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  • FIRST POST
    • msrt5mp2
    • By msrt5mp2 7th Aug 18, 9:24 AM
    • 16Posts
    • 0Thanks
    msrt5mp2
    New landlord - 25% rent increase!
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:24 AM
    New landlord - 25% rent increase! 7th Aug 18 at 9:24 AM
    Good Morning All,

    I have a huge dilemma that is causing massive strain and hope you can help fill me in on what my rights are and how I can proceed. I have looked at some very useful articles on the forum and site as well as others but as far as I can see most are not applicable to my situation.

    My rented property house has just been sold with me as a sitting tenant and this went through last week. I met with representatives of the new landlord yesterday who tried to get me to sign up to a new tenancy agreement with an increase in rent from £295pcm to £368pcm. This proposed increase of 24.75% comes as quite a shock and is completely unaffordable from my point of view as I am unable to work due to severe mental health issues and rely on limited benefits which are already stretched (I get £265pcm towards my housing benefit and other benefits that barely cover basic living costs).

    Given the poor state of the building both inside and out and the long list of recommendations noted by the Councilís Selective Licencing Representative last month I find this appalling; (such as double glazed windows, front door replacement, kitchen and living room improvements, roofing work and more). This is especially so as this accommodation is vastly inferior to comparable properties in the area that have been available recently for much less than the £365pcm that is being proposed. For instance, one on my street was let last month at my current rent of £295pcm and is in far better condition than mine at present.

    I have been a good tenant for 4 years and I would prefer not to have the emotional disturbance to my mental well-being that a stressful move would cause, however, I simply cannot afford anywhere near what was proposed today. Ideally I would move to somewhere nicer but money is a problem as even if I got one of the comparably priced properties (of which none are available right now, the cheapest currently is around £350pcm) there is still the added costs of moving such as referencing fees, admin charges, van hire etc which again I would struggle to afford. If the improvements suggested by the council were made then perhaps they could justify increasing the rent to this amount in the future but as things stand this is far too much in line with other properties and they claim to have no knowledge of this work report so that is not a factor in this increase according to them.

    I am just very troubled and have had a sleepless night with worry and this is not helping my mental health condition. If you can help in any way or point me in the direction of someone who can offer some advice in this matter it would be greatly appreciated as I do not know how I am going to cope with this situation.

    Thanks and Regards
Page 2
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 8th Aug 18, 9:39 AM
    • 984 Posts
    • 1,126 Thanks
    HampshireH
    It does sound like your banding is incorrect and should be a 1 bedroom benefit (therefore you pay the underoccupancy % for the 2nd room)

    I would challenge your banding and seek for it to be backdated!

    Surely the rate you receive should be for HMO type accommodation

    Goodluck
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 8th Aug 18, 10:19 AM
    • 5,042 Posts
    • 7,575 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    Who is your mental health worker? Do you have a social worker or someone from the local mental health team? Can you ask them to put you onto the waiting list for social housing? It seems to me that someone who has the kind of mental health issues that put you into hospital should be being housed in social housing as I hope you would be deemed to be a vulnerable person.
    • msrt5mp2
    • By msrt5mp2 8th Aug 18, 10:20 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    msrt5mp2
    It does sound like your banding is incorrect and should be a 1 bedroom benefit (therefore you pay the underoccupancy % for the 2nd room)

    I would challenge your banding and seek for it to be backdated!

    Surely the rate you receive should be for HMO type accommodation

    Goodluck
    Originally posted by HampshireH
    Thanks, I will certainly enquire and try to challenge this. However, I have just been looking into it further and as a single person aged 30 it looks like I get the rate for shared accommodation rather than one bedroom because the criteria for single people under 35 is that they only need a bedroom in shared accommodation. Again, as with a 1 bedroom property I wouldn't necessarily mind shared accommodation given I have done so prior to living here with parents, then prior to my MH issues becoming severe for 7 years with friends while at University / working locally and in China but in this region they are the same price or more expensive than these 2 bedroom properties so wouldn't make any difference cost-wise. Perhaps it can be challenged on that basis but the rule seems generic and would not take into account these local circumstances, perhaps the council would - I will have to enquire!

