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Do all Estate Agents reject people on Housing Benefit?
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# 1
oliviaolivia12345
Old 09-05-2008, 8:51 PM
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Default Do all Estate Agents reject people on Housing Benefit?

account no longer being used thanks to bullying from forum members.

Last edited by oliviaolivia12345; 31-12-2011 at 3:29 PM.
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# 2
SquatNow
Old 09-05-2008, 10:18 PM
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AFAIK you don't have to volunteer the information but if there is a question on the application form and you lie then it would invalidate your AST and you could be kicked out with no notice.

Catch 22 though... with LHA replacing HB I can't see meny landlords wanting to touch you.... sorry. With you changing properties you will be re-assessed and paid LHA instead of HB.

At least with HB they could have the money paid straight to them. LHA is paid to the tennant and may not even cover the full rent.

Landlords rent to LHA tennants at their peril.

There are a LOT of landlords suffering voids, and while they may seem like an ideal "target", they are having long voids because the rent is too high, usually because they need a high rent to cover the mortgage. Again Catch 22... landlords charging lower rent tend to be long term landlords who have had the property for a long time. (And so have lower mortgage costs and can afford to rent for less.) Long term landlords look for reliable rent payment rather than high rent... LHA tennants would not appeal to them at all.
Bankruptcy isn't the worst that can happen to you. The worst that can happen is your forced to live the rest of your life in abject poverty trying to repay the debts.

Last edited by SquatNow; 09-05-2008 at 10:21 PM.
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# 3
PasturesNew
Old 09-05-2008, 10:34 PM
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Don't tell them. If you're self-employed then find a smart-sounding phrase to say what you do and leave it at that.
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# 4
EdInvestor
Old 09-05-2008, 11:43 PM
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Anyone on HB will need a guarantor to be considered..
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# 5
eco-friendly
Old 10-05-2008, 2:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquatNow;

[quote
Catch 22 though... with LHA replacing HB I can't see meny landlords wanting to touch you.... sorry. With you changing properties you will be re-assessed and paid LHA instead of HB.
Err, thats not quite true!


Quote:
At least with HB they could have the money paid straight to them. LHA is paid to the tennant and may not even cover the full rent


Previously many HB claimants had their entitlement paid direct to them which was forwarded to the LL.


Quote:
Landlords rent to LHA tennants at their peril.



Absolute nonsense.
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# 6
Notlob
Old 10-05-2008, 9:04 AM
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olivia,

Question - What will you do if you do not find another property?
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# 7
barnaby-bear
Old 10-05-2008, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliviaolivia12345 View Post
What would the consequences be if I did not tell them when I should? Could I be evicted without notice? fined? I am quite nervous about it.

I am also worried about my credit report, which will be appauling as I have about several credit cards defaults... all built up from when I was a student (A few years back).

I have no idea what I am going to do if I cannot find anywhere.. .even private rentals seem to be more demanding than Agencies, asking for 2 months rent, plus deposit, plus credit checks...
I guess you are single so how about a house share? Since the liability is only a portion of the rent you might meet the credit checks there.
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# 8
PasturesNew
Old 10-05-2008, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliviaolivia12345 View Post
What would the consequences be if I did not tell them when I should? Could I be evicted without notice? fined? I am quite nervous about it.
The main issue here is the concept of HB. HB claimants being refused is usually in relation to the fact that landlords' lenders don't allow it and/or their insurance costs are higher. Add into this the perception of a stereotypical HB claimant (sole source of income from benefits/no plans really to change) and they want to stay well clear of it.

I'm guessing that you're self-employed and haven't yet generated sufficient income so are getting HB as part of some "low income earner" criteria. You are therefore planning on building up your business. I presume you are on HB therefore because your business model is wrong, your business will take up to 2 years to build up a good income or you are living in an area where rents are very high (e.g. London) and although on paper earning good money it doesn't quite cut the mustard when it comes to paying the rent (yet).

So it's a moral issue here. Are you an HB claimant? Or are you self-employed? And which to declare.

While the honest side of you sees "no HB" and worries. The reality is you are self-employed, so not just relying on benefits for your income.

Out of interest (yeah, I'm nosey), it helps us sometimes to put things into context, so: what do you do? what are your circumstances such that you're claiming HB?

You can't be evicted or fined for not declaring it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oliviaolivia12345 View Post
I am also worried about my credit report, which will be appauling as I have about several credit cards defaults... all built up from when I was a student (A few years back).

I have no idea what I am going to do if I cannot find anywhere.. .even private rentals seem to be more demanding than Agencies, asking for 2 months rent, plus deposit, plus credit checks...
This could be an issue. Each landlord is different. However, with a bad credit record you might be asked to pay 6 months' rent up front.

Maybe for now it would be best to pursue the shared house option, just to give you breathing space when time is short. It will be cheaper, you can build up your business without high living costs. It's easier to get in without credit checks (try gumtree.com to find a private landlord) or rentaroom.com or similar domain names.

Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-05-2008 at 10:30 AM.
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# 9
barnaby-bear
Old 10-05-2008, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PasturesNew View Post
Maybe for now it would be best to pursue the shared house option, just to give you breathing space when time is short. It will be cheaper, you can build up your business without high living costs. It's easier to get in without credit checks (try gumtree.com to find a private landlord) or rentaroom.com or similar domain names.
It never occurred to me to claim HB when I was on a low income, thinking about it all my housemates would have been eligible I just assumed lodging or shared houses were the only options to living at home (that was the last ditch really broke option )
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# 10
PasturesNew
Old 10-05-2008, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnaby-bear View Post
It never occurred to me to claim HB when I was on a low income, thinking about it all my housemates would have been eligible I just assumed lodging or shared houses were the only options to living at home (that was the last ditch really broke option )
You wouldn't get it if you're in shared housing.

