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Everything posted by Aviva

  1. What type of tenancy do you have? Is it one where you are all joint tenants on the same agreement? If it is these usually state that tenants are jointly and severally liable for the rent. Which means that if one or more of the joint tenants do not pay, the landlord can chase the other tenants for the money. The other tenants would then be expected to chase/take legal action against the non-paying tenants to recover the money. If all the tenants are jointly and severally liable I don't think it would be found that the landlord did wrong by informing the others of the arrears and that they will be expected to pay if you don't as that is what it states in the tenancy agreement. However, if you all have your own agreements then whether or not you have paid your rent is nothing to do with the others and I think that it would be seen as a data protection breach.
  2. It's the latter. The former wouldn't work as every meter would have to be recalibrated everytime there was a change in the price so that the cost could be worked correctly. Utility bills usually have the balance amount carried over from last period (either credit, debt or nil balance), the amount you have been charged for the current period and any payments received. They also should show how the amount you have been charged has been arrived at - amount of units used at what cost.
  3. I have rarely seen deposit or first month in advance mentioned in advertisements. It's standard to pay these. I've never rented privately without having to pay these at the time of signing the agreement/getting the keys. Anyone looking to rent privately not wanting to pay these or who does not have the money to will find it hard to find a landlord who will let to them.
  4. You need to find out what your Council's allocations/lettings policy says. This will tell you what type of issues would make someone a priority, etc. What actions has your friend taken to find someone to live other than applying for social housing? She may not ever get an offer of a social housing property. I'm in North London and my Council have worked out that about 90% of the people on their housing register will never be offered permanent social housing due to the shortage of properties and the number of people that apply every year.
  5. They know they are in the wrong so are trying to scare you. You were simply stating the fact that if they don't remedy the situation you will have to take further steps. If you haven't done so already you should get some legal advice about whether you can make a claim against the landlord for compensation. But if I were you I would look for somewhere else. The agent and the landlord have shown they don't care about the property or carrying out their obligations. I think you will continue to have problems with them.
  6. I was on JSA for a few months over 10 years ago and my first 3 days were not paid then. So it's not a new thing.
  7. Why do you not want the works done? The Council has a duty to maintain/repair their properties so if this work is needed I don't think they will be able to just accept that you don't want the work done. I know the ALMO/Council I work for has had to take legal action in the past against a few tenants who have refused to have works done/not allowed entry to workmen. Most, if not all, Councils will have a clause in their tenancy agreement and leases that states something about the tenant/leaseholder must allow repair works to be carried out, etc.
  8. Properties should be assessed against the decent homes standard. If they fail to meet the standard then work should be carried out to bring the property up to at least the required standard. If the property meets the standard there is no obligation to carry out any works. The Government has changed the funding recently though so I think a lot of organisations will be finding it hard to do all the work required or to keep to their current programming. For instance the ALMO I work for had been promised all the money we needed and the program was due to be completed by the end of 12/13. However, because of the changes made we had to reapply for funding. We have now not been given the full amount we need, the amount that has been given is now stretched over 4 years (I think) so we can't complete the work in the next 2 years as was planned and only the funding for the 1st 2 years is guaranteed at the moment.
  9. Is it that the Council got an outright possession order and now have a warrant to evict and an eviciton date? Or was a postponed/suspended posession order made (usually made on terms of tenant has to pay current rent plus x off the arrears every week) and then a warrant obtained, etc? If it was the latter then what terms were made and have you stuck to them? If the problem was that it took a long time for your benefits to be paid why do you still owe nearly 3 months worth of rent? Why did HB not cover this amount? You will need to apply to the Court for the warrant to be suspended.
  10. We need more information: Does your partner work? What is their income? It is likely that you would get a sanction for voluntarily leaving work if you applied for JSA. The sanctions can be up to 26 weeks I think.
  11. Nope, unfortunately the only option is to pay and try to get the money back. You could take them to Court but it still won't guarantee that they will actually pay you the money.
  12. You should write to the Council's Insurance Team detailing this incident, the damage to the car and the history of the situation.
  13. "If this is the case are they treated with the same severity??? e.g false claim from the beginning vs change in circumstance." - The are many factors that will affect how lenient Councils and the DWP will be. 1. Believing/having evidence that the person deliberately committed fraud against believing/having evidence that it was a mistake or misunderstanding of the system that led to the person receiving money they were not entitled to. 2. Whether the overpayment/fraud has been going on for a long time especially if they had had a chance to put it right i.e. someone who has consistently handed in the wrong info/omitted info that would affect their claim. 3. If the amount of money that it involves is relatively low i.e. someone who hadn't informed them of a small income increase that would have led to them getting say £5 less per week would likely be treated more leniently than someone who hadn't informed them their partner who earns £30,000 per year had moved in. 4. People who are honest in the interviews and hold their hands up to any mistakes, misunderstandings or even fraud committed will likely be treated more leniently than those who start or continue to lie and are found out. "Is there also a guideline which the investigation team uses to decide the punishments???" - I'm sure there are guidelines but I don't have a copy nor have I seen one. "I know this is unlikely but if any overpayments were made would how the money was spent be taken into account e.g on needed household items??" - Don't think they would take this into account. Remember the DWP and Councils have a duty to investigate reports of fraud and some of these reports are made maliciously or because someone has put 2 and 2 together to make 5.
