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  1. . Hi, I have lived in a rented property for the last 3 years, on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, no fees charged and it rolled over each year. I have never been late with my rent and obeyed the many rules in the building. I have a room and shower room but the 2 kitchens are shared with other tenants on each floor. In July this year the building was sold to new owners who do not live locally and they appointed a local Estate Agency to manage the property on their behalf. They put a letter through our doors with the new bank account details for rent and informing us of their location and contact details. Then they issued new tenancy agreements. I took the agreement to the office and questioned some of the changes from the previous agreement, even though it is still an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. I was not happy that we could not move out until the end of the 6 months period of the tenancy and there will be a fee charged to draw up a new agreement. Also they are going to look at the utility charges (electricity, gas, water, council tax and wifi are all included in the rent) and if they seem high they will average out the cost and anything over what they feel it should be will be added to our rent. Is this legal? I explained that some tenants do three loads of washing per week, on 2 or 3 hour programmes on the automatic washing machines. I wash clothes once on a 20 minute wash. I also never use the ovens and the hobs, only occasionally in the winter to warm a tin of soup for a few minutes. They control the times the heating and hot water come on and go off but I dont use the radiator in the small hall between my room and the shower room, and do not shower every day as I am retired. People working all day may need to do so. I think it unfair that I should have to pay a surcharge for utilities when I don't use as much power or water as many other tenants. They also plan to change the rents at the end of the 6 months so that everyone is paying the same. As some rooms are larger than others some were less expensive than others. I asked about this and was told that mine was one of the higher rents, so not to worry, even though they are putting the rents up to the same level as the highest. I am on a state pension and housing benefit which does not cover the full amount of rent. Again, are they entitled to charge the same for rooms even though the sizes vary considerably? There are clauses in the agreement about nuisance tenants and even though many complaints have been made about 2 of the current tenants the agent says they need more proof. I was assured that I would not have to pay the utility surcharge but that was verbally and I have nothing in writing, the same applies for the fees to draw up a new agreement every 6 months. Is this normal practice and legal? Considering the agent told me that nothing would change in relation to our previous terms. I would welcome any information about the legality of these terms imposed on sitting tenants with no notice. We were informed the building had changed hands after the fact. Thanks
  2. Hi, I reach state pension age in September and I understand my Universal Credit will stop and I will need to claim Housing Benefit separately. The situation is unclear about PIP. I have been awarded PIP until 2030, but the government website says you cannot get PIP and a state pension and need to apply for Attendance Allowance instead. The Attendance allowance says you cannot start a claim with State Pension, or am I totally misunderstanding this? So baffled.
  3. Thanks, I will try to follow your advice and not stress out - easier said than done but I really appreciate the help and encouragement from the replies I have received today.
  4. Hi unclebulgaria67, Thank you so much for the information which is very helpful. I realise this system does not in any way favour people who already suffer anxiety and related issues but I guess it's a case of one step at a time. I cannot help worrying though about all the 'what ifs' that may or may not happen. I always assume the worst possible outcome which increases the anxiety at every stage of the process. Hopefully things will not be as bad a anticipated. Thanks you again for the detailed information.
  5. Thank you brassnecked for the response. My local council welfare rights department only deals with people by telephone, which I find difficult. I cannot think quickly enough about what else I need to ask and so they end the call before I get a chance to cover everything I needed to talk about. I will try the CAB to see if they can provide someone to help with the form filling and attending the assessment but I am not sure they offer this in my area.
  6. Honeybee13, thank you for the reply and the links to the CAB information, which is very helpful and I think answered my question. The process is extremely daunting but we don't really have much of a choice do we?
  7. Hi, I will need to apply for Universal Credit soon and would like to know if anyone can answer a question I have. I have various medical issues and my GP will provide a sick note or fit note, whatever they are calling them these days. If I present this with my application to be placed in the higher group, not fit enough to consider looking for work at this time, will I receive payments immediately and then this might be reviewed after an assessment? Or do I have to wait for an assessment before received this extra payment as part of UC, which should they agree with my GP would then be backdated? I am really dreading this whole process. Any advice/information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  8. Thanks Lilly that's what I was beginning to think too. People tend to talk rubbish - don't know why they tell people they got an early state pension if they didn't!
