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Rent arrears Councill Problems & Mental Health

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Firstly will try and keep it short and simple.

I moved into a council house with 3 young children 2.5 years ago benefit paid rent all fine. Decided to go self employed and then disaster struck I was new to buisness and was making no profit was in receipt of working tax credit and also child care element.I reapplied for housing beneift after jobcentre told me I was still entitled to it.

I informed council I had applied and would be threw anyday.I did not pay rent for 5 months. In these 5 months the council of course wanted rent so I informed them housing benefit was being very annoying ie - wanting more info further bank statements etc - the problem was housing benefit was using my child care element payment as my income and not taking into account that it was for my childcare costs so they said I was earning too much money. They refused to pay my rent ! 5 months now had past and I was in arrears - the councill took me to court - the court ordered me to pay £3.25 per week off my arrears.I stopped working and went back onto full benefits - I now have my full rent paid for ! I dare not go back to work !

Now here comes the problem - I now need to move house but they refuse to let me have a larger house due to arrears - can anyone advise if there is anything I can do to win my argument ?

I have an appointment fri morning to discuss after I sent them an emailing detailing the reasons why I need a larger house.

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Sorry you were missed yesterday.


Sticky one this.


When the council took you to court, did you defend? or did they get Judgement in default?


Housing rules do say that where you are in arrears, they are not obliged to rehouse you, especially as you have a roof over your head already but there are also rules that allow a move but only in exceptional circumstances. If you fall into that category, write to the head of the housing department.


If you can remember what money you were getting when you made your claim, go to this website and input the info:


Start Calculation


This will give you some idea of whether you were misinformed.


I would also complain to the benefits section about the original assessment although I don't know how a court order will affect this.


I don't understand enough about Child Tax Credits and whether the council take into account child care costs when they assess a claim.



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I have tried and failed on 4 occasions now to sort it out with them.

Working Tax is for me - child tax for the children and child care allowance for my childcare - my childcare allowance covered 85% of my childcare costs - but they took my childcare award as my income not an outgoing - so they said i had (made up figures) £200 Working tax plus childcare tax £200 plus childcare costs £200 SO HAD INCOME WEEKLY OF £600 WHEREAS REALY i ONLY HAD £400 AS THE £200 WENT STRAIGHT OUT TO CHILDACRE

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This is the email I sent them -


Denise ,

I have received the housing application form but am a little unsure on where I stand as I have an outstanding amount of rent arrears , not threw my own doing can I add but a mix up with housing benefit, I am paying weekly to reduce these.

At the moment I am living with my partner and 5 children in a 3 bed roomed property.

I am aware that there are not many 4 bed roomed properties which is why I am asking for my application despite the arrears that I be accepted onto the housing waiting list as I know it could take a long time for a property to become available.

I am not sure about the private sector as we are both on benefits we are no way in a position to be able to afford a private rental. We could not even find the funds for a bond or months rent so that would not be advisable for us.

We are suffering with greatly with the lack of space .


My partner has recently been assessed under the mental health crisis team and as a result is on medication and seeing a counsellor as he is in a very bad mental state , this also affects his physical health as he is type 1 diabetic. His depression and anxiety has been brought on by the lack of contact he is allowed to have with his 3 children from his previous relationship. We have contacted a solicitor to act on his behalf to try to resolve this situation but we have been informed that a CWO Court Welfare Officer will visit us at home to make sure we are suitable to have the children come stay with us.

Unfortunately this will go against us for the following reasons -


I have 3 children from my previous relationship - Girl aged 10 years - Girl aged 7 years and Boy aged 6 years

Matt & I also have 2 children together Girl aged 13 months and Boy aged 2 months All 5 children live with us.

But Matt has 1 daughter aged 13 years from one relationship and 2 children girl aged 10 years and boy aged 6 years from another relationship. His 3 children have never met each other nor have ever met my children , so to expect them all to share a bedroom would cause great distress to all concerned.


We are hoping to have them each weekend and school holidays and as often as we can but at the moment have no extra space for them to stay , this will of course be noted and go against my partner's fight to access.

