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Help with housing benefit

edited 12 June 2012 at 11:02AM in Housing benefit help
112 replies 148K views
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  • aptgirlaptgirl Forumite
    13 posts
    Hi
    I have moved into this council flat about a year ago. There are 2 bedrooms, one is for me and another is for the landlord. He is away most of the time, only come back around every few months. I was under impression this flat was bought my the landlord when I first moved in, then soon I was awared by the neighbours that this flat is actually rented by my landlord from the council, and the amount of rent I am paying my landlord per month is in fact exactly the same amount that council charges my landlord everymonth.Since I had been busy and never got chance to talk my landlord(he is away all the time), until the other day, a lady from housing office came wanted to talk to my landlord, left a letter. The letter ( I had permission from my landlord to open the letter) basically pointed out that they had found out that I am the one living in the flat rather than my landlord. I told him about the letter and asked for explaination, he then told to me I am just a "lodger" here rather than a tenant, which means whatever he did is legal and resonable. What makes me very confused is the contract I signed with him was a "tenant agreement", I was signed as a tenant; also I am paying rent for the whole flat. Now he is asking for my next month's rent, shall I pay him or not? I feel that I had been used in this situation, since clearly he is just playing with the concept "lodger". What shall I do about this?

    Thanks for reading this long story =) Please do advice me what to do next.
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    clouty wrote: »
    My neighbour has been renting her flat, and has been in receipt of housing benefit, since 2004. She is now on JSA though she used to be on WTC, unfortunately she lost her job. Her landlord bumped the rent up by £100 a month a bit over a year ago, and she's having to try and meet top-up payments of £28 a week out of her JSA, which as you can imagine is difficult, not least because the Job Centre are also taking £15 a week for a crisis loan she had a while ago. The poor woman is so thin!

    I came across this information on DirectGov:
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/moneytaxandbenefits/benefitstaxcreditsandothersupport/on_a_low_income/dg_10018928



    neither of which apply. Does this mean that she is eligible for the full amount of the rent on her flat? She cannot see how she could find a cheaper place, and does not want to dislocate her son. She is no longer in receipt of Child Benefit for him, as he is now over eighteen, but he still lives with her.

    Thanks for any advice you can give on this matter.


    Dear clouty,
    This is a quote from our website
    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/benefits_e/benefits_help_if_on_a_low_income_ew/help_with_your_rent_-_housing_benefit.htm
    You applied for Housing Benefit before 7 April 2008

    If you're the tenant of a private landlord and you applied for Housing Benefit before 7 April 2008, there are different rules about how Housing Benefit decisions are made. However, this may still mean that not all your rent is covered. How much of your rent Housing Benefit can cover is decided by a rent officer. Instead of using the Local Housing Allowance rules, they look at the rent you pay and decide whether it is reasonable for Housing Benefit to cover all the rent. This depends on a number of things, including how much your rent is compared with other similar properties in the area and whether the accommodation is the right size for your needs. From 1 January 2012, if you're under 35 and single with no children, the rent officer compares your rent with the market rent for a single room with shared facilities. However, some people are exempt from this, for example, care leavers under 22, some disabled people and people aged 25 to 34 who have been living in a homeless hostel. The local authority works out how much Housing Benefit you're entitled to based on the rent officer's decision.
    If the amount of Housing Benefit you are entitled to doesn't cover all your rent, you may have to make up the difference out of any other income you have, or find cheaper accommodation. You may be able to get further help with housing costs.
    If you applied for Housing Benefit before 7 April 2008, you can challenge a rent officer’s decision if you think it's wrong, for example, if there is no cheaper accommodation in the area. You can't appeal directly to the rent officer, but you can ask the local authority to ask the rent office to review their decision.
    If you want to challenge a rent officer's decision, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.


    Other Housing Benefit restrictions

    Adults who live in someone else’s home

    An adult who lives in your home and who is not a tenant or boarder, other than your partner, is called a non-dependant. For example, you might have a friend, parent, grown-up son or daughter or another relative living with you. If you have a non-dependant living in your home, an amount will usually be deducted from your Housing Benefit on the assumption that they could give you some money towards the costs of accommodation, even if they do not do so. The amount of the deduction depends on their circumstances.
    If you were living with someone as a non-dependant, and then you enter into an agreement to pay rent while they are still living there, you may not be able to get Housing Benefit towards that rent, unless you can show that the arrangement was not set up in order to get Housing Benefit.
    If you have a non-dependant living in your home, or you are a former non-dependant and you want to claim Housing Benefit, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    Hello
    I am single, over 21 and with non-dependents. The thing is, I want to sign off JSA!
    Can you please explain the term 'disregard' in relation to tye numbers (£5??) as well please, dear advisor?

