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advice - housing association investigation

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hi need advice on what to do

 

i have been contacted by my housing association officer asking me how many people live in the house...

 

can they do this?

 

also i need to know what i can do because i have been living in a house where only 3 people should be living but 5 live here

 

it is all getting messy i should have known better

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"Can they do this?" - Yes, they own the property. They have the right to ensure you are keeping to the conditions of your tenancy agreement. This may be a routine tenancy check or they may have received a complaint or been tipped off about the amount of people there.

 

You need to have a look at your tenancy agreement and post what it says (if anything) about overcrowding, etc.

 

Also, who are these people? Are they family? Have you been charging them rent? If you have taken in lodgers then you have been sub-letting. Some tenancy agreements allow for this (if there is room) but you would have to inform the landlord that you were going to do this and get permission.

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"Can they do this?" - Yes, they own the property. They have the right to ensure you are keeping to the conditions of your tenancy agreement. This may be a routine tenancy check or they may have received a complaint or been tipped off about the amount of people there.

 

You need to have a look at your tenancy agreement and post what it says (if anything) about overcrowding, etc.

 

Also, who are these people? Are they family? Have you been charging them rent? If you have taken in lodgers then you have been sub-letting. Some tenancy agreements allow for this (if there is room) but you would have to inform the landlord that you were going to do this and get permission.

 

this is what it says in the handbook, also it is family

 

 

You may take a lodger without the permission of

(Housing association) so long as your home does not become

overcrowded.

You may sub-let part of your home with (housing association) prior

written permission.

You may not sub-let or part with the whole of your home.

If you do so, you will be giving up your security of tenure

and no longer be an assured tenant.

If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit, you must notify

the Council immediately of any new occupants, and the

date they moved into your home.

Your benefit may be reduced, requiring you to pay higher

amount of rent each week. Your Council Tax may also be

affected.

 

thank you for any advice i am really scared at the moment of having done something wrong

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You may be in a better position since it is family. How long have they been there? Are they in a position that they can move out soon? You can always say that they got into difficulties with their housing and that you are letting them stay there on a temporary basis until they get themselves sorted out so didn't report this to them as you were not taking in a lodger only helping out.

 

It may be better to say that you and anyone else they know about live there but you have some family staying on a short term basis.

 

It all really depends on whether they consider having some family to stay for a while the same as taking in a lodger. If so then they will say that you have broken your agreement and by their rules given up your security of tenure.

 

Find out if there is a law centre near you that gives free advice. We have one where I live and they specialise in things like housing and benefit advice. If not try to speak to someone at the CAB.

 

I know in Council housing it is hard to evict someone but I don't if it is as hard for HAs.

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they have been here for over 6 months. would i have to go to court? if i just came out clean to the housing association and was willing to pay any extras due to them for having extra people who live here?

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HA rents are set re. the property size, etc not on how many people live there so they would not be able to charge more rent. As the property is overcrowded they would at least expect the others to move out.

 

Whether or not it ends up at Court will be up to the HA and whatever legal advice they get. It's hard to say what they will do.

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