  14. Paying £13,000 off in March - the DWP will want to see bank statements for the last few months so if your husband applies for JSA in April they will be able to see that you had savings over £16,000 but that the majority was removed shortly before he was made redundant. It is likely that they will see this as deprivation of capital. £13,00 counts as capital and not savings - capital is taken into account as well as savings. So if a claimant owns a house they rent out, etc this would be counted towards whether or not they were over the threshold for means tested benefits. However, if you own a house and live in it this will not be counted as capital as you would not be expected to sell your home to provide money to live on. Savings/capital thresholds for means tested benefits are: under £6,000 - could get full benefit (depending on income) between £6,000 and £16,000 - could still get benefits but they will be reduced over £16,000 - not entitled to any means tested benefits Applying for contributuion based now to avoid future problems - even though savings and income do not affect cont based JSA the DWP usually do ask for the information. This is because the form is for both cont based and income based JSA and they like to have the info so that if they find the person is not eligible for cont based they can then assess them for income based without the delay of getting the relevant documentation. However, unless there is only a short period between claims and it is treated as a rapid reclaim then I don't think they would look at your last claim and what information was given then.
  15. Certainly worth applying to your local Council for Council Tax Benefit. They will then assess you on your household incoem and savings.
  16. Don't have any personal experience with this but this info might help: http://www.advicenow.org.uk/advicenow-guides/problems-with-benefits/tax-credit-overpayments/ CAB Overpayment of tax credits.pdf HMRC Tax Credit Overpayment.pdf
  17. Shall I call the baliff in the morning, saying my husband is on his way into town to hand in a N244 to suspend the eviction? No, call the Court NOW, explain the situation and ask for advice on what to do.
  18. The Council don't evict people. The Courts do. The Council would need to get a Court order, then a warrant of eviction and then the Court Bailiffs must carry out any evictions. I would be very surprised if any Judge would be prepared to evict someone (especially someone elderly) from a Social Housing property because of a hedge or windchimes.
  19. They mean that if you don't give them the info they have asked for they will assume it's because you are trying to hide something or are trying not to provide information that would show you are not entitled to Benefits (and possibly lead to an overpayment being created). So, they would stop your Benefit claim anyway.
  20. I wouldn't think so. As a Landlord the Council are not able to refuse rent payments from a tenant as rent arrears is a ground for eviction. So payments have to be accepted even if it is known that the tenant is breaching one or more of the tenancy rules.
  21. Bembo - Shelter states: If your agreement is for a fixed-term (eg six months), you can leave on the last day of the fixed-term without giving notice. But you must ensure that you do not stay even one day over, or you will automatically become a periodic tenant and will have to give proper notice or come to an agreement with your landlord.
  22. I am a bit confused about what you mean. I work in council housing and have requested and obtained direct deductions from tenant's benefits in the past just like the Council Tax dept do. We most certainly do contact anyone who is still in arrears but who's deductions have stopped because they are no longer on benefits. The money is still owing and we will chase the person and take any legal actions available to us if they do not clear the arrears.
  23. I don't think that the Shelter link will be of much use as this is info about landlords evicting tenants. The op is not the landlord of the property and his ex is not a tenant. The easiest thing would be for the ex-girlfriend to take over the tenancy and this could be done but the landlord would have to agree. The best thing would be to speak to your landlord, explain the situation and ask if he is willing to let your ex be the tenant bearing in mind that she was and is still living in the property. What is her financial situation? Can she afford to pay all the rent herself or would she have to make a claim for housing benefit/local housing allowance? Did you have to pass any credit checks, if so would she also pass these checks? One of the main considerations for the landlord will be will the rent get paid if that person became their tenant. Here is a link for Shelter with relationship breakdown and renting advice: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/families_and_relationships/relationship_breakdown/options_for_tenants I would give them a call though as if you are on a fixed term tenancy this could cause a lot of problems as you would not simply be able to give notice now and end the tenancy that way.
  24. Do you receive the care component of DLA or Attendance Allowance? If not then it would be best to go back and check with them that they have calculated the right figure. It would only be a small deduction. The current fugures for non-depedants deductions for CTB seem to be: Non-Dependant's weekly income Amount of weekly non-dependant deduction Receiving income support or job seekers allowance (income based) Receiving pension credit guarantee credit Nil Nil Aged 18 or over and not working over 16 hours a week and not receiving income support or job seekers allowance (income based) £2.30 Working over 16 hours a week and gross income under £178.00 £2.30 Working over 16 hours a week and gross income £178.00 to £305.99 £4.60 Working over 16 hours a week and gross income £306.00 to £381.99 £5.80 Working over 16 hours a week and gross income £382.00 and above £6.95
  25. I don't understand are you saying that there is not enough time to do the activities or that there are not enough jobs in your area for you to apply for?
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