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  • FIRST POST
    anastasia666
    Council Housing Entitlement When Seperating - Please Help!
    • #1
    • 24th Aug 12, 10:51 AM
    Council Housing Entitlement When Seperating - Please Help! 24th Aug 12 at 10:51 AM
    Hi,

    I'm trying to get some advice for my husband. We have decided to split up. I own the house (well, I have a mortgage), and work full time. We have savings of around £12,000 (most of it in my name). He has no income at all. He's signed off work sick but has used up all entitlement to SSP and I've been trying to get him to apply for ESA for a while now.

    I need him to move out as we both need to move on with our lives, but I need to know what sort of options he has.

    I was hoping he would be able to get a council flat, but I'm not sure where we stand because we're married and I own this house. Will that make him low priority, even if I give him a deadline by which I want him to move out?

    He has health issues. He has chronic fatigue that is related to another condition, but has not been formally diagnosed with chronic fatigue. He is not in a position to work again due to his condition, and has applied for medical retirement (still waiting to hear about that).

    I am worried about how he will cope and where he will end up, but I cannot live like this anymore and so really need to try to help him sort this out. He hasn't got the money for a private rented flat (well he has no money at all) and I cannot afford to run 2 homes.

    If anyone could help that would be great. I tried to ring CAB to make an appointment this morning, but they won't make an appointment for us to come in unless he rings up to make the appointment, because I'm a third party or something. Which was really irritating given how long it took to get through to them and how little motivation my husband has to do anything anymore.
Page 1
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 24th Aug 12, 11:52 AM
    • 12,424 Posts
    • 14,212 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #2
    • 24th Aug 12, 11:52 AM
    • #2
    • 24th Aug 12, 11:52 AM
    Forgive me for saying so but I believe that you are 'jumping the gun' about all this.

    Your OH has 'matrimonial home rights'.

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/?a=333768

    You need to get some professional advice about this either with a solicitor or start with CAB.

    Since your OH has no income whatsoever, then if he is unfit for work then he needs to start a claim for ESA.

    If he is not entitled to contribution based ESA because he has not paid sufficient NI contributions, then while you are still together he will not be entitled to income based ESA because you are working full time.

    If you separate and he leaves the house and relinguishes all entitlement to his 'rights' then he could apply for income based ESA. (means tested so would depend on savings etc) If he received this he would be entitled to full HB and CTB for a one bedroomed flat.

    He could make an application for housing but single men do not come high on the list. Private accommodation would probably be the route to take and he could get advice about this from the council housing department.

    Everything hinges on the financial settlement that is agreed to if you end your marriage. (you also mention savings)

    This is a complicated situation so I would urge you to get professional advice.
  • pickpocketlocket
    • #3
    • 24th Aug 12, 11:56 AM
    • #3
    • 24th Aug 12, 11:56 AM
    If you have £12,000 then you have more than enough to cover the deposit for a private rental. Once he has a tenancy he can then claim LHA. He should check the relevant rates, to ensure that he does not agree to rent somewhere too expensive.
  • anastasia666
    • #4
    • 24th Aug 12, 12:08 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Aug 12, 12:08 PM
    Thanks for all your help. I know he has rights over the house, which we will sort out if we do divorce - I didn' tthink I'd have to sort all of that out at this stage, although if he won't be entitled to ESA until we do sort this out, then I guess this is going to get even more complicated than I first thought.

    I didn't think about private rental, as I wasn't sure if there would be anything with low enough rent that would be covered by housing benefit. And yes, I'm more than happy to help him out financially with all this, but I can't afford to run two households indefinitely.

    I'm trying to get him to ring CAB and make an appointment to discuss everything. I tried this morning but they wouldn't make an appointment as he has to ring. Pehaps I should've just made an appointment for me alone to discuss the situation.
  • Mara69
    • #5
    • 24th Aug 12, 12:12 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Aug 12, 12:12 PM
    Your husband is unlikely to be allocated a council home. They are in ridiculously short supply and he will be low priority.
  • Dunroamin
    • #6
    • 24th Aug 12, 3:59 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Aug 12, 3:59 PM
    How old is he?
  • anastasia666
    • #7
    • 25th Aug 12, 2:30 PM
    • #7
    • 25th Aug 12, 2:30 PM
    He's nearly 43. He's just been granted medical retirement from his job, albeit at the lower tier. So they're saying he can't do that job but he can do something more sedentary. I think he will appeal as I cannot see in his condition how he can manage to work.

    We're going to see if we can get a CAB appointment next week to see what the options are. At this stage I didn't want to have to start divorce proceedings etc, but if that's how it has to be then I guess I will have to. I wanted to get him living independantly (and to live independantly myself) and then see if we could rekindle the relationship.

