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Worried about my niece...

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
5 replies 920 views
RandyRosRandyRos Forumite
561 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
she's been left by her live in partner of several years, with a 2 year old child to look after and about £2k in debt that he ran up on the rent and council tax. He had been responsible for paying them while he was working, while her wages paid for other things. He stopped paying them and bought cocaine instead. :mad: She's managed to get him out but now she can only work weekends, when someone can look after her child. She's getting Child Benefit and Universal Credit, but I wondered if there was maybe a charity or something that might help her?
Her partner lost his job when the whole drugs thing was discovered and now he won't work, so the Housing Association are making her liable for the full debt (the tenancy is in both names)
I know it's a blind stab in the dark and I've been googling with no luck, but can anyone help please?
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all :)


  • _shel_shel Forumite
    3.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    My advice would be to head to her nearest citizens advice when they have a open drop in. Take all paperwork relating to debts, benefits and her tenancy agreement.

    They will point her in the right direction of support locally and get the debt into manageable payments and check if she is actually liable.

    She needs to look at childcare options from the government. She can get most of it paid through universal credit if she can find appropriate childcare. Allowing her to work more.
    Don't Buy The S*n
  • WhenIam64WhenIam64 Forumite
    1.1K posts
    so the Housing Association are making her liable for the full debt

    Some HA have Benefits specialists (so they can do affordability checks) or have a relationship with the local CAB/Advice agency. If you can check the HA website, it should have information there. Or call the Neighbourhood Management team and ask them.
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.

    The law is like an ocean - have a swim but don't drown.
  • edited 14 November 2019 at 8:03AM
    hucksterhuckster Forumite
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    edited 14 November 2019 at 8:03AM
    Was the Universal Credit claim a couple claim with the partner or has UC only been arranged since the end of relationship ?

    If the Housing tenancy was in 2 names and there is only 1 person on the UC claim, then they should contact UC to advise them of the untidy tenancy situation. This is to ensure that your neice receives the Housing amount based on her being liable for 100% of the rent. If she fails to do this, then she may receive a reduced amount of Housing getting her into more debt.

    Also if your neice is in rent arrears of 2 months or more, your neice or her Housing Association can ask for the UC Housing to be paid directly to the Housing Association.

    As advised by shel, neice could find more work and to do this, she may need to sort out childcare. The Government website Childcare choices has information. It may be worth your neice speaking to a Work Coach at the Job Centre about her situation and they will hopefully give some useful guidance. Is she calls UC on 0800 328 5644 they can discuss the UC claim issues and book a Job Centre appointment.

    Important that your neice speaks to the Council about Council Tax issues. If she has reduced income, then perhaps she can claim a reduction. Councils won't want to backdate any such help, so this is an urgent task, to save more debt being incurred.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
  • Thank you for all the replies, I will pass them on.

    I don't know if the UC used to be in joint names. All I know is she was getting it while working pretty much full time after her partner lost his job.
    If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all :)
  • elsienelsien Forumite
    23.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    She also needs to find out what the situation is with regards to having the tenancy changed to her sole name. The ex may need to agree to this.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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