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  • FIRST POST
    • X200
    • By X200 8th Aug 18, 7:51 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    X200
    Council Property - working away
    • #1
    • 8th Aug 18, 7:51 PM
    Council Property - working away 8th Aug 18 at 7:51 PM
    Hi,

    I rent a council flat in London. I pay all rent/ctax myself and have no benefits for just over 10 years.

    I am trying to understand my situation better but wherever I look all I see is information for people who are on benefits.

    I work away for long periods overseas doing sourcing and I am away for over 8 weeks sometimes. My home is my sole residence and my housemate who is my lodger but is actually my friend, she is also living in my spare room. The council are aware of this.

    My issue is my work keeps me on the road for long periods and I cannot find information to suggest this is OK to do. I can see information allowing people on benefits to be allowed to be away from their home but nothing to indicate if I am bound by the same terms? My rental agreement states I need to inform them if I am away for more than 1 month but the same rental agreement also stated we need permission for a lodger but that's not true so I'm wondering what else is incorrect. I find it hard to believe that I have to inform them of my intention to be away from my home and perhaps what they mean is leaving the property unoccupied which it is not.

    Why not ask the council you might say?

    Unfortunately my council are a shambles and nothing is ever straight forward or done in the interests of efficency. I could give you countless examples but I'd prefer if someone could look at my situation as explained above and keep on topic.


    If anyone has experience or knowledge of this I'd be interested to hear about it.
Page 1
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 8th Aug 18, 8:30 PM
    • 11,251 Posts
    • 9,621 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:30 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:30 PM
    Only your council as your landlord can answer your question, individual councils will have different terms and conditions, which should not contradict any rental legislation.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Aug 18, 8:32 PM
    • 17,350 Posts
    • 48,147 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:32 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:32 PM
    Why would you feel the need to tell them about what is happening in your private life? (even though their agreement says to do so).

    Personally - I'd think "It's still my home/I'm paying rent on it/I need it as my base = end of" and I wouldnt bother to tell them personally. After all you still need it when you are back at Home.
    If you feel like you don't fit in in this world, it's because you are here to help create a new one.
    • sheepy21
    • By sheepy21 8th Aug 18, 8:40 PM
    • 173 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    sheepy21
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:40 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:40 PM
    Haven't you posted this before under another name?
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 8th Aug 18, 8:44 PM
    • 1,145 Posts
    • 1,365 Thanks
    HampshireH
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:44 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:44 PM
    It is an obligation of the tenancy you signed to advise the council of any long periods of absence.

    Your lodger has no right to the security social housing affords you.

    If you fail to tell them they could presume the property abandoned or sublet and serve you with notice seeking possession.

    You do require permission for the lodger if your tenancy says so.you say your council knows so presumably they have given their consent. If they didnt then when they were made aware they would have told you no.

    Just do as your tenancy requires
    • G_M
    • By G_M 8th Aug 18, 9:15 PM
    • 46,155 Posts
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    G_M
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 9:15 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 9:15 PM
    just to add, the council probably has a block insurance policy on all their properties which is why you have to inform them of long absesnces.


    This is just a guess, and is one possible reason.


    Having said that, the insurance would like refer to a property being 'unoccupied' for more than 1 month, and in this case that is not so.


    Irrespective, the tenancy agreement requires you to inform them (for insurance or some other reason) so you should tell them.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 8th Aug 18, 9:21 PM
    • 61,287 Posts
    • 54,529 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 9:21 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 9:21 PM
    Don't upset any of your neighbours.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • TheGardener
    • By TheGardener 8th Aug 18, 9:31 PM
    • 2,495 Posts
    • 2,436 Thanks
    TheGardener
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 18, 9:31 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 18, 9:31 PM
    Most councils are quite happy with lodgers, it actually helps with the single person housing shortage.

    I think most councils need to know if the property is going to be empty for a long time (rather than your personal movements) Its helpful for security and access for maintenance for things like the gas servicing etc.

    Shambles or not - your council are your landlords so be reasonable in your own actions. However, if the lodger was actually your partner - nobody would question that you were working away unless you had a 2nd property - that's a whole other matter. .
    • X200
    • By X200 8th Aug 18, 10:36 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    X200
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:36 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:36 PM
    I agree with you I do not understand why I need to tell them of my movements and I think the condition is specifically referring to the home being in an unoccupied state. It is not.

    I look at other councils terms and conditions and they are much more clear and cover a lot more ground.

    The thing that stunned me was the council specifically state on their terms and conditions we needed permission for a lodger but when I actually enquired they advised I do not need their permission but I must update them on who lives at the property and ensure it does not become over crowded. It's a 2 bed with 2 people in it.

    Just seems odd that a lot of information I have researched indicates:

    If you go to prison your tenancy can still be continued once you return.

    If you have a sick relative overseas you can claim benefits whilst you are away.

    All kinds of reasons listed on the .government website but mostly all relates to persons in receipt of benefits.

    It's a difficult situation as my livelihood depends on working away and if I had the choice I would spend more time at home but bills need to be paid and if they had a problem with this then it's not like I can afford to take time off to move etc.
    • X200
    • By X200 8th Aug 18, 10:59 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    X200
    No, I spent a month researching this issue and the only thing I found on this website with anything relative was from 2011 when a person had a council flat but had a teaching assistant opportunity overseas for 6 months.
    • sheepy21
    • By sheepy21 9th Aug 18, 12:08 AM
    • 173 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    sheepy21
    No, I spent a month researching this issue and the only thing I found on this website with anything relative was from 2011 when a person had a council flat but had a teaching assistant opportunity overseas for 6 months.
    Originally posted by X200
    My bad, the other thread was a similar question

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5859178&highlight=council+house
    • tlc678910
    • By tlc678910 9th Aug 18, 3:40 AM
    • 748 Posts
    • 1,175 Thanks
    tlc678910
    I think their main concerns would be an unoccupied property (for insurance/ housing benefit claims) or if you were subletting and really didn't live there at all. As these don't apply I wouldn't worry but maybe have evidence to hand of your work abroad (employment contract, pay slips etc) and your occupation of the property (utilities, bank statements etc) ready in case you are accused of not living there and subletting.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 9th Aug 18, 8:51 AM
    • 21,689 Posts
    • 17,562 Thanks
    agrinnall
    Isn't the easy answer just to do as they ask and tell them when you're going to be away for more than 1 month? Sometimes the simple solution is the right one.
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