    So even though I have found some part time work, it is still advisable to contine signing on? If I do not earn much, what do I have to pay else other than NI contributions? I thought that will be deducted from my wage or do i have to pay them separately? Am I also exempt from council tax?

    I am desperately trying to find some more stable part time work, will it be such a problem if it is not full time work (which i cant find at the moment)

    Best, c

    Dear helloworld1,
    We use this website to explore benefit entitlements:
    http://www.turn2us.entitledto.co.uk/entitlementcalculator.aspx
    If you create an account, you can tinker with the values you enter and see exactly which scenario leaves you 'better off'.
    The website is run by the charity Elizabeth Finn.
    Hope this helps
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    aptgirl wrote: »
    Hi
    I have moved into this council flat about a year ago. There are 2 bedrooms, one is for me and another is for the landlord. He is away most of the time, only come back around every few months. I was under impression this flat was bought my the landlord when I first moved in, then soon I was awared by the neighbours that this flat is actually rented by my landlord from the council, and the amount of rent I am paying my landlord per month is in fact exactly the same amount that council charges my landlord everymonth.Since I had been busy and never got chance to talk my landlord(he is away all the time), until the other day, a lady from housing office came wanted to talk to my landlord, left a letter. The letter ( I had permission from my landlord to open the letter) basically pointed out that they had found out that I am the one living in the flat rather than my landlord. I told him about the letter and asked for explaination, he then told to me I am just a "lodger" here rather than a tenant, which means whatever he did is legal and resonable. What makes me very confused is the contract I signed with him was a "tenant agreement", I was signed as a tenant; also I am paying rent for the whole flat. Now he is asking for my next month's rent, shall I pay him or not? I feel that I had been used in this situation, since clearly he is just playing with the concept "lodger". What shall I do about this?

    Thanks for reading this long story =) Please do advice me what to do next.


    Dear aptgirl,
    You can use Shelter's tenancy checker to see if you're a tenant or a license holder:
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/downloads_and_tools/tenancy_checker

    What kind of agreement (tenancy) you have with your landlord affects your legal rights. These rights depend on who you rent from, when your agreement started and whether your landlord lives in the same building - not just what your agreement says.

    If you rent your house or part of a house from someone who in turn rents the property from a different landlord, then you are a subtenant.

    If you share any living space with your landlord you are likely to be an excluded occupier, which gives you almost no protection from eviction so it will be very difficult to enforce any other rights.

    Before CAB give housing advice we determine your 'vulnerability to eviction'. It may be that you are as described above: an excluded occupier and, therefore, quite vulnerable to eviction.

    You might want to phone the experts, Shelter, on
    0808-800-4444 if you’re worried about the legality of your arrangement.

    Hope this helps
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • Hi there,

    I was recently made redundant from a part time job, finished a full time degree course, and I now need to apply for JSA and housing benefit. I am a tennant in a house share with one other person, in a 3 bedroomed property. I pay X amount per month which includes all bills, and I have had trouble getting any confirmation of my redundancy. Do I need that in order to apply for housing benefit?
    Nothing tastes as good as riding a horse feels
  • advanceadvance Forumite
    63 posts
    I am in my late 30's unable to hold down even a part time job due to mental health problems following a road traffic accident, I have savings just over 16,000.00 from when I was able to work full time so this takes me over the savings amount for housing benefit.

    I have been living on my parents sofa for a number of years since I became ill and am desperate to move out as it is making my health worse.

    I receive incapacity benefit, nothing else so could possibly afford to cover rent but would have no money coming in for household bills, gas, water, electric, food etc.

    I haven't been able to work in eight years and can't afford to loose the only money I have been able to save through my life as it was from a time when my health was ok and will never be able to save that sort of money again.

    Is there any help anywhere I can get as I am feeling really trapped and depressed at the moment.

    Thanks
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    Hi there,

    I was recently made redundant from a part time job, finished a full time degree course, and I now need to apply for JSA and housing benefit. I am a tennant in a house share with one other person, in a 3 bedroomed property. I pay X amount per month which includes all bills, and I have had trouble getting any confirmation of my redundancy. Do I need that in order to apply for housing benefit?

    Dear skintslimmer.
    Here is link to the housing benefit claim form HCTB1 on the Direct Gov website
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/advisers/claimforms/hctb1_print.pdf

    You will see on page 3 that it says -
    Your local council will need to see proof of some of the things you write about on the form. There is a checklist in Part 15 of the form to help you. If you are not sure if your council needs to see proof of something, get in touch with them. They will tell you what they need to see. They cannot pay you benefit until they have seen the proof they need.

