help. TIA
Page 1
    • venison
    • By venison 17th May 17, 8:28 PM
    • 1,171 Posts
    • 1,223 Thanks
    venison
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 8:28 PM
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 8:28 PM
    She needs to get legal advice.
    Doomed I say we're all doomed.
    • Diary
    • By Diary 17th May 17, 9:18 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    Diary
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 9:18 PM
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 9:18 PM
    My sister and her husband are in the process of separating. They own their own home and have two children. He is making life impossible for her to remain in the house. Continual vicious arguments (not physical). Their children are under 5 and life has become impossible.
    She wants to know if she can move out and privately rent and get Housing Benefit. She works part time, however is on maternity leave at the moment, but would not be able to afford full rent. He is refusing to give her any money, but he does pay the mortgage. She is at her wits end and can't live like this as it's affecting the children and her health, she is already on anti depressants.
    Any help would be appreciated, her husband is being totally unreasonable and refuses mediation or any outside help. TIA
    Originally posted by going.for.gold
    As she's on maternity leave I'm assuming she's not long had another baby. Was he like this before she wanted another baby with him or has it only just begun? If it's only just begun could a trial separation be on the cards while he 'sorts himself out'? If it's permanent she needs face to face specialist advice.
    • going.for.gold
    • By going.for.gold 18th May 17, 10:40 AM
    • 13 Posts
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    going.for.gold
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 10:40 AM
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 10:40 AM
    Their second child was 4 months old when it all kicked off. He started seeing someone else, his reasons were that it was initially for sex, as my sister had a bad pregnancy and a sexual relationship had been off the agenda for a long time.
    The reason she wants to get a place of her own is to instigate a proper separation, and have a cooling off period but he refuses to move out so the onus is on her to make the move but she feels trapped, because she isn't financially able to support herself, even when she returns to work she will hopefully be entitled to some financial help. I have been giving her help with some cash, but it's not something I can do on a regular basis. As far as legal advice is concerned, she couldn't afford to get a solicitor. Sadly all CAB offered her was free literature.
    • Diary
    • By Diary 18th May 17, 10:49 AM
    • 564 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    Diary
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 10:49 AM
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 10:49 AM
    Their second child was 4 months old when it all kicked off. He started seeing someone else, his reasons were that it was initially for sex, as my sister had a bad pregnancy and a sexual relationship had been off the agenda for a long time.
    The reason she wants to get a place of her own is to instigate a proper separation, and have a cooling off period but he refuses to move out so the onus is on her to make the move but she feels trapped, because she isn't financially able to support herself, even when she returns to work she will hopefully be entitled to some financial help. I have been giving her help with some cash, but it's not something I can do on a regular basis. As far as legal advice is concerned, she couldn't afford to get a solicitor. Sadly all CAB offered her was free literature.
    Originally posted by going.for.gold
    Some solicitors have free half hours or so for clients particularly with domestic abuse which this certainly sounds like. Even if she has to pay it'd be worth it in the long run or try women's aid.
    The situation sounds intolerable for her.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 18th May 17, 2:53 PM
    • 8,875 Posts
    • 11,730 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 2:53 PM
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 2:53 PM
    I assume you mean they jointly own the marital home. If so is the split/% of ownership defined anywhere?? (eg 50/50)?

    With Housing Benefit - see
    https://www.gov.uk/housing-benefit/eligibility
    - if you've got savings of more than £16k then no housing benefit. And if you own a property where your share of the equity is more than £16k then no housing benefit.

    So, let's give an example: Joint ownership, 50/50 split agreed and documented: Place worth (genuine market value if sold with vacant possession) is £187k. Outstanding mortgage (including any arrears) £152k. So equity in property ... £187k-£152k = £35k: So her 50% share is £17.5k, over £16k so no housing benefit.

    She needs to be speaking to a good family law solicitor. A free 20 minute chat with (no offence) the current office trainee ain't going cover it realistically, is it?
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 18th May 17, 5:11 PM
    • 10,644 Posts
    • 12,536 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #7
    • 18th May 17, 5:11 PM
    • #7
    • 18th May 17, 5:11 PM
    I assume you mean they jointly own the marital home. If so is the split/% of ownership defined anywhere?? (eg 50/50)?

    With Housing Benefit - see
    https://www.gov.uk/housing-benefit/eligibility
    - if you've got savings of more than £16k then no housing benefit. And if you own a property where your share of the equity is more than £16k then no housing benefit.

