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  1. Bit fed up now: Been involved with social services on and off since I was 18 due to registering as partially sighted. Never really got help from them. In December, I had a meeting with my then social worker and a friend. (the friend was there to help me - I can't always explain myself) I was then passed on to someone else and this is where the problems began. She thought it was ok to take me to noisy places, despite having hypersensitive hearing. (Hyperacusis) She can't understand that I need at least 24 hours notice. Or that I can't deal with strange people. I asked her to come to a meeting with me at college. This ended with her and "disability support" both suggesting that my psychiatrist is a liar and that I don't have Autism; but have anxiety instead and that counselling would solve this issue. No-one has ever diagnosed or even suggested I have anxiety. She then took me somewhere, which I wasn't happy with; as it was with a large group of strange people. I was then given a lecture on how I have to get a job. Bear in mind that DWP / ATOS have declared me unfit for work and have placed me in the support group. The letter from DWP says I don't have to look for work. She then told me I have to meet someone and without my permission, passed my mobile number on. I was then contacted and asked about an appointment I suggested a date and wasn't given a response. I was then sent a text message 25 minutes before this appointment asking me if we're still meeting today. There were 2 weeks between the message I sent and the appointment. Call me unreasonable; but is it too much to ask for someone to confirm an appointment and give me more than 25 minutes notice? Around this time, I started getting ill and was having a load of personal issues. (I was being harassed) I had to keep putting appointments off and was sent an email. This email basically told me if you don't meet me on Wednesday, I am not working with you. Am I not allowed a life? I'd made plans with friends to do stuff. My social worker then left. After this, I sent an email to social services explaining what happened and received a phone call where I was asked to identify my care needs. Something I am not able to do. I also have a few complex medical conditions. She informed me that she's my new social worker. I received an email yesterday regarding a meeting next Monday. Except, I can't make it. I have no way of getting there and don't know the area at all. The response to me saying that was, being told the name of the road. That still means nothing to me. I have a vague idea where it is; but it's about 7 miles away with no direct bus route. The closest bus that would take me there, involves a 30 minute walk to a strange place. I am getting fed up now. I am constantly being put with people who don't understand my needs and think doing things to me that hurt is ok. I have explained time and time again that noise hurts and that I can't deal with strange people. But no-one's listening to me.
  2. hi everyone, today i recieved a letter from the pension service informing me from the 15th may 2019 benefit rules are changing. in most circumstances this means that both members of a couple will need to have reached pension age to be eligible to make a new claim to pension credit or housing benefit. i am 66 this year and my wife is 61 so my wfe wont retire untill she reaches 66 in 5 years so does that meen if i decided to make a claim for housing benefit id get nothing untill me wife reaches 66? many thanks for any advice or help
  3. Defence Secretary extends housing offer to veterans READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defence-secretary-extends-housing-offer-to-veterans
  4. Commission applies to High Court to appoint an Official Receiver to charity -Thrift Urban Housing Limited READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/commission-applies-to-high-court-to-appoint-an-official-receiver-to-charity
  5. My landlord wants to increase my rent, and so he has asked me if I can get an increase from my Housing Benefit. I'm in shared accommodation with a private landlord, and I'm also claiming ESA. What are my options?
  6. Hi All, My mum who is 74, and working full time for a big food retailer needs to retire. I have manged to convince her that she needs to quit her job, and move back near to me. She called the HMRC to ask about her state pension, and apparently its only worth £44 per week! not sure how thats possible, but anyway, she can apply for Pension Credit to receive the minimum £163. still rubbish. but hey. So the issue is around housing benefit. I have recently got a second property which is a 2 bed flat. I have convinced my mum to accept moving into this at a cheap rate. I could rent it privately for £875 a month, but, clearly i cant do that to my mum. I do need to clear £650 though to break even on my expense. Anyway the question. She hasnt quit yet, will do this in the next couple of weeks, but i shall start the process to apply for pension credit as soon as she does, but what about housing benefit? Is it better for her to declare the real rental value of the property £875 and hope she gets more benefit allowance which would help her or because she is on her own, and should not be in a big property she claims for the reduced amount that i happy to let it for to her at £650? Because of pension credit will she get 100% cover or reduced because of 2 rooms. it does not seem clear. if she isnt going to get 100%, then it seems sensible to me to claim the higher amount so that any shortfall is closer to the £650 making it not reliant on her to use any of her meagre £163 pension to cover rent. Id like to help her out and claim the higher amount so she has more, but am weary that a claim could be challenged
  7. A friend of mine who is 27 yrs old had a 4 bed housing asso property in one part of town but had to change over to a newer part of town and a smaller property which is 2 bed with same housing asso. Now shes had to sort the housing benefit out for it and was told it was straight forward her being a tenant anyway. She went to sort out the housing benefit today and has been told she has to make a new claim for it which has a 4 week deadline and that she now needs to apply for Universal Credit even though shes on JSA. They are saying she has to apply for UC now which will take 6 weeks and that she'll be without anything till its sorted but she'd also run past the 4 wk deadline and would owe 2 weeks full rent. She has really bad depression and mental illness ... hence how she was given sick notes from her doctor as shes unable to work. Now the housing asso has also told her she will receive £60 per week on UC but from that she is responsible for paying the HA £30 per week as they are saying she won't be entitled to full housing benefit her only being 27 yr old.