    All of this is incredibly daunting.
    • themull1
    • By themull1 25th Aug 12, 3:37 PM
    • 4,195 Posts
    • 4,113 Thanks
    themull1
    • #8
    • 25th Aug 12, 3:37 PM
    • #8
    • 25th Aug 12, 3:37 PM
    If you think you can rekindle the relationship, why not try and do it whilst you live together, seems a lot of unnecessary expense if you're thinking of getting back together as a couple?
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 25th Aug 12, 5:03 PM
    • 31,390 Posts
    • 19,461 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #9
    • 25th Aug 12, 5:03 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Aug 12, 5:03 PM
    He's just been granted medical retirement from his job,
    Will he receive a pension?
    • bloss0m
    • By bloss0m 25th Aug 12, 6:11 PM
    • 978 Posts
    • 1,132 Thanks
    bloss0m
    I very much doubt he will get a council property as others said he is a low priority obviously waiting lists and entitlement can vary with each council

    I know this is old news but cant see it changing much. If he was older he might have stood a better chance on elderly accommodation but as he is only 43 whe probably fall well short

    http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2009/02/17/wirral-council-house-waiting-list-trebles-92534-22943183/

    WIRRAL has the highest waiting list on Merseyside for families trying to find a home, according to figures released by the Conservatives.

    The data, based on Department of Communities and Local Government information, reveals more than 15,000 households are waiting to find a home, while at the same time there are 4,000 empty properties.
    Last edited by bloss0m; 25-08-2012 at 6:14 PM.
  • anastasia666
    I'm not sure I'd we could rekindle it. I need him to be independent, and I need a complete break. There is a small chance we could sort things out if he could sort himself out, but he will not do that while I'm here to support him.

    I probably sound like a heartless cow, but I have been unhappy for a ling time & have tried to tell him, but nothing changes. I am at the end of my tether & he has pushed me to the point where I no longer feel the same about him anymore. I have spent half my life with him, & thought we would always be together, but for ny own mental health, I cannot stay like this. his own father has told me he doesn't blame me.

    he will get a very small pension. waiting for the amount to be confirmed.
    • mimi1234
    • By mimi1234 25th Aug 12, 8:22 PM
    • 7,485 Posts
    • 65,055 Thanks
    mimi1234
    Your OH has 'matrimonial home rights'.
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo
    He does have these. Someone can't expect the other half to leave the property because they are separating/divorcing.

    Do you have a Housing Options / Housing Advice centre for your local Council? Perhaps Google a contact number and get him to call them once they are open as they will be able to give you advice and further options. It will most likely be look at housing associations and private rentals (they may be able to help with a bond).

    I am sure he will be able to apply for a Council property. The Council cannot turn anyone away (well not our Council anyway). If he has medical issues, he may get some kind of priority for this, but generally single males with no dependants rarely get properties unless they pick areas that are not popular (generally filled with unsavoury sorts that like to use needles and such like, sorry if I am being horrible, but this is a fact with our local Council).

    Also, try and Google housing assocations in your area, they tend to have more properties available on the whole, but their rents and service charges are a lot higher than Council properties.

    Good luck and I hope you find a suitable solution.
    • dithedancer
    • By dithedancer 26th Aug 12, 11:18 AM
    • 224 Posts
    • 82 Thanks
    dithedancer
    my partner and i were in a similar position. he is getting ESA and living in a room with shared facilities all bills paid for in his rent. He gets help with his rent which is £90 a week he receives £70 towards it im told. but its not a nice place to live its dirty, hardly any of the facilities work or are bordering on dangerous and nobody from the council seem to want to know. he suffers from a mental illness and as been told that if his landlord throws him out that he would be classed as priority and given council accommodation. His landlord gave him notice to vacate his room last week because he as reported him. so he went to the council only to be told that he no longer is priority due to him not sending them the forms they sent to him, he has never received these, he thinks its that the landlord as been withholding them but as no proof but it as been known that he has done this before. Anyway he as no where to go and i have been thinking of taking him in as a lodger but the only thing that holds me back is been accused of cohabiting, even though i dont get any benefits i think there is a clause in my mortgage. also my home insurance may be affected. but it may be something you could do.
  • anastasia666
    If we go down the private rental route, will it be possible for him to rent somewhere with no income? I can be a guarantor and could pay several months rent in advance if necessary, but what is the likelihood of anyone agreeing to rent him a place if he has no income? He wouldn't be able to apply for housing benefit until he has somewhere rented, so I'm just concerned about how the hell we're going to do this!
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 26th Aug 12, 10:50 PM
    • 12,424 Posts
    • 14,212 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    I do understand what you are saying.

    It seems that this relationship is making you very distressed.

    You haven't said anything about what your husband wants to do or is he totally apathetic about it all?

    Could you enlist your OH's family support? Could he stay with them temporarily?

    Would he accept a temporary separation for 6 months?

    If he would then you might find a LL who would accept 6 months rent up front and then your OH could pay you back when he gets his HB.

    I am wary about you paying for everything since this could go on for ever and he would never become independent.

    Did you say that he had some savings so that he can use these for deposit, bills, food etc.?

