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Issue with Tenancy - I would be very grateful for some urgent advice


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Where do I start..

 

I am a sub tenant of a Housing Association property??

 

I have been letting a 2 bedroom flat from my landlord for about the last 14 months and then I had to put in a claim for Housing Benefit about 5 weeks ago but unbeknown to me he didn’t have permission to sub let it to me as the housing officer turned up and said I have a month to get out.

 

I then get a letter through from housing benefit saying they are declining my claim I HAVE ASKED CORNWALL COUNCIL 7 TIMES SO FAR why they awarded me Council Tax Benefit but not Housing Benefit? I still haven’t got a straight answer from him but this is his reply.

 

Dear Mr ,

 

 

In regard to “it has been interpreted that your tenancy is not enforceable or would be difficult to enforce by the landlord if terms were breached”, this can refer to a tenancy not being set up in a way in which the landlord is able to enforce. Examples of this are such as:

 

Arrears of rent are not pursued or the tenancy agreement has been drawn up or come about whereby it would be difficult for the landlord to legally pursue for arrears.

 

The landlord could be a tenant themself and subletting and not have the permission of the actual landlord to sublet.

It has been demonstrated that terms in the tenancy are not enforced and change with out notice and there is not a consistency of rent changing hands on a regular basis between tenant and landlord.

 

As per previous emails on the 26th September 2012, you have a right to ask that any decision we make is re-considered and you can also follow on from this and Appeal. Any re-consideration request and Appeal must be in writing within a calendar month of the date on the decision notice that you do not agree with and you must give clear reasons why you do not agree. In the first instance, the case will be re-considered by a member of our staff who has not dealt with your case before. I strongly advise you do this if you are unhappy with the decision made

 

 

 

I have also been paying Cornwall Housing direct each Friday by debit card and they still wont me let me stay here as Housing Officers argument is this should of been allocated to someone else even though I am on Band D but hopefully soon to be Band B due to sleep apnoea that I suffer severely from.

 

I am on Employment Support Allowance for my illness and have actually got an assessment by ATOS on Wednesday, so no doubt they will kick me off ESA as they are incentivised to get people off the sick so to speak.

 

I sent the owner of this flat called Cornwall Housing an email after he hand delivered a letter to Steve (the chap I rent this flat from, However Steve the Landlord doesn’t occupy here and therefore I was wondering if this will be considered served?

 

 

You cannot be allowed to stay as you have not been allocated the property through the Local Authority and are illegal occupants. Any payments you have made are considered mesne profit and not rent, as the rent is due from Mr Frazer.

 

I reiterate that you are not able to stay and will not become tenants of Cornwall Housing in these circumstances. If you speak to Housing Options on 0300 1234 161 then they will make an appointment to see you and assess your situation regarding homeless status.

 

I realise how this situation is disappointing for you, but I urge you to take productive steps to remedy it, and not try and remain in the property as an illegal occupant.

 

 

 

 

HOUSING OFFICERS REPLY when I told him that I was declined Housing Benefit but accepted for full Council Tax benefit?

 

You cannot be allowed to stay as you have not been allocated the property through the Local Authority and are illegal occupants. Any payments you have made are considered mesne profit and not rent, as the rent is due from Mr Frazer.

 

I reiterate that you are not able to stay and will not become tenants of Cornwall Housing in these circumstances. If you speak to Housing Options on 0300 1234 161 then they will make an appointment to see you and assess your situation regarding homeless status.

 

I realise how this situation is disappointing for you, but I urge you to take productive steps to remedy it, and not try and remain in the property as an illegal occupant.

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Unfortunately, you are not entitled to stay - and the council will not award you housing benefit if you do not have a valid tenancy agreement to show them (and you don't, as the person who sub-let to you had no right to do so). Social housing cannot be sub-let as an entire property as it is meant to be the primary home of the tenant - that is, your 'LL' could have rented you a room whilst he remained living in the property, but he can't let you the entire flat.

 

You will have to move - that is the bottom line. However, the housing association will have to take appropriate steps to evict you via the court process. In fact, they will issue possession proceedings against their tenant, your 'LL', and 'any occupiers' (which would be you). You will be entitled to attend the hearing, but you will not be able to stop the possession being granted.

 

You should contact the homeless persons unit and make an application for homeless status, and then the council will assist you further. You should not delay this until any court hearing, but should do so as soon as you are able.

 

Council tax benefit is awarded without checking tenancy status - but now that they have checked tenancy status, they'll almost certainly stop your CTB - however, since you are not legally a tenant, neither are you legally obliged to pay CT.

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Oh, and yes, the notice served at the address is appropriate notice to the LL as it has been served at the address they believe to be his home address. You should pass it on to the 'LL' as soon as you can.

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Thanks Leah, Myself and my son are gutted.

 

On their notice to terminate an introductory tenancy, it says that court proceedingswill not be begun after 22nd October, I have the right to request the council hold a review.

 

Typically how long would it take from that date should we vacate on the 22nd October as somehow we need to get a deposit together and find a place and then work out how we going to get all stuff across to new place.

 

Any further advice would be much appreciated

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I am sure you are gutted, but it is not all doom and gloos. If you have a child, the local authority have a duty to ensure that he is housed, so they will ultimately have to assist you to find somewhere else to live, even if that is a private rented property. They also can guarantee any deposit required, so ensure you ask for all the help you are entitled to in relation to being rehoused.

 

Court proceedings won't start until after 22nd October, which effectively means that the court can set a date for the hearing any time after that date...whether they will get a date before November/early December is debatable.

 

I presume the right to request a review relates to the housing benefit? If yes, then whilst you can ask for a review, the outcome is very likely to be the same given the aforementioned reasons in my post earlier this morning.

 

You should not leave the property until the court has ordered you to do so (if you have no where else to go), and the bailiffs have sent you a notice of eviction. This is the point at which the council will have no option but to provide assistance to you regarding rehousing.

 

Since the property has been illegally sub-let to you, and you require housing, you could approach the council now and ask them about help with a deposit and moving costs. My suspicion is they will tell you to stay where you are until the notice of eviction comes through.

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Hi jamie2007

 

Could you please clarify the following:

 

1. Does the Landlord of the Flat actually Own the property or is the Landlord actually a Tenant of Cornwall Housing who has Sublet this flat?

 

2. What Tenancy Agreement did the Landlord provide you.

 

3. You state you pay Cornwall Housing by direct debit - How was this setup by you or landlord?

 

4. Have you paid a deposit at all?

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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