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I am thinking of moving to a retirement flat. I currently receive Pension Savings Credit and Council Tax Benefit. If, when I move, I have the same capital and income would I be entitle to help with the ground rent and service charge? Also, I assume the if I did there would be limit to this or does it depend on the number of bedrooms?

 

 

Thank you.

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The amount you'll get depends on the amount of bedrooms. If it's just you, you're entitled to the one bedroom rate. Because you're over retirement age, you're not affected by the bedroom tax.

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I don't know if its the same but when I was unemployed you could claim help towards the ground rent and service charges, you need to tell the DWP what they are (although service charges can vary, for example, one year may have needed a lot of building work.)

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but bedroom tax doesn't apply to pension credit service charges. Though if you have a non-dependant living with you, a deduction will be made from the service charge/ground rent portion of the pension credit according to the income of the non dependant.

 

there are allowable and non allowable service charges:

 

From: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Factsheets/FS48_Pension_Credit_fcs.pdf?dtrk=true

 

Service charges

You may have to pay service charges as a condition of living in your home, if

for example you are a leaseholder. Your appropriate minimum guarantee can

include help towards some of these charges. Reasonable charges for the

following services are eligible:

 services for the provision of adequate accommodation including some

warden and caretaker services, gardens, lifts, entry phones, portering,

rubbish removal, TV and radio relay charges

 laundry facilities like a laundry room in a sheltered housing scheme but

not personal laundry services

 cleaning of communal areas and windows

 minor repairs and maintenance but not for the repairs and improvements

listed on page 16 above. You may qualify for help with the interest on a

loan taken out to pay for those

 home insurance if it has to be paid under the terms of the lease.

Service charges for community/emergency alarm systems, personal care and

support services are not covered. You may be able to get help with this type

of support from your local authority’s Adult Health and Social Care services.

When you apply for help with service charges you may be asked to supply

documentary evidence; for example accounts, invoices and a breakdown of

the charges. The amount of eligible service charges will be converted into a

weekly amount and added to your appropriate minimum guarantee.

 

Ground rent and other housing costs

You can also get help with some other housing costs through PC including:

 ground rent

 payments under a co-ownership scheme

 rent if you are a Crown tenant (minus any water charges)

 payments for a tent and its pitch if that is your home.

The normal weekly charge for these costs is added to your appropriate

minimum guarantee. If the charges are payable annually, the weekly amount

is worked out by dividing the annual amount by 52.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Thank you everyone. I did not know this help was available so I am still trying to get my head round it. I think my biggest worry is that Pension Savings Credit will not be available for those who get the new single tier pension and, although I am lucky enough to be able to claim it because I am already a pensioner it is being reduced very quickly (28% over the last three years). I do wonder what would happen if they phased it out completely and I was already receiving an amount for the service charges, etc. Would I loose that help do you think?

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Just to add to estellyn's post, some of the charges may not be eligible under welfare reform and be classed as support services.

 

You would need a comprehensive list of the services provided and check with your council if they are HB eligible, or whether they would pay for support services for you.

 

Remember as well that if a service is provided, like a warden, you would have to pay for it even if you didn't need it.

 

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Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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can you clarify whether this is to be a leasehold or a shared ownership scheme

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I'm just at the point of starting to look id6052 and the ones I have seen advertised are all leasehold I think. I am not sure what shared ownership implies but would imagine that would be unusual for a retirement flat, but perhaps not. What difference does it make?

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Shared ownership is where you buy a percentage of the property and rent the rest, with an option to buy up to 100 % in future in one or more stages. This is called staircasing.

 

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The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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with shared ownership properties, you apply for assistance from your local council

 

with leasehold properties, you apply for assistance throuh the pension service

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with shared ownership properties, you apply for assistance from your local council

 

with leasehold properties, you apply for assistance throuh the pension service

 

Sorry id5062.but I find this post confusing, and I work for a housing association which has both shared ownership and leasehold properties (for elderly where person, usually aged 55 or over buys 70% of the property and HA retains the freehold and provides services such as warden, gardening etc).

 

Can you elaborate on the services provided by the council for shared ownership properties? These tend to be starter homes to give people a step up on the housing ladder and not retirement properties as MLH rightly says.

 

Also I don't know what the pension service have to do with leasehold. My own mother lived in a leasehold property but she died a few years ago and I never heard of the pension service being involved then or mention of them at work.

Edited by caro

 

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The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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MLH can you confirm you are thinking of buying a leasehold and not renting sheltered accommodation please. As you're talking about ground rent, I take it you're looking to buy so there would only be service charge. I don't believe there would be ground rent so you're just looking at service charge. Im not sure if you'd be subject to bedroom tax if you don't pay rent as such. Most retirement properties don't have more than 2 bedrooms but you'd need to check this out.

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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hi caro,

 

Leasehold properties

you may also be able to get help towards some other housing costs, for example, ground rent for long leases and some service charges through the DWP

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/benefits_w/benefits_help_if_on_a_low_income_ew/help_for_people_on_a_low_income_-_income_support.htm

 

Standard shared ownership properties

You buy a percentage of property and rent the remainder, in such cases, the rental element and some service charges would normally be eligible for HB

 

Older People’s Shared Ownership

You can get help from another home ownership scheme called ‘Older People’s Shared Ownership’ if you’re aged 55 or over.

It works in the same way as the general shared ownership scheme, but you can only buy up to 75% of your home. Once you own 75% you won’t have to pay rent on the remaining share.

I believe the DWP provide help with service charges in these cases

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Thanks id. The Older People's Shared Ownership isn't something I've heard of before. I'm surprised dwp would pay but I don't know about the pension service. I see plenty of HB being paid, and council's paying support costs, but I guess the claimant gets the dwp payment direct so I wouldn't see that in my job.

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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a lot of it boils down to which service charges are being charged - sorry when I refer to DWP ( i am including both JC+ for working age and Pension Service for pension age)

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Agreed, and welfare reform has had quite an impact on that.

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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