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difficult HOUSING BENEFIT claim situation - threat for a landlady?

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Hello everyone,

 

I worked in London for 4 years and recently became unemployed. I am receiving contribution based JSA but been told I am eligible for Housing Benefits as well. I am very conflict-free person that is why I am writing to this forum for an advice.

My situation is difficult. I would like to claim Housing Benefits until I will find a new job - hopefully in less than 6 more weeks. The claim is also going to be backdated (extra 4 weeks) to the point I lost my job and so it should make up around 10+ weeks. It means a lot of money for me right now.

I live in a share house; have got a proper join-tenancy agreement for a double room that I share with my father. My unemployed father is here just to learn English and help me around and since he has never worked in UK he is not claiming any benefits (we never tried). The entire rent for a room was always paid by me - though there are 2 persons on our tenancy agreement.

I pay rent monthly in cash to the landlady but with no receipt/any proof/rent-book issued. As many of you would question why I pay this way - money was always tight and I could never afford "official prices" in London and bills were always included. Cash in hand got me a cheaper price for double room compared to official market prices. Until recently I wasn’t even aware Housing Benefits existed and the help they could have given me all those years.

Renting is all "black business" in our share-house I guess and I believe not a single person is registered on electoral list or anywhere as they should have been. Claiming my housing benefits might create too many problems for our landlady which is what I am trying to avoid – not my business.

I live 3 years in the same house on the same address but I am sure I have not been registered anywhere too. I do owe credit card registered to this address that I have been here 3 years. Many questions follow:

1.) Myself being over 25 years old and my father is unemployed how much of Housing Benefit would I receive? My LHA is £100 per week. Would I receive just my equal half of monthly rent or a full rent for appropriate weeks?

2.) I know Council will send somebody to check my room and I have zero problems with this. With tenancy agreement being just for my double bedroom will they check other rooms too - because I have read they are checking conditions you live in? House can be classified as overcrowded.

I haven't got any proof that I paid rent on time and no rent-book exists. Obviously every tenant and landlady can confirm I paid on time but is it a problem for me?

3.) My tenancy agreement is bills inclusive (including council tax) but it is not noted on the actual tenancy agreement - "bills inclusive" was verbal agreement only. Would I be liable to pay any outstanding Council Tax of those last 3 years?

4.) What would be time estimate when will they come to visit if I file HB claim?

As I said I do not mind them visiting at all but it will ruin relationship between me and landlady and tension might be very high from that point. I do not like being threatened by landlady (or anybody else) later on. I am not keen to create problems to landlady whatsoever or problems to any other tenants in the house as overcrowded and they might all have to move on. It is not my business I agreed to price and condition - so I am asking upfront. On the other hand 2.5 months of rent money is a lot to wave goodbye to – as I have no income right now. Unless it will be only half of rent of my room then it might not be worth the trouble.

I’ve downloaded "Housing Benefit claim form" and clearly the landlady HAS TO sign the form which scares me. See page 31 onwards of hounslow.gov.uk / housing_ctax_benefit_form.pdf

5.) I am pretty sure Landlady will refuse to sign anything. Then what is the point of me even trying and me causing problems? She would NOT agree for me to claim for many apparent reasons and she will refuse to sign it? Can I make a valid claim without her signing anything?

Thank you all in advance!

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1.) You would get the applicable LHA for yourself minus what they deem an appropriate amount for bills as your rent is bills included. You will need to declare that your rent includes bills and state which bills are included in the rent.

 

2.) I have been renting for over 4 years now and have only had one check myself. They looked at all rooms I had use of. I doubt having no proof of what you have paid would be a problem if you have a legal tenancy agreement. Did you pay a deposit when you moved in and did you get notification of where you landlord placed your deposit for safekeeping? She is legally obliged to place your deposit in a certified scheme and can get in trouble if she hasn't.

3.) Your landlady will assumadly been paying the council tax for the last 3 years herself using the rent she received from tenants. You will only receive Housing benefit less the amount taken off for bills and you will need to make up the rest of your rent with your JSA as JSA includes amounts to pay bills.

5.) If your landlady refuses to sign, write a note beside the space for her signature stating you requested she sign but she refused and send the form off.

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hmm on housing benefit it was an option to not inform landlord? so someoen cant claim LHA now without landlord/lady knowing?

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Hello everyone,

 

I worked in London for 4 years and recently became unemployed. I am receiving contribution based JSA but been told I am eligible for Housing Benefits as well. I am very conflict-free person that is why I am writing to this forum for an advice.