It's not about a low income on its own. It's about a low income and high rent/council tax. It's about what's left over.

When sharing a house you're sharing the cost/bills, so it's cheaper.

And one person's "low income" is another person's fortune.

Some people think earning £20k is low!!!
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# 11
barnaby-bear
Old 10-05-2008, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PasturesNew View Post
You wouldn't get it if you're in shared housing.

It's not about a low income on its own. It's about a low income and high rent/council tax. It's about what's left over.

When sharing a house you're sharing the cost/bills, so it's cheaper.

And one person's "low income" is another person's fortune.

Some people think earning 20k is low!!!
Yeah but if I'd been more clued up I wouldn't have stayed in the shared house but got a flat and claimed HB for the higher rent... I was paying 300 in a shared house on a 6k net income and didn't feel hard up - you don't need much when single but it never occured to me living alone was a possibility.....
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# 12
mitchaa
Old 10-05-2008, 11:09 AM
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I think you are forgetting 1 thing pastures new.

Estate agents will need proof of income, bank statements, character references, and work references.

You will not be able to hide the fact that you are in receipt of HB as your bank statement will clearly show something along the lines of DWP LHA or something along those lines.
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# 13
PasturesNew
Old 10-05-2008, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchaa View Post
I think you are forgetting 1 thing pastures new.

Estate agents will need proof of income, bank statements, character references, and work references.

You will not be able to hide the fact that you are in receipt of HB as your bank statement will clearly show something along the lines of DWP LHA or something along those lines.
I wasn't asked for proof of income. I told them I wasn't working at all and I'd just relocated.
I wasn't asked for bank statements.
I was asked for a reference, got that from my then (temporary) housemate. She'd only known me from Adam for 8 weeks.
I had no work references. I wasn't working.

I filled in the form, had a credit check. Got the housemate reference. Paid 6 months' in advance.

This was with the South Wales largest EA, not some bloke with a desk in a back street.
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# 14
PasturesNew
Old 10-05-2008, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnaby-bear View Post
Yeah but if I'd been more clued up I wouldn't have stayed in the shared house but got a flat and claimed HB for the higher rent... I was paying 300 in a shared house on a 6k net income and didn't feel hard up - you don't need much when single but it never occured to me living alone was a possibility.....
It's a necessity when you're older (nobody wants to house share with somebody older than their mum).
Or if you work from home - you need the space to work/operate and make/take calls, potentially have business contacts over for coffee and a chat about a contract without a housemate appearing dishevelled and in PJs with last night's pick up in tow.
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# 15
mitchaa
Old 10-05-2008, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PasturesNew View Post
I wasn't asked for proof of income. I told them I wasn't working at all and I'd just relocated.
I wasn't asked for bank statements.
I was asked for a reference, got that from my then (temporary) housemate. She'd only known me from Adam for 8 weeks.
I had no work references. I wasn't working.

I filled in the form, had a credit check. Got the housemate reference. Paid 6 months' in advance.

This was with the South Wales largest EA, not some bloke with a desk in a back street.
Well the experience i have with renting contradicts everything above.

I WAS asked for proof of income
I WAS asked for bank statements
I WAS asked for character references
I WAS asked for an employment reference.

My wife WAS also asked for proof of all above also.

This was a nationwide EA properly vetting suitable tenants.

Ive rented 4 different properties within the last 3 years due to job and in all 4 cases the above was requested.

If you dont ask for the above as a very minimum then they are not correctly vetting tenants for their landlords.

Perhaps your landlord is/was not picky.
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# 16
Loretta
Old 10-05-2008, 1:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliviaolivia12345 View Post
Yes that is correct, I am single and I'm getting LHA becuase I am self-employed earning less than 7,000 per year. I was sharing with my partner until Sep last year but he suddenly left me in the lurch which was the main reason I applied for the benefits otherwise I could not pay the rent myself.

I graduated from a 4-year degree in 2006 with 20,000 in debt from stupidly living on credit for 5 years - I have been paying for that ever since.

I am self-employed as a designer and freelance administrator for a local festival which gives me regular, well paid work for 8 months of the year. I work from home, for more than 40 hours a week and need a lot of space to do that, so I am not really keen on a house share as I would probably face greater costs!

I live in Brighton (which are basically London prices). I have great references going back almost 6 years, but my options are so limited thanks to being a student and trying to build a career it would seem..
As you live in Brighton please go to Brighton Housing Trust not only are they experts when it comes to any housing problems they also have extensive local knowledge
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# 17
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Old 10-05-2008, 6:48 PM
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If the agents are saying no it might be worth doing what a friend of mine did, she did a letter including her references and explaining she would like to be considered for the property and dropped it through the letter boxes of the houses she was interested in FOA the landlord. She only got calls back from 3 of the 9 (she got calls from 2 agents warning her off who she then reported for opening the landlords mail!) but she now has a lovely home, saving the landlord on fees with the agency etc.

I have a rule, if the worst they can say is no, it is worth asking
One day I might be more organised...........:confused:
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