    Sorry I am not being very helpful but I can't 'read' your husband's personality.
  • anastasia666
    My husband is very upset about all of this. He wanted to try to sort things out, but I've told him that its not possible while he's here, as things would go back to the way they were. He said the other night I'd be better off without him.

    Well I have the bulk of the savings, he has around £2000. But it would be split 50/50, so I can take the money out of my ISA for him. But that's all he's got. I'm worried about him blowing what little money he would have. Would he even be entitled to housing benefit, given he has the legal right to stay in this house?

    I am upset about all of this. I've never cried so much in my life, but I need to do this otherwise I will be unhappy for the rest of my life. There are many issues with our relationship. One is that I would like children & he has said that he will never be able to cope with a child, & that the marriage is over if I insist I would like to have a child. If our relationship was good, like it used to be, then I could live with this. But its not. And my clock is ticking.

    He can't stay with family. He stayed with his dad for a week & his dad said he couldn't stay longer. His dad said he needs to stand on his own 2 feet & take some responsibility. But I'm scared at how he can do this. I wish they'd given him the higher tier medical retirement. At least then he'd have something to say he's not fit to work.

    My worry is that he will end up in a horrible dump, & will give up completely & just rot there. I can't bare the thought of that.
    Last edited by anastasia666; 27-08-2012 at 8:11 AM.
  • anastasia666
    In terms of what my husband is like - he stopped getting paid in May. I filled in half the application form for ESA & sent it to him to fill in. He tried once, got confused / tired & left it until yesterday (after his dad & me both pushed him to do it). Hence him having no income. This is what I'm dealing with. I think he thought I'd always just be there to pay for everything & look after him. It's made me feel trapped, as I feel guilty for letting him down. I've given him a good lifestyle, what lifestyle will he have now?
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 27th Aug 12, 9:19 AM
    • 12,424 Posts
    • 14,212 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    There would be no problem your OH claiming benefits if you separated. This is very common. Marriages break up and even if there is a joint mortgage or ownership the one that moves out is entitled to benefits until the financial aspects are worked out.

    The issue of the house etc can be sorted out later.

    Of course this can all been done between yourselves if you agree, but if there are problems then you might need a solicitor.

    Would your OH agree to move out if you helped him with finding a place to live/being a guarantor/paying 6 months up front etc etc?

    Alternatively he could go to a B&B while he gets himself sorted out with applying for ESA and finding somewhere to live.

    It is difficult to suggest things because this is a very unusual situation.

    It is understandable that you are feeling guilty about what might happen to him because of his health issues.

    Have you been to the doctors and discussed with him/her how you are feeling and asked if there is any help/support for both of you?

    If you think that his health problems are at the centre of your relationship breakdown then perhaps the doctor can suggest some support groups.

    In my opinion you have 2 options (and I'm putting this bluntly, forgive me)

    1. Tell him to go, give him the money to get into a B&B and tell him you will help with finding a place, applying for benefits etc etc and then leave him to it.

    2. Or stick with him and get some help from the doctor/professionals to try and save the relationship.

    Neither are easy but I personally can't see any other way.

    I do wish you the best of luck as this is such a sad situation.
  • anastasia666
    Thank you for all your help. He's going to ring CAB tomorrow to try to get some advice. I think he is willing to move out, but we need advice on our options first. It's an incredibly weird situation at the moment, as we are carrying on as if nothing has changed. I have this week off work so I think this is the best way to handle it at the moment. I just feel so sad & upset all the time. I know this is the right thing to do, but I feel like I'm abandoning him when he wouldnt do this to me. I wish I could get the feelings back. I really do.
  • CAB Wyre Forest representative
    Dear anastasia 666

    There is not too much that we can add to what has already been said by the very informative posts that you have.

    Step 1 is to find out what your local authority policies are regarding housing. They may have a large number of one bed properties that they can let to single people.

    Step 2 if they do not have any properties do they have schemes that help people move into private rented accommodation.

    Step 3 given all that you have said about his health and motivation you need to consider what other help he may need. Some Housing Associations offer differing levels of support. it sounds as though there may be an underlying mental health problem and a thorough diagnosis would be of great help to him in terms of housing and getting the support that he needs.

    Step 4 he needs to get some income. Even if he can rent somewhere privately he may be able to claim Housing Benefit but he will still need to pay for utilities and food.

    You will also need to check out with the local authority what their Local Housing Allowance is as that is the level on which they will pay Housing Benefit.

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/benefits_e/benefits_help_if_on_a_low_income_ew/help_with_your_rent_-_housing_benefit.htm will give you more information on housing benefit.

    He can also check his benefit entitlement by following this link http://www.turn2us.org.uk/benefits_search.aspx

    You may also need to consider using some of your savings to help him set up home if you don't want him living in a dump. He will need furniture, electrical equipment etc.
    ďOfficial 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 Iíve broken any rules please report my post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com as usual"
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