do i stay in my damp cold expensive house or lie through my teeth so my kids can have a nice home??

(332 Posts)
bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 15:49:44

just looking for some advice really, i am a single mother to 2 DD, 10 months and 2yrs.
we currently live in a 3 bed semi detatched house, it has an old back boiler which makes the gas bills huge yet we are still always freezing. the garden is a vertical hill (literally!) there is mold growing on the kids bedroom wall. the double glazing doesn't work and there is puddles of water on all the windowsills every morning. i hate it!!
in the area i live there is a shortage of social housing and my name is on all council/housing association lists. my only hope is a house from an estate agents. but of course they won't accept DSS.
now i get my housing benefit paid to me so there is no reason i need to disclose this other than it being dishonest. but i know i would be a great tenant, i have never not paid my rent, i'm a clean freak and have no pets.
i have found a perfect house that i can afford and have the application form in front of me, i know i won't get it if i tell the truth. i have a friend who runs her own business and would say i worked for her. i just don't know what to do??
the eatate agents use MARAS, will my bank tell them where my funds come from?

YDdraigGoch Mon 26-Nov-12 15:57:24

I don't know what the repercussions would be if you lie, though I'd be tempted myself too. I think there might also be repercussions if your friend lies on your behalf - and you might have to produce payslips for the last xx months as evidence of retular income.

Isn't there any alternative? The house you're in doesn't sound at all suitable for habitation, let alone by babies.

Would you get a house quicker if the children shared a room? (ie if you went for a two bedroom house?

Perhaps you could explain your circumstances to the estate agent, or directly to the person letting the house and appeal to their better nature. A reference from whoever you pay rent to now to say you've never not paid on time, looked after the property really well, etc etc would help with this. Nothing is ever cast in concrete!

bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:12:01

well i've hated this house since the day i moved in (18 months ago) and have been looking at all possible options and this seems to be my only one.
yes this house i want is a 2 bed, its a nice small modern house with a safe garden. would be very cheap to keep warm, it is literally perfect.
there is no point asking the estate agents as it said on the advert in huge capitals, 'NO DHSS'!
i met the landlord yesterday as he showed me around, he seemed nice. i havn't got his contact details but did consider asking his current tenants to pass my number on to him and just explain my situation but then i risk messing it up. a house that is perfect for me and the kids that i can afford might not come up in this area again for months/years. i live in a rural location and there just aren't that many houses.

Do it i say.

I did, and i no longer get housing benefit, but my landlord was none the wiser.

Only thing to watch is there can be a gap with a change of claiming address, so make sure you have funds to cover that

bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:32:41

diet, did you go through an estate agents? were you asked for any proof of income?
i have to give the 50quid when i hand in my app form, really don't want to loose 50quid if i don't stand a chance of passing the credit checks.
i have no bad credit but im just worried that they can find out im not working.

bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:36:43

p.s the only reason i can afford this option is because my mum can lend me the months rent in advance and deposit. its a shitty situation for people who have no one to lend them money.

NatashaBee Mon 26-Nov-12 16:39:17

We had a check through MARAS, all they did was call the work switchboard number we'd given and ask to speak to HR who confirmed we'd worked there and for how long. They will not be able to look at your bank account and see where the funds come from via the credit check (but there is the possibility that they may request bank statements for some other part of the check, or your payslips... unlikely but you never know). Do you have anyone who could be a guarantor for you? Maybe you could ask the estate agent what paperwork they need from you, prior to handing in the form, and see if they mention payslips or bank statements?

thornrose Mon 26-Nov-12 16:47:39

The agents will get in touch with your employer and probably ask for a faxed copy of your contract of employment. Or at least that's what mine did!

The problem with approaching the landlord direct is that there are often clauses in their mortgage that means they can't rent to DSS tenants so he might have to say no on that basis.

bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:48:13

yes my mum is willing to be a guarantor. i can get fakev wageslips but not bank statements.
i asked the lady today about any documents i would need and she said all i had to do was fill in the maras form. thanks for replies.

thornrose Mon 26-Nov-12 16:49:18

I have my mum as my guarantor as I only work part time atm. Could you do that?

If you have a guarantor then it shouldn't matter tbh. As they have a guarantee of their money. I'd just approach and be truthful, with a guarantor it should be ok.

bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:57:15

well when i first rang up to book a viewing the first thing she asked was if i was on benefits and i said no, so to tell the truth now would be to admit i was lying.
i was thinking of saying i work part time for my friend and receive tax credits (i do) so half truth?
i really need the house and don't want to mess it up.

bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:59:32

well if they contacted my "employer" we could somehow get around it i think.
is there any estate agents here who could give there opinion?