  8. Hi all, Thanks in advance for your assistance, my wife has receive a letter today with the below information: "My records show you have an outstanding balance of £279.72 in respect of ****** (address) for the period 7.1.13 to 17.2.13" My question would be ... is this enforceable and would the statute barred rule come into play for the amount of time that passed? Thank you
  9. Hello All, Ive been a HA tenant for just over a year , so I'm now an assured tenant. Last year I recieved a list of service charges, which at the time seemed a little off/excessive, but being on a starter tenancy I sucked it up as to not cause trouble. This year however, I would like to dispute some of the charges and I was wondering what the best way of doing it was. I've looked all over the intertubes but there is very little out there. I've emailed the contact address on the letter outlining my concerns, and I'm awaiting a reply, but forwarned is forarmed as they say. I would appreciate anyone with experience of this chipping in. I'll just quote from my email to the HA, so you can see some of the issues I have with their charges... "Communal Cleaning: £315.82. I have lived here for over 12 months now and have never seen a cleaner at the property, or evidence that someone other than the resident have cleaned the very small communal area. Can you provide the invoice and a schedule of their visits please. Communal garden and grounds maintain: £318.39 As far as I can see , this building doesn't have any communal gardens or grounds. It fronts directly onto the street and has no grounds to the rear, other than the church graveyard that is maintained by the parish. Can you explain which "grounds" are being maintained and when I would expect to have seen the maintenance people? Could I also see an invoice for this charge? Communal electricity: £220.31 The communal area has 1 small heater and a light. My total bill for last years electricity for lighting, heating etc a whole flat was £750. I would like to see a bill or electricity meter reading as I believe £220 is excessive for such a small area."
  10. My 27 year old son rang me today saying he has received a letter Housing benefits from when he was in a bedsit at 18 attending college He moved and they have just sent him a letter saying he owes £500 and they are taking it direct from his wages as he did not inform them he had moved on time.. . He has always worked since leaving the property and has always paid council tax at his new addresses for 9 years and been on the electoral roll. He has never received any letters of over payment and has no knowledge of this over payment. I was guarantor at the estate agents for the bedsit and i never received anything. Is this legal for them just to take from his wages, he doesn't remember dates that long ago. He is on low income and he and his partner pay the rent on their home £1,000 a month as they both work. He has not claimed housing benefits other than for the 6 months he was at the bedsit 9 years ago. They want to take an extra 25 per week from his wages, he already pays £40 a month for arrears of council tax from his previous property. I think its unfair that they can chase an over payment without contacting you when you have been legally available on electoral role and council tax, we can not prove that he did not tell them when he moved as its so long ago. Any Advise please
  11. Hi, I was driving my Mini Cooper (2011) on my new housing development. I drove over a speed bump which was quite high, and as the car came down from the speed bump, the bottom of the car (sump tank) caught a raised drain directly after the speed bump. This resulted in the entire engine oil being leaked across the road. I didn't realise until around quarter mile down the road the oil light came on. I didn't drive the car any further and had to have it towed to a garage. The garage have said that it doesn't look to have damaged the engine, and it will cost £800 to fix everything due to no after market parts being available. However, I was hoping to get some advice on how to proceed. The roads aren't the responsibility of the Council yet, and are technically meant to be maintained by a site management company. They have refused to admit it's their fault. I'm not sure whether to: 1) Go through our insurance and call on their services to repair the vehicle and attempt to reclaim the costs from the site management. 2) Pay the repair costs ourselves and file a small claims court case to try and build a case to recuperate the costs. There were no signs on the road to say raised drains would be higher than the rest of the surface. The speed limit is 20mph which wouldn't have been exceeded due to only just turning out of our street and having to brake to go over the high speed bump. Thanks in advance for any suggestions on the best way to deal with this. I have attached a picture of the drain and road after the incident. As you can see the oil has poured out after coming in contact with the drain. The speed bump is located where the picture was taken from.