    Hope this helps.
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    advance wrote: »
    I am in my late 30's unable to hold down even a part time job due to mental health problems following a road traffic accident, I have savings just over 16,000.00 from when I was able to work full time so this takes me over the savings amount for housing benefit.

    I have been living on my parents sofa for a number of years since I became ill and am desperate to move out as it is making my health worse.

    I receive incapacity benefit, nothing else so could possibly afford to cover rent but would have no money coming in for household bills, gas, water, electric, food etc.

    I haven't been able to work in eight years and can't afford to loose the only money I have been able to save through my life as it was from a time when my health was ok and will never be able to save that sort of money again.

    Is there any help anywhere I can get as I am feeling really trapped and depressed at the moment.

    Thanks

    Dear Advance,
    You say your savings are just above £16,00, once your saving are below £16,000 you may be eligible for housing benefit and council tax benefit.
    Take a look at the website below, on there you can put in your personal circumstances and what help you require. The search will return details of organisations that may be able to assist you. But you could also consider going along to your local CAB office and they could do this for you.

    http://www.turn2us.org.uk/grants_search/advanced.aspx
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • garfielddgarfieldd Forumite
    14 posts
    I am a single working (full time) male for your information. This actually is a generic benefit enquiry that I may post in other areas asking for advice.

    It has almost been agreed that my son, aged 11 will come and live with me when and if I find a suitable property that will house both of us. Currently it is not possible for him to come and live with me as I am living in a rented room.

    I have middle rate DLA, and my son is in receipt of the middle rate care and lower rate DLA.

    I have had a benefit check if the above situation happens and it appears it is possible to rent privately with LHA supporting my income. Working/Child Tax Credits will also help.

    However, my issue is that he may be going to a specialist school from September (Year 7). I am wondering how it would affect his DLA and my Tax Credit as well as my Housing Benefits? He may be coming home every weekend as that is the reason he is coming to live with me, as he needs a father figure to discipline him and teach him life skills (his mother is on benefits and I am only thinking he is becoming too smart to cave in to her and answers back). His mother is not able to cope with 3 other young children (only two of the four are mine).
    • Here are my questions
    • How will my WTC/CTC be affected?
    • How will his DLA be affected?
    • How will my Housing Benefit be affected?
    • Is there anything else I should be aware of?
    Finally, how do I start with informing my council (which is a different council) to agree to my son to go to the specialist school which the other borough have already agreed to do? What is the process and how do I start if we decided to go ahead.

    Many thanks

    A
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    garfieldd wrote: »
    I am a single working (full time) male for your information. This actually is a generic benefit enquiry that I may post in other areas asking for advice.

    It has almost been agreed that my son, aged 11 will come and live with me when and if I find a suitable property that will house both of us. Currently it is not possible for him to come and live with me as I am living in a rented room.

    I have middle rate DLA, and my son is in receipt of the middle rate care and lower rate DLA.

    I have had a benefit check if the above situation happens and it appears it is possible to rent privately with LHA supporting my income. Working/Child Tax Credits will also help.


    However, my issue is that he may be going to a specialist school from September (Year 7). I am wondering how it would affect his DLA and my Tax Credit as well as my Housing Benefits? He may be coming home every weekend as that is the reason he is coming to live with me, as he needs a father figure to discipline him and teach him life skills (his mother is on benefits and I am only thinking he is becoming too smart to cave in to her and answers back). His mother is not able to cope with 3 other young children (only two of the four are mine).
    • Here are my questions
    • How will my WTC/CTC be affected?
    • How will his DLA be affected?
    • How will my Housing Benefit be affected?
    • Is there anything else I should be aware of?
    Finally, how do I start with informing my council (which is a different council) to agree to my son to go to the specialist school which the other borough have already agreed to do? What is the process and how do I start if we decided to go ahead.

    Many thanks

    A

    Dear Garfieldd
    I can only answer the question you have about housing benefit. As I understand it, you are concerned about whether your son is with you full time or not will affect your benefit. From an income point of view, his DLA would not be counted in the household income, so there should be no effect. There is a more complex issue on the Local Housing Allowance in that you will need to convince the local authority that you need accommodation large enough for two of you. From what you say, this seems highly likely, but you will need to inform the local authority about this arrangement.
    Your total set of questions would merit your going for more personal advice at your local CAB office.
    Hope this helps
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
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