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knowsley housing trust - Urgent help needed

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I signed an agreement with knowsley housing trust on the 1st June 2009 and was told that most if not all of my rent would be paid by hosing benefit. I was advised 2 weeks later I would have to pay £7.70 per week myself. The house I was moving in to had many issues firstly the central heating / hot water was not working for 3 days secondly there was plaster issues in every room of the house I waited 2 weeks for an inspector to come and look at the problems. The inspector told me the living room needed to be fully re-plastered and round the windows in every room needed to be done also as well as many other walls needed patching up. I waited a week for the plaster to come out and start work. I could not start to decorate because I had to wait for the plastering to be finished. The plasterer worked as fast as he could. Our own property is been repossessed on the 30th July 2009. We are now decorating and trying to get it all finished as soon as possible, we were promised a decorating allowance when we signed for the house. We have now been advised I cannot have housing benefit because I was not living there but I felt I could not move in due to the jobs that needed doing and also I cannot have the decorating budget until I clear the arrears of £530 rent that have built up on the account while waiting for housing benefit to process the claim and tell me that I cannot start a claim until I move into that address. Can anybody give me some advice as I’m at my wits end with it all?

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Right, this property has been let too soon, it wasn't ready.


I would now put a letter together to the Head of the Housing stating exactly what you have told us here, but try and keep it factual, use bullet points. List down all that you have had to put up with, how it inconvenienced you and how it has caused a problem with your HB and put you into rent arrears. Ask them to restart your tenancy from say the Monday coming because the property was not ready for you to safely move into. Either that or they credit so many weeks to your account and clear the arrears that way.


I am assuming you have been housed as homeless due to the repossession? Then you make sure you point out that just because you are on your uppers doesn't mean they can force you to move into a property that should still have been void. Be careful how you say it, and try and temper it with how grateful you are for their help but..... ok?


If you can takes pictures etc of what the problems are that would back up your case.


You can go back to HB, and tell them that you have been living between the two places, let them have a copy of the letter you sent to the Council, this will explain why. They do have to consider special circumstances, they don;t necessarily have to do anything else, but they will have to look at this again. They might well agree that Housing should restart your tenancy from a date when the house was fit to be lived in. Or they might give in and pay.


Whatever happens, worst case scenario, you will have 3/4 weeks arrears - you will find the council much better at helping you out by letting you pay a sensible amount until the arrears are cleared than a mortgage company will ever be. You should also let your Housing Advisor (who dealt with your intitial homeless application) know what is going on.


Now look on the bright side - you have affordable housing for as long as you need it, it will become your home, because home is what we make it, moving is a nightmare for everyone, and with a repossession bringing up the rear as well I wouldn't be surprised if you told me you thought you were certifiable. But the dust will settle (certainly when the plasterer has finished - pardon the pun) and you will have a secure home and everything will be fine. It just takes time and you are under a lot of stress.


Good luck. Post back if you need more help.

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