  12. Hi, I would greatly appreciate some assistance with this parking issue. Apologies that this is a bit long – have tried to summarise it. I live in a cul-de-sac (close) and until a few years ago the local authority tried to CPZ the close but found that it was private land belonging to my housing association. It is a small close with bays that residents park in. The local authority persuaded my housing association to get a private parking contractor which caused an almighty confusion between the residents and the housing association. To cut a long story short, PEA Parking got the contract. Signs were erected and one letter sent out about registering with PEA for a virtual permit. The housing association then stated that they would not get involved in any disputes with parking and disowned themselves from the matter. At that time, my son had a blue badge and I was given a mobile permit that I could put in my windscreen when parked. My car broke down on the close and I purchase another second hand one and informed the local housing office of the events of then I would be disposing of the old car. The then housing officer emailed PEA and c.c'd me into the email. Around the end of 2016 my housing association informed us of a consultation of merging with another housing association and this would be on-going for a while. Unbeknownst to us, the local office closed down as staff was restructured, no phones were answered for months - office telephone numbers were changed and all we were getting were mail shots about the merger continuing. At the same time, my permit expired and there was no appearance from PEA so we the residents assumed that they no longer had the contract - I had left my car outside my door for months when on leave and saw no parking contractor - let alone not being able to get through to head office to query where the new local office was. On 15 May 2018, I had a medical appointment for a minor op. I returned home and to my surprise and horror found a Parking Charge Notice on my windscreen. I was shocked as they had not patrolled the close for over 1 year and even the neighbours were sure they were no longer the contractors and felt that when a new one got the contract, we would be informed. I appealed and sent evidence on the 28 May 2018 on the following grounds: 1. The Notice mentions the old housing association's (landlord) name which no longer exists. 2. My letter from my housing association dated 15 January 2018 re 'Change of Landlord' the old landlord ceased to exist on the 2 January 2018. 3. Letter confirming that I pay service charges for the maintenance of the car park so can park in the bay. 4. Their Notice is difficult to read as dyslexic and font is very small. PEA acknowledged receipt of my appeal on the 1 June 2018 stating that if I do not hear within 14 days – do not assume it has been cancelled. I had to contact the British Parking Association who stated that I should have had a decision within 36 days and they would contact them. I emailed PEA on the 12 July 2018 for a decision/POPLA reference number. PEA replied on 19 July 2018 – appeal rejected on the following grounds: - No displaying a valid permit and warning signs etc. - My old landlord still exists as the rebranding with the new landlord has not yet been completed. The parking restriction times were between 10.00am – 2.00pm Monday to Friday. There has been no written confirmation from PEA or the new landlord to confirm that they will continue to have the contract nor had I been contacted on the expiry of my son’s disabled mobile permit to change it to the virtual permit. Where do I stand? Any information appreciated.
  13. Hi all, its been awhile since I last needed your help but here goes.. ..I am a private tenant and back in February the boiler in my property became very poorly. I contacted the landlord to arrange a replacement. We came to an agreement for me to pay for the new boiler and installation and for the rent to be reduced over a two year period for me to recover the cost. All was going well until recently. We receive Housing Benefit and recently the local council decided to do a financial assessment and needed to know why the rent had been reduced. I sent them all the paperwork including the agreement with my landlord and explained why the rent was reduced and for how long. The council took this as the rent that I now pay and reduced the housing benefit accordingly. They also now want me to pay back the overpayment back to February, even if the landlord now puts the rent back to the original payment the council want proof that the boiler has been paid for, this leaves me out of pocket. Has anyone any idea where I go from here. Trevor
  14. Grading under review for Westmoreland Supported Housing Limited READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/grading-under-review-for-westmoreland-supported-housing-limited
  15. My niece and her mother were subjected to an arson attack on their home over 4 weeks ago. Police are investigating and the fire brigade have already been and reported that the occupants should not be living in the property due to fire damage and smoke inhalation. They live in a multi-occupancy home, with their home on one side and a neighbours on the other. Their neighbours home also sustained some damage on their doors and smoke inside their home. Hyde has sent numerous contractors to try and clean the soot from the walls but it is still there, electricians to put in temporary battery powered lights and a surveyor as there is structural damage. They have also written a report for Anti social behaviour (which is what they are classing the attack as) but refuse to move them to temporary accommodation and will not provide them will a letter to take to Lewisham Housing. My nieces mother has liver problems and attends A&E frequently due to inhaling the fumes from the soot which is causing her difficulty breathing. Is there anything they can do:?:
