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Is this legally allowed? Tax credits and housing situation

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This may be long so apologies if you get to the end!


Ex and split in 2011, I have been living with my Mum ever since (with my daughter)


Mum works nights, daughter is not yet in school until September so it's very inconvenient of a day time, long story short it's becoming unbearable but that alone is a thread in itself. My Mum wants us to go, although she hasn't said so directly.


I don't want to privately rent for a number of reasons. The area I want to move to (where daughter's school is when she starts in Sept) has a wait for a council home of approx 4 years, although I am still going to put my name down. My ex lives in this area, I lived there for years when we where together. My friends are there, my Church is there, my daughter's school is there. It's a lovely area and that is where I want to bring my child up.


Ex bought another home there in 2013, our daughter has a room there and loves the house. It's 3 bedroom and only my ex lives there. I'm on a low income and couldn't afford a home like that, but ex has offered to let me live there with our daughter as opposed to paying me maintenance. Part of me feels so excited at the prospect, but at the same time it all seems so complicated.


Pros -

Close to daughter's school

Daughter would be happy there

It's in the area I want to move to eventually

I don't have to pay rent! His mortgage is higher than the maintenance he currently gives me so he wouldn't provide any maintenace at all though

My Mum gets her house back and we don't end up falling out (It's seriously unbearable being there)

It won't be forever, will hopefully have a council house in next 4 to 6 years.


Now for the cons. Ex has assured me he will not turn up unexpectedly, house is mine and he is happy to move to his parents (Big house plenty of room, infact he'll have his own floor with bathroom etc) He feels it will be better for our daughter to be close to her school and her friends. But will he keep to his word? Might be awkward, especially if he meets someone else.


Also I am worried sick if I accept that I will be doing something wrong in the eyes of HMRC. I receive WTC and CTC and couldn't afford the bills without them, no way, so I could not afford to lose them. Mortgage would be in ex's name, but every single bill would be in mine. He would be on his parent's council tax bill etc and would take all his contracts such as phone contract with him to his parent's address. The thing is i've seen horror stories on internet forums in the past, compliance letters wanting people's bank statements etc and i'm not sure ex would co-operate if I where to get a compliance letter as I don't think he wants me to truly know what he earns icon_rolleyes.gif Not sure they would even ask for his statements as he receives no benefits at all, but surely they'd want to know how he could afford a mortgage and let me live there rent free? I just don't want to open up a can of worms and make my life more stressful than it is.


It kept me up last night as I want to take the offer up so bad, but my mind was racing thinking what if HMRC contatced my neighbours and they see he picks her up 3/4 times a week (we share custody 50/50) and they assume he stays here on those days etc. I'm probably being ridiculous but i'm a real worrier, terrified to do anything wrong. I just want to cover all bases before I take him up on his offer.


Obviously there are lots of cons, such as not being able to ask for any maintenance towards clothes for daughter etc, plus the fact it's not actually my home, but right now it's such an attractive offer and I would love to take him up on it.


There's NO chance of us reconciling, but we have a very civil relationship, infact we are getting to the point where I would say we where friends now, but everytime I tell him my concerns he just laughs them off and tells me it'd be better for our daughter and I need to hurry up and make a decision so he can move forward with his own plans.


If I do move in, is this allowed? Surely if HMRC look into me they will see his name on the mortgage and I am worried I would look dishonest and have my tax credits stopped. Is there anything I can do to prove we are not a couple and he doesn't live with me? Is this just more hassle than it's worth and I just stay with my Mum until a council house becomes available? I was thinking of visiting citizens advice to check it's all above board before making a decision.


Any advice greatly appreciated.

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