  9. HB thanks, I don't know where I saw that terminally ill people can get an early state pension. I also cannot find it online but I know of people that have done it. And no, not even locals can claim benefits here! I should be OK but as there is a petition circulating at the moment about reversing the increase in pension age back to what it was for people who started work believing they could retire at 60, I thought it might be worth enquiring about exceptions in unusual circumstances. I know with people living longer the pension age had to rise but that should have applied to people now joining the workforce and not people that had already worked 40 plus years and are now expected to work another 6.
  10. Thanks for the reply but I was in the UK earlier this year to try to work again but ended up in hospital. On discharge I could not find accommodation and the local council where I had been staying with a friend informed me that I was not entitled to emergency housing, having been out of the country. Which is why I had to leave again against medical advice. I may have enough savings to last 6 years but had heard of people receiving their state pensions early in certain circumstances and was seeking further information on this, should it be necessary to try to claim it. I was in contact with my MP in 2010 about my ESA and considered contacting him again now, but as I am not resident in the UK would he be able to help with information? That is why I posted here, to find out more information. Thanks anyway. My current condition is manageable if I do not have to mix with large numbers of people, something I would have to do to apply for JSA - the job centre experience is far too daunting! As I have already had an appeal against losing ESA turned down I would not want to go through that whole process again. As I said, waiting for an appeal now means switching to JSA, which I cannot do. I will just have to stretch my savings as far as possible and hope they last 6 more years!
  11. Actually Honeybee13 State Pensions are paid early in certain circumstances, I was wondering if anyone knew the exact criteria.
  12. I am not sure if this is the correct place on this site for queries about the State Pension but could see no mention of pensions anywhere so someone might point me to another section. This is a little complicated but here goes. I was on ESA back in 2010, got put in support group for 6 months (letter appeared 2 weeks before my appeal hearing) but then 4 months later I had to start the process again with another E50 (?) form to fill in and new ATOS medical. Of course I failed the medical and lodged an appeal immediately in I think June of 2011 - it took some time to get the ATOS appoinment. My appeal took even longer, although then you still received the basic ESA of around £70 per week while awaiting appeal. I believe now this is not the case and you have to go on JSA until the appeal is heard, something I could not cope with. I finally got the appeal hearing in October 2012 which I failed and my benefit was immediately stopped. Due to my health issues (mental health) I find it impossible to face going into the Job Centre to register for JSA. I had to give up my flat and stay with various friends around the country. In 2013 I managed with some difficulty to find work, through an agency which was very irregular, only 4 shifts in two months, while I was staying with a friend. I then found a permanent position but only lasted 8 weeks as it was more than I could cope with. Faced with the prospect of not having any income until my state pension in 2020 (I am one of the unlucky ones who has to wait until I am 66) I took my modest savings (under the limit for claiming benefits) and came to live in Turkey, where I can manage on just £30 per week for everything! However I am not sure my savings are going to last another 6 years, even here prices go up. what are the criteria for receiving the state pension early (although technically not early as all my working life I thought I would be claiming it this week when I turn 60!) on health grounds? I know if you are terminally ill you can get it sooner but how do they class terminal illness? My condition is permanent and although I have repeatedly tried to work during the past it does not last long before I am again unable to do so. I cannot cope with going into the Job Centre to answer their questions and fill in their forms. I am not comfortable around people which is why I cannot last long in jobs. I know this sounds like a feeble excuse but I can assure you it is a very real problem. Receiving my pension early would relieve all the stress of having to come back to the UK and try to sign on for JSA or try (and fail again) to claim ESA and then try to find a flat and live on £71 per week, which as everyone knows is incredibly difficult. Is there anyone on here that can point me in the direction of who to contact for answers to this question? Many thanks for reading.
  13. Thanks, thought they were out of order asking for cash.
  14. Hi, I bought a Samsung laptop from PC World in July 2012 and after just 16 months the hard drive has developed a fault. I emailed the company and they say they will send someone to collect it for inspection for a fee of £50. If the fault is a manufacturing fault they will fix it and refund the £50 if it is damage caused by use and not their fault I do not get the £50 back. Is this legal?
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