Forum Home» Citizens Advice Bureau» Housing benefit help

Housing benefit query (matrimonial split)

New Post Advanced Search

Housing benefit query (matrimonial split)

edited 21 September 2012 at 9:12AM in Housing benefit help
7 replies 2K views
pineapplepineapple Forumite
6.8K posts
Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
✭✭✭✭
edited 21 September 2012 at 9:12AM in Housing benefit help
A married friend was told by her husband he no longer loves her. He is trying to get her out the house they still both share. She suspects he is having an affair but this is not a question about divorce/division of assets.
The domestic situation is becoming intolerable. But it could be some time for the finances to be sorted. Meanwhile she is trying to set up a fledgling business and has very little personal income. Would she be eligible for help with rent pending legal/financial resolution? Or would she be regarded as having intentionally made herself homeless or having access to funds/capital even though she doesn't? (pending settlement).
Cheers.

Replies

  • paddedjohnpaddedjohn Forumite
    7.5K posts
    Ninth Anniversary
    ✭✭✭✭
    Does she own the house she's in now? How old is she? Any kids?
    Be Alert..........Britain needs lerts.
  • edited 21 September 2012 at 9:27AM
    pineapplepineapple Forumite
    6.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 21 September 2012 at 9:27AM
    paddedjohn wrote: »
    Does she own the house she's in now? How old is she? Any kids?
    They jointly bought the house 10 years ago. She put down the deposit of around £80,000 and the house is worth approx £150,000 (valuation arranged).. He is in his 40s and earns £45,000. She is 57 and is currently earning approximately £6,000. No children. There are ISAS but I don't think she can get her hands on them at the moment. I believe the legal advice is to hang on in there as long as possible as the finances need to be discussed in their entirety.
    The problem is - if she leaves, she is not likely to have access to anything until it has all been legally resolved. Meanwhile her situation is becoming increasingly difficult. I don't have a spare bed but I can see my sofa becoming an emergency option :(.
  • pineapple wrote: »
    They jointly bought the house 10 years ago. She put down the deposit of around £80,000 and the house is worth approx £150,000 (valuation arranged).. He is in his 40s and earns £45,000. She is 57 and is currently earning approximately £6,000. No children. There are substantial isas but I don't think she can get her hands on them at the moment. I believe the legal advice is to hang on in there as long as possible as the finances need to be discussed in their entirety.
    The problem is - if she leaves, she is not likely to have access to anything until it has all been legally resolved. Meanwhile her situation is becoming increasingly difficult. I don't have a spare bed but I can see my sofa becoming an emergency option :(.

    Obviously I am not aware of the exact circumstances, but why is your friend planning to leave?

    It seems to me that if he earns £45k and she £6k per year, the easiest option for everyone would be for him to move out, rent a place and for your friend to remain in the marital home.

    He has told her that he no longer wants to be with her, so he should do the right thing and leave.
  • pineapplepineapple Forumite
    6.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    He has told her that he no longer wants to be with her, so he should do the right thing and leave.
    Indeed. I am trying not to be judgemental because I have been in both situations myself. When it was me who wanted to call time, it was me who left and when it was the other way round, it was him who left. But he refuses to go, as at the moment it is his salary which is paying the mortgage and he says he can't afford to maintain two places (he probably could but he doesn't want to inconvenience himself). As for her, she clearly can't afford to go and rent somewhere at the moment.
    Imo morally she should stay put. But it is becoming very difficult for her as the person she loved has been replaced by a stranger who is coming out with some very cruel things and running round like a dog with two tails having announced to people that he is now a 'free spirit' :(.
    Anyway, like I say, I don't really want to get into a debate about the rights and wrongs of it but just wondered whether there might be any council tax help available to her pending resolution of the legalities if she just can't cope with the situation any more.
  • I'm sorry, I'm not too familiar with the benefits system so I really can't advise.

    However, I do empathise with your friend and I hope she can sort something out. It is extremely unhealthy being in such a toxic environment. For him to be rubbing her face in the fact that he doesn't want her is deplorable and I hope he gets his tail cut off!

    Best wishes to your friend
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    Hello pineapple

    She can present herself as homeless to the local authority and apply for housing but she will need to show that she cannot reasonably be expected to continue to live in the property and she will also have to show that she is in priority need which as a single person will be very difficult. If she cannot do this then she can rent privately.

    If your friend were to move out then she could claim help with rent and council tax. If she is on low income and has dependent children she may be able to get help with tax credits too.

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/benefits_e/benefits_help_if_on_a_low_income_ew/help_with_your_rent_-_housing_benefit.htm

    The value of the property can be disregarded for a period of time depending on why it is not being sold immediately ie still children living there, negative equity etc but she will need to show that she is taking steps to recover what she is entitled to so that she can live on that money rather than the state

    She needs to consider is whether the self employment can support her . http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Jobseekers/LookingForWork/DG_173931

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/work_e/work_self-employed_or_looking_for_work_e/self-employment_checklist.htm

    If she is earning very little and is claiming JSA then she will need to show that she is available for work and this may mean that she may need to chose between her business and getting some income.
    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"
  • Just to offer an alternative opinion on the benefit side of things:

    JSA wouldn’t be paid if she is working on the business for 16 hours a week or more or if she is earning over £76 a week which it seems she is.

    The option for people working in excess of these limits but with a low income is Working Tax Credit- but only if she is working on the business for at least 30 hours a week (details of what counts towards the hours here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/tctmanual/TCTM02453.htm) As she is earning around £6000pa max she is may qualify for working tax credits of around £52pw.

    She might also be able to claim housing and council tax benefits but this depends on her income and her capital. Equity in the marital home wouldn’t be taken into account as capital for a year but the ISA’s do count even though she ‘can’t’ access them. Capital below £6k is ignored but amounts over this are converted into an ‘income’ figure and added to her earned income and any tax credits to be used in the benefit calculation. If capital is over £16k no HB or CTB is paid (She can ask the council for a pre tenancy determination to find out how much, if any HB she would get before she signs a tenancy)

    For a starting point she can put her details into a calculator here (she can estimate things like rent to see what happens) it will give an estimate of HB/CTB tax credits etc
    http://www.turn2us.org.uk/benefits_search.aspx

    NB your friend should rely on the legal advice she has had about leaving the marital home- I have no knowledge of the implications that might arise regarding the financial settlement if she leaves and so won't assume there are none.
This discussion has been closed.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support