  16. Hello Everyone. I visited a friend on 29/04/17 in the early evening. Today, 20/05/17 I received a letter from CPM UK Car Park Management that a PCN was issued on 16/05/17 in relation to my visit on 29/04/17. An operative did not attend to see the apparent parking, a tennant at the flats takes photos of cars, sends them to CPM who then issue PCN's The area is split into two parking areas, one on the left, one on the right, with main entry driveway down the middle. I have attached 11 photos for you to look at. The block of flats is owned by a social housing association that has its head office in Newbury, West Berkshire. As you can see from the photos there is : 1 - no mention of permits being needed on any of the signs, 2 - only a couple of the bays have numbers which I think relates to flat number 3 - there are no designated visitor parking bays 4 - even though its private land, surely visitors are allowed to drive to the site and park up to visit a tennant. CPM001 - Location of Parking sign nearest to where my car was parked CPM002 - Close up picture of the sign CPM003 - The bay my car was parked in when receiving the PCN CPM004 - A parking bay with a designated flat number CPM005 - Majority of the bays do not have designated flat numbers, or visitor parking signs CPM006 - Sign on entry stating it is private parking CPM007 - Parking sign in right hand side car park CPM008 - Cars parked in bays with no designated flat numbers, or visitor parking CPM009 - Vehicles park on the main entry road / pavement CPM010 - Vehicles park on the main entry road / pavement CPM011 - Vehicles park on the main entry road / pavement I read that as its private land, then the PCN is actually an invoice (contract law), and that by appealing you are agreeing that the invoice is valid. I have also emailed DVLA today to see if CPM are legally allowed to get driver vehicle details from DVLA. But Im bothered by the fact that the "Offence" took place on 29/04, The offence wasnt recorded at CPM for 17 days, and then it took fours days for the letter to arrive. I wanted to know if there is a nice letter to send, which doesnt accept liability, but tells CPM they're talking rubbish and Im not paying. Sorry trying to upload photos, whats the spec needed ? Thanks Phillip
  17. After some advice here folks. Last August HB contacted me saying I had been over paid to the sum of £700, Down to the fact changes in tax credits, changes in tax code etc and I didn't notify them. I admit I didn't, it was my own fault and so my housing benefit was getting reduced to repay the overpayment, lesson learned, notify them of everything. So imagine my surprise when the exact same thing happened again this August, another overpayment for £400. I did notify them of everything this time. I disputed this, I gave them times and dates when I called in to notify them but they were not interested. When my money wasn't in last week I phoned to inquire why, they told me a pack of lies, saying it was a system error, nothing to worry about, payment will be in the next payment run. The next day in comes the overpayment letter. I put it bluntly to them any issues was down to whoever answers there phones, they are totally incompetent, not down to me, I played my part, I notified them and even gave them times and dates after searching my phone records, they would neither confirm or deny it was there fault. I have also put this in writing but I suspect it won't matter who is in the wrong it will still be my fault and i'll have to repay it. Is there anything else I can do?
  18. All supported housing funding to be retained in welfare system - Housing Benefit READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/all-supported-housing-funding-to-be-retained-in-welfare-system
  19. Hi there, sorry if this ends up a bit long winded but, I really need an answer. My son 40 yrs with mental health problems and his long term partner split up at the weekend they have two girls. She is still living in the property they bought together but, he needs to find a flat . We have been told that because his name on the mortgage that he will not be able to claim housing benefit, does anyone know if this correct? His partner on the other hand said she was told he could claim as she is living in the house with the kids. He is unable to work due to his health so couldn’t pay rent himself. Any advice would be appreciated
  20. Hi all, firstly I'm posting on behalf of my step son & GF, as they are unsure of how to respond to/progress with their currently situation. Background BF / GF living with GF's parents. GF becomes pregnant. Both 'kicked out' - asked to find alternative accommodation. Accepted as 'Homeless' by the Local Authority, and that they have a 'priority need'. Currently in emergency Council-owned accommodation (pretty decent actually) in the centre of town. GF doesn't drive, BF has small mbike only. BF employed locally. GF was in college locally before pregnancy but now not. They have made applications to the Local Authority allocation scheme for housing, placed an interest bid on a property they were matched with, within the local area. Upon visiting, found it in poor condition, at the far end of a maze-type newish estate, and around 1.5 miles outside of the town centre. Please see attached the Local Authority letter, informing them that if they reject this property then the Council will discharge their obligation to house them. Since this letter has been received there has been a significant change of circumstances - BIRTH. GF has giving birth at 27 weeks ! A lovely baby girl, who is doing really well - as is mum GF & daughter are in a NICU approx 90 mins away from home town and will be for a substantial length of time. Clearly there will be a significantly increased requirement for local hospital interaction in the short term. Issue: BF & GF want to reject the visited property, but are worried the Council will them wash its hands of their housing requirement. Their reasoning is mainly that the location will leave GF isolated from amenities and her support network. Clearly the latter is now more important than it was at the start of the application, due to the significant change in circumstances. So, how do they proceed...? I'm presuming they should write to the Housing Advice and Homeless Manager specified on the attached letter, but what should they say..? Is there something standard available, or should they just blurt it all out and hope for the best..? Can the Local Authority really remove them from their care following such a change in circumstances....? Look forward to your comments... CLST1 2018-06-05.pdf