    "You are usually in shared accommodation if you have sole use of one bedroom and share one or more of a kitchen, bathroom, toilet, living room or dining room.

    If you are eligible for Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit, your entitlement will be based on you needing one bedroom in shared accommodation unless you:

    Are over 35 and living in self-contained accommodation with at least one bedroom;
    Are a couple and living in self-contained accommodation with at least one bedroom;
    Qualify for a severe disability premium;
    Are a care leaver aged over 18 and under 22;
    Are aged 25 or over and have been in a hostel for the homeless for three months and received support to resettle in the community;
    Are a recent offender deemed to be a risk to the public"
    • msrt5mp2
    • By msrt5mp2 8th Aug 18, 10:34 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    msrt5mp2
    Who is your mental health worker? Do you have a social worker or someone from the local mental health team? Can you ask them to put you onto the waiting list for social housing? It seems to me that someone who has the kind of mental health issues that put you into hospital should be being housed in social housing as I hope you would be deemed to be a vulnerable person.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    That's a whole different issue that I could discuss for days about both the mental health services and social housing being underfunded and under resourced but it is what it is and unlikely to change under the current government!

    To summarise as briefly as possible. I don't have a mental health worker/support worker or team. I did have both for 3 years after being sectioned but was then discharged to my GP as is routine for most people are unless they are deemed a significant danger to themselves or others or their condition requires enhanced day-to-day care.

    I have bipolar disorder and was very bad and could not function or leave the house and carry out many basic tasks for 2 years after my breakdown and hospitalisation in 2013 but prior to that I was undiagnosed and very high-functioning. I am much better and more stable now and getting there, hopefully not too far from work so am able to live independently and always go to the bottom of the very long list for social housing / support.

    For the last 3.5 years since I have been doing better I have been volunteering at a mental health support group and the situations some people are in who are far worse than me is truly appalling and really shines a light on the issues we are facing in this area. Even though I have seen it up close it is difficult to imagine what somebody who is less capable than I am currently has to go through with things in their illness and daily life as many people who are much more vulnerable and able to function than I am do not get anywhere near the support that they need.
    • hb2
    • By hb2 8th Aug 18, 10:46 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    hb2
    Do you claim PIP? It sounds as if you might qualify for it (due to your chronic ill health) and I think that might put you into the realms of a discretionary increase in your HB (allowing you to claim the 1 bedroom amount, rather than the shared).

    I appreciate there are a lot of 'mights' in that scenario, it would be worth posting on the 'benefits' board if you think it is relevant.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 8th Aug 18, 10:47 AM
    • 5,042 Posts
    • 7,575 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    That's a whole different issue that I could discuss for days about both the mental health services and social housing being underfunded and under resourced but it is what it is and unlikely to change under the current government!

    To summarise as briefly as possible. I don't have a mental health worker/support worker or team. I did have both for 3 years after being sectioned but was then discharged to my GP as is routine for most people are unless they are deemed a significant danger to themselves or others or their condition requires enhanced day-to-day care.

    I have bipolar disorder and was very bad and could not function or leave the house and carry out many basic tasks for 2 years after my breakdown and hospitalisation in 2013 but prior to that I was undiagnosed and very high-functioning. I am much better and more stable now and getting there, hopefully not too far from work so am able to live independently and always go to the bottom of the very long list for social housing / support.

    For the last 3.5 years since I have been doing better I have been volunteering at a mental health support group and the situations some people are in who are far worse than me is truly appalling and really shines a light on the issues we are facing in this area. Even though I have seen it up close it is difficult to imagine what somebody who is less capable than I am currently has to go through with things in their illness and daily life as many people who are much more vulnerable and able to function than I am do not get anywhere near the support that they need.
    Originally posted by msrt5mp2

    Here is the situation as I see it. Just because you are high functioning doesn't mean that you as a person with a disability even if very well controlled should not be able to get social housing. Many people who live in social housing work so it isn't just for people who can't work.