My situation is difficult. I would like to claim Housing Benefits until I will find a new job - hopefully in less than 6 more weeks. The claim is also going to be backdated (extra 4 weeks) to the point I lost my job and so it should make up around 10+ weeks. It means a lot of money for me right now.

I live in a share house; have got a proper join-tenancy agreement for a double room that I share with my father. My unemployed father is here just to learn English and help me around and since he has never worked in UK he is not claiming any benefits (we never tried). The entire rent for a room was always paid by me - though there are 2 persons on our tenancy agreement.

I pay rent monthly in cash to the landlady but with no receipt/any proof/rent-book issued. As many of you would question why I pay this way - money was always tight and I could never afford "official prices" in London and bills were always included. Cash in hand got me a cheaper price for double room compared to official market prices. Until recently I wasn’t even aware Housing Benefits existed and the help they could have given me all those years.

Renting is all "black business" in our share-house I guess and I believe not a single person is registered on electoral list or anywhere as they should have been. Claiming my housing benefits might create too many problems for our landlady which is what I am trying to avoid – not my business.

I live 3 years in the same house on the same address but I am sure I have not been registered anywhere too. I do owe credit card registered to this address that I have been here 3 years. Many questions follow:

1.) Myself being over 25 years old and my father is unemployed how much of Housing Benefit would I receive? My LHA is £100 per week. Would I receive just my equal half of monthly rent or a full rent for appropriate weeks?

2.) I know Council will send somebody to check my room and I have zero problems with this. With tenancy agreement being just for my double bedroom will they check other rooms too - because I have read they are checking conditions you live in? House can be classified as overcrowded.

I haven't got any proof that I paid rent on time and no rent-book exists. Obviously every tenant and landlady can confirm I paid on time but is it a problem for me?

3.) My tenancy agreement is bills inclusive (including council tax) but it is not noted on the actual tenancy agreement - "bills inclusive" was verbal agreement only. Would I be liable to pay any outstanding Council Tax of those last 3 years?

4.) What would be time estimate when will they come to visit if I file HB claim?

As I said I do not mind them visiting at all but it will ruin relationship between me and landlady and tension might be very high from that point. I do not like being threatened by landlady (or anybody else) later on. I am not keen to create problems to landlady whatsoever or problems to any other tenants in the house as overcrowded and they might all have to move on. It is not my business I agreed to price and condition - so I am asking upfront. On the other hand 2.5 months of rent money is a lot to wave goodbye to – as I have no income right now. Unless it will be only half of rent of my room then it might not be worth the trouble.

I’ve downloaded "Housing Benefit claim form" and clearly the landlady HAS TO sign the form which scares me. See page 31 onwards of hounslow.gov.uk / housing_ctax_benefit_form.pdf

5.) I am pretty sure Landlady will refuse to sign anything. Then what is the point of me even trying and me causing problems? She would NOT agree for me to claim for many apparent reasons and she will refuse to sign it? Can I make a valid claim without her signing anything?

Thank you all in advance!

 

Paying Rent in cash,you are entitled to a receipt.

 

Housing benefits dept would need to see proof of how much your rent is

 

hmm on housing benefit it was an option to not inform landlord? so someoen cant claim LHA now without landlord/lady knowing?

 

Housing benefits Can contact a Landlord at any time during a claim to check the tenant lives there and so on.

 

They dont need the permission of a tenant,it is to prevent fraud....

Edited by 45002

Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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hmm on housing benefit it was an option to not inform landlord? so someoen cant claim LHA now without landlord/lady knowing?

 

My understanding of the situation is that the OP is renting in the informal private housing sector, so his landlady may therefore not be entirely 'legit', so to speak. Her position as a landlady earning rental income may not be known to the relevant authorities, namely for tax and benefit purposes (if applicable - but that's how I read it). On top of that, places like London are rife for social housing fraud, whereby 'tenants' of social housing reserved for the most needy actually sublet their cheap homes at a premium.

 

Therefore, OP doesn't want to rattle her cage, or involve authorities that the landlady may be lying low from.

 

OP, if this IS what's going on, you need a new landlady/landlord. I understand that 'legitmate' landlords may charge more, but your HB entitlement would still remain, even if you had to find extra cash from your own pocket (which would be preferable to scraping by with no HB at all). You're not in the wrong, she is.

 

However, have a chat with landlady to see what she thinks first? She may be above-board...

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Paying Rent in cash,you are entitled to a receipt.

 

Housing benefits dept would need to see proof of how much your rent is

 

 

 

Housing benefits Can contact a Landlord at any time during a claim to check the tenant lives there and so on.