His mental state is really being affected by this and he is desperate to have his children become part of our family , he was stopped from seeing them due to him moving here with me and having children with me/He moved from s****horpe where his eldest daughter lives and his other 2 children now live in Scotland so we are not in a position to be able to have them just for the day , they would need to stay over.


We have enough problems with the house being overcrowded without adding the extra 3 children on.

My eldest daughter is struggling with school work due to lack of sleep as her 13 month old sister wakes her 2-3 times per night , this coupled with sharing also with her 7 year old sister gives her no free space to be able to complete her homework in peace and her school work is suffering greatly. She has no privacy and has become argumentative almost resenting her siblings. My daughter is emotionally distressed and the school has informed me she is extremely upset and showing signs of depressive episodes , she has also spoken of suicide , asking if she died could she come back as a different person.She also asks to live with my family and friends , just to have her own space.


My 7 year old daughter has become very aggressive to her elder sister and younger brother 6 years ( who sometimes she shares a bed with so her eldest sister can have a friend stay over at weekends).


My son aged 6 has become extremely aggressive at home due to lack of sleep when we have to switch bedrooms and sleeping patterns to adjust to everyone getting some form of sleep or a bed for the night and this has now become a problem at school.

I have had to have a school educational psychologist assess him in the classroom and the results are sickening. He is well behind with his school work and the teachers are very much concerned , I am at this moment waiting for an appointment to discuss whether counselling for the children with be a benefit to them.


I come from a sever domestic violence ex relationship that lasted throughout the children's lives , they were subjected to this daily for all their lives , this has made them extremely sensitive and past issues are destroying their confidence and ability to move forward. The children have since had to move home to where we are now from a large 4 bed roomed house where they each had a room and plenty of space to let off steam and had to change schools and move into a much smaller house , added with the fact that a new man is now part of their lives and they now have 2 added siblings , then 3 others yet to meet.

It has become a living nightmare.

The 2 girls especially have asked to go and live with their father in the hope they can have their own bedroom , this I can not allow to happen due to his past violence with them , he has supervised access at the moment. An injunction was in place for 12 months this has now run out but I want you to be aware of the seriousness. Also social services advised me if this was allowed to happen they would strongly be involved. But I have to take into account the need my children have.


My partner due to his health does not sleep very well and he is up and down all night pacing the floors , this results in myself getting no sleep coupled with him waking our 8 week old baby or 13 month old baby and them then waking and crying which then wakes the older children. We have had to put our 13 month old daughter in with the 2 other girls due to lack of space to fit a cot and the baby waking every 3 hrs for a feed from waking her each time. We spend most of our time swapping and changing rooms around to try and fit everyone in. I am not able to rely on my partner for support as he is mentally unstable and he can not deal with stress at the moment and I am finding it all rather hard. Lack of sleep is proving the biggest issue.

I am not able to sleep downstairs very well as I am scared that Matt (my partner) may hypo during the night and need sugar as his diabetes is well out of control due to the mental health issues i.e. - he not eating while he has to inject insulin 3 times per day with food. He talked 4-9 hypos per day and these happen during the night also and if he needs sugar I have to make sure he takes it. If I am downstairs I fear I would not hear him.

I also have kidney problems as my right kidney has stopped functioning, which proves extremely painful and trying to get comftable on a sofa is not ideal. This is being investigated and hopefully can be rectified with surgery.


I am at my wits end and I know the arrears are going to prove a problem but I can assure you I am trying my hardest to pay them back. I only can advise you of our situation and hope we can be accepted to go onto the housing list.


I am not sure how much longer I can go on like this . I am struggling to cope with it all and desperately need to find a larger property so we can all have some breathing space. I myself had a nervous breakdown 2.5 years ago and I am terrified the stress will bring back my own health problems , which as you can see I can not afford to let happen.


Can you advise on anything else I can do to enable us to be at least accepted onto the waiting list.


Much Thanks

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Hello there I have just read your letter, I cannot offer you advice but I do wish you the best of luck, If anyone desrves a helping hand it is you. You do seem to have been dealt more than you fair share of trouble. Please let us know how you go on, my thoughts are with you

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Thanks for your kind words , at the end of the day I just want my children and my partners children to have a happy and safe enviroment at home.

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