    So, let's give an example: Joint ownership, 50/50 split agreed and documented: Place worth (genuine market value if sold with vacant possession) is £187k. Outstanding mortgage (including any arrears) £152k. So equity in property ... £187k-£152k = £35k: So her 50% share is £17.5k, over £16k so no housing benefit.

    She needs to be speaking to a good family law solicitor. A free 20 minute chat with (no offence) the current office trainee ain't going cover it realistically, is it?
    Originally posted by theartfullodger
    Since it appears that this person is the victim of domestic abuse (certainly from the fact that they are being given no money suggests this) then there is lots of help available in this situation. Housing Benefit can be paid in these circumstances.

    Lots of good information and useful links here:

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/domestic_abuse
    • going.for.gold
    • By going.for.gold 18th May 17, 8:17 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    going.for.gold
    • #8
    • 18th May 17, 8:17 PM
    • #8
    • 18th May 17, 8:17 PM
    She owns the house 50/50 as nothing different was implied at the time of purchase. The problem is that her share won't be available until the house is sold, he won't sell and as she doesn't pay the mortgage she has no option but to leave the home to get relief from this situation. He won't help her with rent and clearly from what you have said HB won't be considered. It sounds like a catch 22. I think legal advice might be the best thing. Or some ground glass in his curry.....
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 18th May 17, 10:13 PM
    • 3,861 Posts
    • 3,932 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #9
    • 18th May 17, 10:13 PM
    • #9
    • 18th May 17, 10:13 PM
    As others have said, she needs to get legal advice. As she can't occupy the house or raise any capital from it, it's possible that it will be disregarded for benefit purposes. Whether it will be I can't answer - that's why she needs legal advice. In the first instance she could try contacting her local council to see what help might be available.
    • WillowCat
    • By WillowCat 18th May 17, 10:20 PM
    • 684 Posts
    • 771 Thanks
    WillowCat
    I'll state right now that I don't know if domestic violence makes any difference to the rules for housing benefit.

    Normally however, the equity value in the marital home will be disregarded providing the children live there. So if she leaves and the kids stay with dad she will be able to claim housing benefit.
    • tboo
    • By tboo 19th May 17, 10:20 AM
    • 474 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    tboo
    Normally however, the equity value in the marital home will be disregarded providing the children live there. So if she leaves and the kids stay with dad she will be able to claim housing benefit.
    Originally posted by WillowCat
    Then the child benefit and child tax credits will be passed to the ex and she will lose all the premiums to calculate the HB - dependant on her income etc she may not qualify or get a lot less than she would if the children were there

    Houses are normally disregarded for 26 weeks from the date she left the marital home

    It can be disregarded for a further 26 weeks from the date she takes reasonable steps to dispose of the property - i.e put it on the market (but this may be difficult)

    or she seeks legal advice - 26 weeks from the date you seek advice


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    • going.for.gold
    • By going.for.gold 19th May 17, 11:05 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    going.for.gold
    Thank you all very much for your advice.
    • danielanthony
    • By danielanthony 19th May 17, 2:44 PM
    • 509 Posts
    • 328 Thanks
    danielanthony
    Having no money does not equal domestic abuse! Some families don't have much disposable income and so it's hard to fairly divide f*ck all.
    • Housing Benefit Officer
    • By Housing Benefit Officer 20th May 17, 6:01 PM
    • 2,350 Posts
    • 4,194 Thanks
    Housing Benefit Officer
    Perhaps some correct advice would help you...

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/365783/hbgm-bp1-assessment-of-capital.pdf

    P1.200

    Capital assets disregarded for up to 26 weeks

    iv a dwelling formerly occupied by the claimant following estrangement or divorce from a
    former partner. The disregard period begins on the date of leaving the home. A disregard
    under this provision applies for 26 weeks, unless the home is occupied by a former partner
    who is a lone parent when the disregard applies for as long as the home is so occupied
    HB(SPC) Sch 6 Para 6; CTB(SPC) Sch 4 Para 6
    v any premises not just a former home the claimant is taking reasonable steps to sell, the
    period may be extended beyond 26 weeks if the claimant is taking reasonable steps to
    dispose of the property
    HB(SPC) Sch 6 Para 7; CTB(SPC) Sch 4 Para 7
    These are my own views and you should seek advice from your local Benefits Department or CAB.
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