    Just to let you know that I understand about bipolar disorder. In about 45 mins I am going out to do my volunteer job at my local mental health centre.
    • msrt5mp2
    • By msrt5mp2 8th Aug 18, 11:08 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    msrt5mp2
    Do you claim PIP? It sounds as if you might qualify for it (due to your chronic ill health) and I think that might put you into the realms of a discretionary increase in your HB (allowing you to claim the 1 bedroom amount, rather than the shared).

    I appreciate there are a lot of 'mights' in that scenario, it would be worth posting on the 'benefits' board if you think it is relevant.
    Originally posted by hb2
    Yeah I have twice tried and been rejected, it's a lot more difficult to get PIP and even the higher rate of ESA which I do get for people with mental illness although the assessments / scoring are being changed allegedly to make it easier. Many people who are far worse off than me have also been rejected at the group I volunteer with but others who are doing better have been accepted!
    • msrt5mp2
    • By msrt5mp2 8th Aug 18, 11:12 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    msrt5mp2
    Here is the situation as I see it. Just because you are high functioning doesn't mean that you as a person with a disability even if very well controlled should not be able to get social housing. Many people who live in social housing work so it isn't just for people who can't work.


    Just to let you know that I understand about bipolar disorder. In about 45 mins I am going out to do my volunteer job at my local mental health centre.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Yeah I'm not saying I don't qualify and I put myself back on the waiting list when this property went up for sale after being removed when i took this privately rented property in 2015. But there is not much about that I would fit the criteria for, the waiting list is very long, and there are many people who are prioritised ahead of me.

    I was on the list for 10 weeks while I was sectioned and was ready to be discharged after 6 weeks but had to stay in 'voluntarily' for another month to find somewhere to live. In that case my mental health situation was far worse and having nowhere to go made me more of a priority case but I was still a long way off after 10 weeks so I had to go private.

    Kudos to you for volunteering at a mental health centre, with the system being so under resourced anyone who helps out is a huge help, which is why I've been doing all I can myself and anyone who gives up their own time to help out has my highest respect, not just for mental health but in the many other areas where the systems in place are insufficient.
    Last edited by msrt5mp2; 08-08-2018 at 11:54 AM.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 8th Aug 18, 5:05 PM
    • 5,042 Posts
    • 7,575 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    Yeah I have twice tried and been rejected, it's a lot more difficult to get PIP and even the higher rate of ESA which I do get for people with mental illness although the assessments / scoring are being changed allegedly to make it easier. Many people who are far worse off than me have also been rejected at the group I volunteer with but others who are doing better have been accepted!
    Originally posted by msrt5mp2

    What I am being told with regards to PIP is that you have to try several times. You may also need someone with experience in applying for it with a mental illness to help you. CAB might be able to help. Lots of these things appear to require perseverance which is not what people with a mental illness need.
    • msrt5mp2
    • By msrt5mp2 8th Aug 18, 7:50 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    msrt5mp2
    What I am being told with regards to PIP is that you have to try several times. You may also need someone with experience in applying for it with a mental illness to help you. CAB might be able to help. Lots of these things appear to require perseverance which is not what people with a mental illness need.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Yeah the first time I had my two mental health professionals help me and I've wrote many for our group members as most of them would struggle and I do all the organisation fundraising, admin, office work etc as well as things like that for the members - very mixed successes that seem to have no logic at all, a lot of it is down to the assessor on the day.

    Even with ESA the work-capability assessment for the higher rate Support Group I was denied first time round just after coming out of hospital when I was at my worst, a year later when improved I got it!

    Now I think there is virtually no chance if I applied again as I am so much better and should be back to work in the next 12 months, which would solve this issue if I was earning a decent wage again compared to the pittance I get currently plus housing benefit but right now it is awful and very stressful which isn't helping my recovery!