  21. My partner, in a previous relationship, managed to get into housing benefit overpayment situation. It is being paid back through a DEA to the council but at a very small % of part time working at minimum rates of pay. It will take decades. I thought I'd ask here first, would a full and final settlement figure be an appropriate thing to seek under these circumstances, and if so, what figure. thanks
  22. Hello, Sorry if I have posted this incorrectly, I'm at my wits end and so worried dont know what to do, I was claiming housing benefit, and then my partner moved in, at this time we were both working part time. I re-applied for a joint claim, Apr 2013 and gave wageslips and bank statements and so on to which I was advised I would still be entitled to Housing Benefit. In June my partner increased his hours from 20 to 37 and I went on my councils website in May to advise that there had been a change in circumstances and also that my rent had increased. A few weeks later I received a letter advising that I was not entitled to the full amount and was only entitled to around £28 a week. (I was under the impression that they had received my change in circumstances and acted upon it). Stupidly I didn't even check the amount in the paperwork as I just thought that we were still entitled to it as I was still part time and his wage hadn't increased by a large amount. In Sept 2015 I was advised that I wasnt entitled to housing benefit anymore and then in In February 2016 I was interviewed under caution and advised that I had not advised them that my partners wage had increased and that it was going to be investigated. I then received a letter advising that I had been overpaid by £5600, I was mortified and advised that I wanted to pay it back asap. I sent in an appeal as my circumstances at the time were not good, i received nothing back from them to advise they had even acknowledged my appeal, then when i spoke to them the other day they advised that they had closed my appeal down and just withdrawn it by £100 I re-applied when i was on maternity allowance, they advised i was entitled to around £10 a week of which they would claim that back towards my debt, then when i went back to work they advised me i wasnt entitled so I set up a payment plan of £30 a month. Now I have received a letter saying i need to go to court i am at my wits end. From the free legal advice that I have received they are saying if i plead guilty I will get a criminal record and fine but if i plead not guilty then it could be drawn out longer and court costs could go up more and i could be looking at prison. I have never done anything wrong in my life i'm so worried im going to leave my children.
  23. Hi need some advice on this please. I'll try to keep this brief basically we don't have allocated parking, you can't park close to the house as there's no road up to it so I need to park as closely as possible. I have asked the housing association many times for disabled parking and they've delayed and now their latest excuse is they need to survey the other tenants, why they need to ask other tenants when i'm the one asking for what I think is a reasonable adjustment? I'm not in a wheelchair but I do receive both elements of PIP and I do have a mobility scooter, some days the difference between parking as close to the house as possible and in the normal car park is whether I can leave the house or not (or possibly be able to get in the house when I get home). The HA have been fobbing me off since December and they claimed they would ask other tenants in January and they still haven't done so. Am I being unreasonable? I'm not asking for allocated parking just a yellow disabled parking bay. I have complained and written to them etc but nothing ever seems to happen, any advice gratefully received.
  24. In our contacts, it says we must give access to our properties when required. The Housing Act 1988 states "In accordance with the Housing Act 1988, your landlord or letting agent must notify you in writing at least 24 hours before they wish to enter your home". They're not giving notice and are sending people without notice and then sending tenants letters when the tenants turn them away due to it being a bad time. I'm guessing the law overrules the landlord?
  25. I have recently fallen into the trap of Bedroom Tax. I had been working full time and I am now in between positions and in receipt of UC. I researched the process with the help of relevant threads on here and have submitted a letter appealing the bedroom tax for one room as it does not meet the Housing Act criteria. Within my letter I attached a diagram providing room measurements and submitted this via recorded delivery post, received and signed for. I hadn't received a reply and was discussing another matter with the council and they said they would chase the person concerned and get a response. They said in no uncertqin terms that as we had signed and accepted the property as a three bedroom house, they were not reducing the tax. Now, my thoughts are that as we had moved into this house 8 years prior to the introduction of the bedroom tax, surely this isn't sufficient and I should challenge their response? Am I correct in thinking that the housing officer's decision does not meet the Housing Act provisions and therefore I have grounds to appeal this further? Thanks in advance. Shelley
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