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Duped into a situation...

Hi everyone,
This is my very first post to be forum so I hope it in the correct area thread! I am looking for some advice in regards to a situation I have found myself in and didn't quite realise what iit was all about.

Basically a couple of months ago ago my sister approached me to ask if she could use my address for some personal correspondence. She lives with her boyfriends family and for some reason could not use their address for GP, work and most recently she has been claiming disability living allowance. I work full time myself and do not claim any benefits and never have so I am quite naive when it comes to this. I thought it sounded ok and wouldn't 'really cause me any bother. We are quite close and to date I have received a number of letters for her and passed them on etc

After speaking to a close friend about this they have given me a bit more of an insight to what is going on and now I am feeling really uncomfortable about the situation. It seems that the reason she had to use my address was because I was the closest person to her that did not claim any benefits and therefore would not lose any money if she claimed this from my address, I am therefore presuming that her boyfriends family do claim some benefits and they would lose money if she did this by using their address. She works full-time in what I would call a very decent and well paid job so surely the right thing to do here would be to be honest and stop trying to pocket a few pounds just because you think you can get away with it. I could never do this or put anyone in this situation.

As I said above we are very close but I need to sort this out. I have also purchased a new house with my boyfriend in which we plan to move into after Christmas so I think it is a good time to stop this but I just don't know what to say to her. I don't want it to ruin our relationship and she is actually a nice person but I can't continue to do this in my new property. I will be letting out my old property so she can't continue to do this unless she wants to rent it off me herself which I cannot see her doing as she doesn't have to pay anything at her boyfriends house. Sounds like she has the best of both worlds doesn't it. Anyhow I am not a confrontational person at all and want to move on from this as soon as possible so I have been trying to think of a feasible reason I cannot continue to do this eventhough my morals should be a good enough reason...Any advice on this would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks
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Replies

  • tomtom256tomtom256 Forumite
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    Why don't you ask her for the actual facts first and then go from there.

    If there is something that needs sorting she may get the hint without too much of a fuss.
  • She's calling round later so I'll see if I can get any information in regards to what's going on and post back. Cheers
  • Maybe she feels your address is more secure for her personal mail?

    As long as she isn't claiming that she is living at your address for benefit purposes it shouldn't be a big deal.

    Tom
  • Maybe I'm being too suspicious Tom, but I just think there is more to it. Hopefully I'm wrong but I don't understand why it would be such an issue if she is happily living at her boyfriends parents house (this is what I'm led to believe) that there would be any reason to have her address at mine. They know about her condition and they all get on well as far as I'm aware. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt until I speak to her later...Thanks
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    I have also purchased a new house with my boyfriend in which we plan to move into after Christmas so I think it is a good time to stop this but I just don't know what to say to her.

    I will be letting out my old property so she can't continue to do this unless she wants to rent it off me herself

    Isn't that a good reason to say the arrangement has to stop?

    If you have been claiming the single person reduction on your Council Tax, you may want to collect some evidence that she hasn't been living at your address or you may find yourself in trouble.
  • Just a thought. My mum has dementia and rips up all correspondence. Is there anyone at the sister's boyfriend's family like this? If there is, it may be that she never gets to read her mail, or maybe someone else always assumes it's for them and automatically opens all letters?
  • I live in Northern Ireland so that wouldn't apply to me, it's more of a moral issue at the moment. If there is some sort of financial gain in respect of this setup that I am not aware of then it's dishonest and she will have to end. I just want to do it without us having to fall out but on the other hand if she hasn't been trying to hide anything I will be the one feeling bad about the whole thing. Thanks
  • teddysmumteddysmum Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »

    If you have been claiming the single person reduction on your Council Tax, you may want to collect some evidence that she hasn't been living at your address or you may find yourself in trouble.



    I was just thinking about that.


    As the sister is earning well and disability benefit is not affected, I think her earned income status would mean that the boyfriend's family would lose some of their benefits and she feels she owes them, as she pays no rent.


    If she continues to live there, she should make a fair contribution and the family take appropriate cuts, as, otherwise, she is being unfairly subsidised by taxpayers.
  • TigsteroonieTigsteroonie Forumite
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    Do you know if the boyfriend and his parents work? It could be that they are claiming some kind of housing or low income allowances, which they would lose if it came out that one of the household had a good full-time salary coming to the house.

    But if all members of the household work, then I cannot see that they would be claiming any benefits (DLA isn't means tested) so perhaps she has her mail elsewhere to avoid noseyness or destruction, as previously mentioned.

    I think you just have to be honest with your sister and say that you are not comfortable with the situation and, once you move, it cannot continue. Put re-direction in your name only.
    :heartpuls Mrs Marleyboy :heartpuls

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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    She lives with her boyfriends family and for some reason could not use their address for GP, work and most recently she has been claiming disability living allowance.

    If she is working and claiming DLA or PIP, the subterfuge is probably to prevent her BF's family from losing benefits.

    If she is claiming means-tested benefits, then she should be declaring that she is in a relationship and assessed accordingly. If she is using your address so that she can claim as a single person, she is committing fraud.
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