IAmSoFuckingRock Mon 26-Nov-12 17:05:44

if you move house and still expect to get Hb the housing office will request you rnew LL details and will ask you to get a declaration of occupancy filled in and signed by your Ll. if you dont do this you willnot be paid any HB. your LL will find out.

IAmSoFuckingRock Mon 26-Nov-12 17:15:59

sorry, certificate of occupation. not declaration.

bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 17:16:09

i don't remember having to do that at my present house, are housing benefit rules different with different councils? also im in wales so rules might be different.

IAmSoFuckingRock Mon 26-Nov-12 17:21:16

maybe they are. i'm in NI and i definitely have to get it signed by LL. they suspend my claim for HB until all forms have been received and shoved in a drawer for 4 weeks

even if you dont have to do that. i wouldn't do it in your shoes. it could get quite a few people into trouble not to mention it could leave you homeless if LL finds out and evicts you. if LL isn't allowed to have DSS tenants as part of their mortgage terms it could invalidate their insurance or affect their mortgage rate. it could get your friend into trouble for forging payslips and pretending to be your boss, they could end up being liable for tax and NI payments that are supposedly due from your 'salary'.

You know what, either way you could lose the house (ie pretending to work, or talking to the landlord). I'd phone the landlord, and speak to him candidly. It may be a case of additional cost of insurance to have HB claimants in it. Could you afford to offer to pay the extra cost if it comes up? Get character references and current LL references, and letter from your mum as guarantor, it may all help you.

I wish you luck.

bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 17:27:47

i know there are risks involved but i just sort of feel like im in a position that i can either sit here and rot or take a few risks.
i mean say the landlord finds out in 6 month but ive been a great tenant. would he really go to all the expense of kicking me out and finding a new tenant?
if he did i would just have to find somewhere else i suppose, but it would be better than the dump im in now.
freezing with socks slippers 3 jumpers and a 180pound gas bill for 42 days!!!

IAmSoFuckingRock Mon 26-Nov-12 17:34:05

i just dont think it's wise to take a risk on the LL's character. they could be really pissed off that you lied and evict you regardless of how good a tenant you've been. and tbh, it's not fair if they're taking risks they dont even know about! i know you are in a tough situation but the LL hasn't done anything wrong so you shouldn't put them in a bad situation. in your shoes i would be upfront, provide excellent references from previous LLs, employers and your mum as guarantor (has she got good credit?) if they see you are genuinely a good tenant then they might be willing to talk to their mortgage company and see if they can alter the terms. they wont be willing to do you any favours if you lie to them though.

IAmSoFuckingRock Mon 26-Nov-12 17:35:42

also, if you think it's hard to find the right house now, try doing it after being evicted and having to tell prospective LLs why. they wont be willing to let to you after hearing that.

weakestlink Mon 26-Nov-12 17:48:20

If the LL has a mortgage it is probably the mortgage lender who does not allow him to rent to tenants on housing benefit. It would also invalidate his buildings insurance so if he did need to make a claim (flood/fire etc) and it was void becuase you had lied I don't know what consequences there would be? Could the LL try to claim damages from you?
I understand it's a shitty situation for you but I would try and find a private landlord who does rent to HB (usually ones with no mortgage!).

As a LL if you did this to me I'd be fuming and would give you notice as soon as I possibly could so you would have to move out. If however you came to me with good references and a guarantor, provided my mortgage lender was ok with it I'd give you the benefit of the doubt.

The issue is one of trust - lying up front will automatically label you as untrustworthy, and people won't want you in their property.

Also (I think) puts you in breech of contract, so you cannot rely on the rental contract to protect you.

In short, don't lie.

baabaapinksheep Mon 26-Nov-12 18:13:06

Don't do it!!!

The reason most landlords won't rent to hb claimants is because of a clause in their mortgage agreement.

If you do this and get caught (which you will!) then both you and the ll will be breaking the law!

If you're ok doing something illegal then that's your choice, but don't drag a prospective ll into it.

LynetteScavo Mon 26-Nov-12 18:17:27

Some letting agents have a blanket "no DSS" but at the end of the day, it's at the landlord desecration, and whether it's allowed by their lender.

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