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housing benefit application turned down

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Please could I get some advice. My parents recently bought 2 houses one for them and one for us to rent as we had been on the housing register for 8 years with no success. We had also been claiming housing benefit for 2 years (they were not my landlords at this point). We were in a two bed flat with 2 kids (one of each) we couldnt afford to rent a larger property, hence parents stepped in to offer a solution. I would not entertain the idea until a tenancy had been drawn up to protect all parties. They involved a solictor throughout the process and sought legal advice, they have taken out landlord insurance too. They are now retired and belived that being a landlord would be an easier way to have an income though felt by letting to someone they knew was safer for them. We submitted our housing application and waited.

 

3 weeks later we were asked to provided further evidence to support our claim, today 5 weeks later I called the council to chase them up and they have agreed to pay my council tax benefit but not my housing due to the fact they dont think my parents can seperate legal from parental beliefs. WE have shown the tenancy and proof that rent is being paid however I dont know what to do now. I know I can appeal but it is yet more waiting with an unknown outcome. Everything was done through a solictor to try to alleviate any doubt but to no avail. Can anyone advise me please

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Hi and welcome to CAG.

 

This isn't really my field although I know of someone who had similar situation. Basically, (if I remember correctly) the LA will not pay HB to a close relative of the tenent. If you think about it, your parents have bought a house for 'you to rent' but you need to claim HB because (presumebly), you are on benefits. So the LA may consider that as it's your parent's house, and they have 'bought it for you', why should they pay the rent on it? I would of thought that the solicitor would of gone through all this for you because i'm no expert but I think thats how it works.

 

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The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

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Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Although my parents are renting to me they were looking into renting before however they felt that as first time landlords it was easier to rent to me and help us out of a sticky patch. Then when we are in a position to move on they would rent to others hence buying a highly rentable property. They checked with the agent whom they bought the house from for the rental potential of the property. In essence we are a stepping stone in their rental career. They didnt buy the house soley to rent to me but it seemed the best for both parties at thhis current financial time. Although I am on benefits yes, the rent has been set at a rate for the area not my circumstances. Before we moved I rang the LA to ask if there would be a problem claiming if my parents were my landlords and they replied we would be eligible to submit a claim. We have also submitted evidence from several different professional bodies stating the need for the family to have a larger accomodation. When you read forums on housing it states "if the relative livess with you " which they don't, "is the tenancy commercial?" no there is a formal agreement held by a solicitor.

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Councils will often not provide HB to a close family relative of the landlord due to the liklihood of it being a made up tenancy (at least in terms of rental).


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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You need to check the rules on your councils website to see if your situation is covered.

 

Then have a look on the Shelter website http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/paying_for_a_home/housing_benefit_and_local_housing_allowance

 

There's a lot of info on the shelter site on renting from family and on appeals.

 

If you feel that the council has made a mistake then appeal. Remember you only have a month from the decision to appeal.

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we received letter today and are appealing i have downloading law on renting from relative and the reason in the letter does not appear. I have been advised to ask for a detailed written statement and can therefore prepare for if the appeal fails and we ask for tribunial. They stated in the letter that they believed it to be an informal arrangement, not sure what they believed the tenancy agreement drawn up by a solicitor to be......! They also stated my parents bought the property soley for us to rent, as pointed out in previous thread the property was purchased by my parents to rent out, as we were in sticky financial predicament they offered us first refusal on renting, as we have applied to the housing register and pointed out that once we are on our feet so to speak we will move on this has been disproven. With the house being in a rentable area it will be easy for them to rent out inthe future it therefore wasnt bought soley for us but it statifys both parties at this point in time. As new to the landlord game and the area they have time to search for further tenants and iron out any problems in the property whilst recieving rent from a reliable tenant namely me. We have time to search for a suitable property and settle the children in schools, whilst having a roof over our head. I dont feel the council have looked at the bigger picture hence appealing against the decision. I have also contacted shelter they were very informative and I would recommend them to anyone for housing advice in the future.

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