    The Selective Licencing people at the council have been very helpful and this initiative is there to try and improve the deprived areas by not only rooting out bad tenants but also improve the behaviour of landlords and letting agents and they have been extremely unhappy with the issue and are applying a lot of pressure so hopefully it will help in the short term to deal with the situation!
    • diggingdude
    • By diggingdude 8th Aug 18, 10:27 PM
    • 418 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    diggingdude
    No need to answer this publically but if you were section 3 detained and still requiring help/assistance due to your mental health then the local authority should be providing 117 aftercare
    House Deposit - Target £20000 April 2019
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    • msrt5mp2
    • By msrt5mp2 8th Aug 18, 11:07 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    msrt5mp2
    No need to answer this publically but if you were section 3 detained and still requiring help/assistance due to your mental health then the local authority should be providing 117 aftercare
    Originally posted by diggingdude
    No it was section 2, never in any danger of getting a section 3 as my manic/psychotic break was quickly combated by heavy sedatives and I stabilised (relatively speaking) quickly (although they kept me on the heavy sedatives for far to long and I was basically a vegetable for 18 months!). Even the section 2 was lifted after 12 days though it was advised I should stay for at least 1 month for monitoring and full evaluation but I was allowed out for the afternoons with a family member and ended up being in for 6 weeks longer due to a combination of the Consultant being away and me not having anywhere to go.
    • PersianCatLady
    • By PersianCatLady 9th Aug 18, 1:15 PM
    • 578 Posts
    • 571 Thanks
    PersianCatLady
    Thanks, I will certainly enquire and try to challenge this. However, I have just been looking into it further and as a single person aged 30 it looks like I get the rate for shared accommodation rather than one bedroom because the criteria for single people under 35 is that they only need a bedroom in shared accommodation. Again, as with a 1 bedroom property I wouldn't necessarily mind shared accommodation given I have done so prior to living here with parents, then prior to my MH issues becoming severe for 7 years with friends while at University / working locally and in China but in this region they are the same price or more expensive than these 2 bedroom properties so wouldn't make any difference cost-wise. Perhaps it can be challenged on that basis but the rule seems generic and would not take into account these local circumstances, perhaps the council would - I will have to enquire!

    "You are usually in shared accommodation if you have sole use of one bedroom and share one or more of a kitchen, bathroom, toilet, living room or dining room.

    If you are eligible for Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit, your entitlement will be based on you needing one bedroom in shared accommodation unless you:

    Are over 35 and living in self-contained accommodation with at least one bedroom;
    Are a couple and living in self-contained accommodation with at least one bedroom;
    Qualify for a severe disability premium;
    Are a care leaver aged over 18 and under 22;
    Are aged 25 or over and have been in a hostel for the homeless for three months and received support to resettle in the community;
    Are a recent offender deemed to be a risk to the public"
    Originally posted by msrt5mp2

    Seeing as you are under 35 and single, you are being paid the correct amount of LHA.

    I think that in order for LHA to cover your rent you need to move to a HMO / shared house.

    Even moving to a one bedroom flat would (hopefully) save you money.
    • msrt5mp2
    • By msrt5mp2 9th Aug 18, 2:21 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    msrt5mp2
    Seeing as you are under 35 and single, you are being paid the correct amount of LHA.

    I think that in order for LHA to cover your rent you need to move to a HMO / shared house.

    Even moving to a one bedroom flat would (hopefully) save you money.
    Originally posted by PersianCatLady
    Yeah I gathered that would be the case from what I read with regards to the award.

    I would prefer a one bedroom flat but as I said to another respondent the thing about my area and the majority of places within a 5-10 mile radius are actually much more expensive for a 1 bedroom and my 2 bedroom terraced and others in this area are actually the same price or cheaper than virtually all shared accommodation too!

    Fortunately I've been able to get them to honour my existing rent of £295pcm for a 6 month tenancy agreement rather than the £365pcm they proposed and they are working with the selective licencing people at the council to carry out the works and renovations advised.

    I'm sure once that's done at the end of the 6 month tenancy agreement they will try and increase the rent and would be well within their right to given the amount of work that is going to be done (new kitchen, new doors, double glazing fitted throughout plus various other costly renovations) and I wouldn't have a problem with that and either I can afford to pay more by then or I will have to go elsewhere but for now things are concluded reasonably. At the end of the day they have to carry out these repairs and renovations under selective licensing so it makes more sense for them to have someone paying £295 a month while they do them than an empty property which I would imagine is what has caused them to reconsider along with the pressure from myself and the council!
    Last edited by msrt5mp2; 09-08-2018 at 2:23 PM.
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