 

They dont need the permission of a tenant,it is to prevent fraud....

 

thats my point ,they didnt used to need permission. I specifically remember on my application form 4-5 years ago a question asking me if its ok for them to contact my landlord.

 

seems a lot of anti fraud measures going on that are too intrusive, as there is very good reasons why tenants wont want a landlord to know they relying on benefits. The main one been 90% of landlords reject benefit claimants as tenants.

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My understanding of the situation is that the OP is renting in the informal private housing sector, so his landlady may therefore not be entirely 'legit', so to speak. Her position as a landlady earning rental income may not be known to the relevant authorities, namely for tax and benefit purposes (if applicable - but that's how I read it). On top of that, places like London are rife for social housing fraud, whereby 'tenants' of social housing reserved for the most needy actually sublet their cheap homes at a premium.

 

Therefore, OP doesn't want to rattle her cage, or involve authorities that the landlady may be lying low from.

 

OP, if this IS what's going on, you need a new landlady/landlord. I understand that 'legitmate' landlords may charge more, but your HB entitlement would still remain, even if you had to find extra cash from your own pocket (which would be preferable to scraping by with no HB at all). You're not in the wrong, she is.

 

However, have a chat with landlady to see what she thinks first? She may be above-board...

 

yep I understand his reasons. and I agree that landlady does seem a bit dodgy from what has been described.

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thats my point ,they didnt used to need permission. I specifically remember on my application form 4-5 years ago a question asking me if its ok for them to contact my landlord.

 

seems a lot of anti fraud measures going on that are too intrusive, as there is very good reasons why tenants wont want a landlord to know they relying on benefits. The main one been 90% of landlords reject benefit claimants as tenants.

 

I can understand why some tenants do not want there LL knowing they are claiming HB.

 

But in the end you cannot stop HB from contacting the LL,HB have a duty under Law to prevent fraud and protect tax payers money.

 

HB can refuse to pay,if a tenant refuse to give details of the landlord


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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I have been a landlady until recently and have the following comments:

 

1) The Housing Benefit is NEVER backdated and only paid from the Monday you claim

2) If the room is jointly shared then you can only claim 50% of the rent MINUS the expenses part so your probably down to 30 - 40% of the room rent

3) Benefit people WILL want a tenancy agreement even if its just for a room before they will pay anything

4) Overcrowding is a problem and if the benefits people check and see overcrowding they will declare the house UNFIT for housing benefit

5) The benefits people will definitely inform ever other government department of anything they see or are suspicious about, benefits, police, immigration, environment, etc. etc. most consider it their legal duty to protect those who have to live in "unfit" situations.

6) If you have no papers and the landlady wont sign any I just would not even bother if you want to remain where you are living.

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I am a housing benefit assessor and benefit is backdated and for working age it can be back dated for up to six months for working age claimants.

 

Op hb only have permission to talk to a landlord if you give permission. It's against data protection to contact a landlord or discuss a claim without permission from the claimant.

 

if you don't have proof of rent then you will need to get some

 

You will be entitled to the one bed shared rate of lha at the rate it was paid in feb(assume your backdate goes from then?)

 

You may not get a home visit, we don't visit everyone.

 

The landlord is liable for the ctax. Is there other people apart from your father renting in this property?

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I can understand why some tenants do not want there LL knowing they are claiming HB.

 

But in the end you cannot stop HB from contacting the LL,HB have a duty under Law to prevent fraud and protect tax payers money.

 

HB can refuse to pay,if a tenant refuse to give details of the landlord

 

I gave details as is required, plus his details also on the tenancy agreement, I just refused permission for them to contact behind my back. :)

 

With LHA tho I do find the requirement to get them to sign it a huge obstruction. There is already anti fraud measures in place that were adequare, such as needing tenancy agreement and other proof of address. This strikes of a policy that is out of touch with the reality of renting privately and that the vast majority of landlords want nothing to do with benefit tenants.

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I have lived in 3 rented properties over the last 4 years and none of my landlords have signed anything and I'm sure I never needed to. I did have to give copies of my tenancy agreement which stated the rent etc.

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LL would have to sign a declaration on HB form,if rent was been paid direct to a LL...


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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Lha claimants are not allowed to have rent paid direct to the ll unless there are special reasons to do so.

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yeah thats good so it seems that they have to sign may be a bit misleading then.

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Yeah it is misleading, totally up to you if you want to give disclosure for your claim to be discussed with your landlord. You are under no obligation to sign this.

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