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HollyBerry2010

Really need some advice - having a home visit.

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Hi all,

 

I am not sure if i should be worried about this or not.

I am a lone parent and i am currently house sitting for my ex land lord.

He now works over seas and he is currently going to be away for the next 2 years approx. He is a non UK resident, so pays no tax etc.

 

As i was a good tennant at a property of his last year, he asked me if i would be willing to move into his own home and look after his dog and home and do bits and peices of admin for him - rent free while he is overseas.

 

I agreed and my daughter and I moved in at the end of last year.

 

In the property i was previously living in i was claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit - both of these I now no longer claim as he pays the council tax himself and i don't need to pay him rent as i'm sorting out his dog.

 

All of his belongings are in the house still (in a separate room from mine) and he still gets mail delivered to this address.

He even lets me use his car. ( so long as i pay for the upkeep of it, MOT's tax etc)

 

I have had a letter this morning saying that DWP have tried to visit me on two occasions, but i was out and that they are now coming to visit me at home next week " to make sure you are getting the correct amount of Income Support you are entitled to"

 

It says i need to provide 2 forms of ID and proof of birth date for my daughter.

 

It says its from the Performance Measurement department, from the Multi-benefit Review Officer.

 

I am just wondering why they want a home visit? Even though the owner of the house does not live here, can i still get into trouble if his things are still here??

Will they be checking for things like that??

 

Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you.

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Hi Holly,

 

with a bit of luck someone more savvy than myself will come along with better advice, but in the meanwhile I'll give you my tuppence worth.

 

There shouldn't be anything to worry about, and, the "we tried to visit you" is a common ploy/lie to get you to ring and arrange a firm appointment - if only I had a quid for each time I've heard that old chestnut!

 

Whether your Landlord is in occupation or not should be an irrelevance as far as I.S. is concerned seeing as you are not his wife or girlfriend, if the DWP try to pursue this you can cover yourself by getting a signed "License to Occupy" or a "Tenancy Agreement" with your rent set as nil from your LL.

Hopefully your LL is actually paying the Council Tax, otherwise they could shift the liability onto you unless your License/Tenancy actually states that he agrees to pay the CT for the entire property, if CT liability is passed on to you then you should claim full CTB as your entitlement.

 

Try to down-play the helping with admin thing, what they don't know can't hurt them or you, I would imagine the admin side is basically just ensuring that the utilities bills get paid on time - something which most tenants have to do anyway.

 

Regards, Paul.


I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - [URL="http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/benefits-tax-credits-minimum/127741-benefits-advice.html"]see this post[/URL] by Joa, great advice and links! I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.

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Hi there.

Just one thing to say - do not worry - you are not hiding anything and I feel that this is just a target driven thing.

I claim various disability benefits and I had one of these visits and all he did is go through my situation, check what I was receiving and made an enquiry about a benefit premium on my behalf.

Thee were no trick questions or interrogation so you have nothing to be concerned with at least in my humble opinion!

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I wouldn't worry about it too much. I was on IS between periods of employment a few years back.

 

I had very much the same letter. A DWP person just came out and just checked all my details were correct.

 

I was worried about it at the time, but everything was fine.

 

-Marie

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Have you had the home visit yet?

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