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housing benefit - please help


mariannwk
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Hello everybody,

 

I am new to this forum, so HELLO EVERYBODY and thanks for the support you offering - it is precious :roll:

 

I am desperately worried that I can be refused Housing Benefit,

in which case I wouldn't be able to afford paying the rent and finished up living on the streets,

please help if there is somebody with some expertise on this issue.

 

My situation is as follow:

I married for 19 years ago and moved in into my husband property which he already owned.

He remains the sole owner of the property;

I was never added to any property deeds and he always was responsible for all bills related to the property

such as mortgage, Council Tax, utility bills etc.

He also never supported me financially;

we never had a shared account, credit card etc.

I worked first, but later developed serious mental health problems and relied on Incapacity Benefit

and now State Pension (I am 62 years old) and Disability Living Allowance,

which I am awarded indefinitely at a highest care component rate and lower mobility component rate.

 

Over the years our relationship irrevocably broke and it come to the point,

when it become impossible and detrimental to my mental health to continue to live with him in the same home.

I recently found a flat and sign the tenancy agreement with a private landlord, to whom I am not related in any way.

 

I don't know if this has any bearing on the case, but the flat is in the different borough then the properly I moved out from.

 

While filling the Westminster Council HB form I came across the question:

"Were you able to afford rent when you moved?"

Obviously I had to answer "No" to it.

On further research it transpired that there is a rule,

I believe 7(1)(1), in the Housing Benefit regulations, called Unnecessary liabilities

-whether the claimant can be refused Housing Benefit on the grounds that she or he has taken on an unnecessary liability,

which they already knew they could not pay, and which they could have avoided and still been adequately housed.

 

My ex husband is of old age (82y) and of ill health himself, and he continues living in the house, which is his only property.

There is no way I can move back to live with him, so if I can afford paying the rent, the only option open to me would be to live on the streets.

I don't think I could cope with that.

 

I am quite desperate with the whole situation,

I saw a glimmer of hope when I found the landlord who would accept a tenant in my position

and was able to move out from the very difficult situation and start to rebuild my life,

but now this seems to be sleeping away from me.

 

I would be very grateful for any clarification on the issue and where I can find help if the council refuses me the HB.

 

Many thanks to you all - M

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Come back and let us know how you get on. :)

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Not sure where you have been doing research, but there is no Regulation 7(1)(l) called Unnecessary liabilities.

I think you may be reading out of date information.

The regulation you appear to be concerned about is regulation 9(1)(l) however this only applies where a rental liability has been created to take advantage of the Housing Benefit scheme. Based upon the information you have supplied, this does not apply to you.

The fact that you could not afford the rent without help from HB is no reason to exclude people from HB. Otherwise people on low incomes would never be able to obtain accommodation.

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You are right, it is regulation 9(1)(1). Many thanks for you opinion on the matter, it helps a lot. It is just that a lot in all this seems to be open to interpretation of a person who will look at the application. I am probably panicking unnecessary - lets hope it will be all right at the end. I will keep you updated on the progress. Have a lovely Christmas :-)M.

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There's no way a reasonable person who looks at the application would see it as "unnecessary liability" if your alternative is homelessness.

 

Plus, as id6052 points out, this tenancy has not been created to take advantage of the HB scheme. You should be fine based on what you've told us.

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