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Rent and Benefits

(11 Posts)
sadfairy Mon 07-Oct-13 18:48:29

I am looking to leave my husband with my DC. We are looking to sell the house, but in the meantime I will have to rent.

The rents are so high in this area and I wouldn't be able to rent accommodation for me and the DC on my part-time salary.

If I left the marital home can I claim any benefits for us? Who do I contact with regard to benefits?

This is all so "alien" to me, so any advice would be helpful.

Babyroobs Mon 07-Oct-13 19:57:09

You would be able to get Housing benefit I imagine, but that could be affected by any equity you have in a jointly owned home, so best to check. You need to open a single tax credit claim, so you should get child tax credits and possible working tax credits as long as you work over 16 hours a week.

bimbabirba Mon 07-Oct-13 20:51:41

IIRC equity in your house is disregarded for up to one year, i.e. wouldn't count as capital so you would be entitled to HB if your earnings are low enough. Definitely check with the Council about this.

ZippityDoodahday Mon 07-Oct-13 20:58:01

Many landlords do not accept tenants in receipt of HB & CTB, unfortunately. Many listings for rentals state no dss.
We are eligible to claim but our lease states 'not offered to dss recipients' sad We feel really discriminated against, as if we're Scum, but by not claiming we were able to rent in a nice area.

sadfairy Tue 08-Oct-13 13:26:34

Thank you for your replies.

If I am eligable for housing benefit, does the money go straight to the landlord?

ComtesseDeSpair Tue 08-Oct-13 14:28:46

You can usually claim HB for private rented accommodation for up to 26 weeks if you own another property but are unable to live in it because of a relationship breakdown. However, not all councils are equal when it comes to their benefits administration and some may want to see solicitors' letters which state that it is actually unsafe for you to stay in the marital home because the relationship has broken down so markedly, rather than that you would just prefer not be living in the same home anymore. If your claim is successful, the Council will expect to see evidence that your owned home is being marketed and some councils may extend your eligibility for HB beyond 26 weeks. Make an appointment to speak to a Benefits Officer at your council asap. They may also have a Welfare Adviser/Money Management Officer or similarly titled person who can help you with what other benefits you might be entitled to.

The council will pay HB to you; it's then your responsibility to pay rent to the landlord. The only exceptions to this are for people who are accepted as too vulnerable or chaotic to manage their own finances appropriately.

specialsubject Tue 08-Oct-13 17:03:45

the problem with HB tenants is not that they are perceived as 'scum' but that many of them are higher risk. Since the situation changed and the HB is paid to the tenant, the landlord no longer has certainty of payment.

in addition many insurers will not provide cover for renting to HB tenants.

none of which helps you, I'm afraid. But there will be somewhere.

debtcamel Tue 08-Oct-13 22:17:17

CdeS has explained the HB situation clearly.

To check how much benefit you would get, use this excellent site: www.turn2us.org.uk. They have a benefits checker there which will explain what benefits you would get - Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, possibly Working Tax Credit (depends on your hours and income), Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.

sadfairy Thu 10-Oct-13 13:37:59

Once again, thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.

I will look on my Council website to see about speaking to a benefits officer and also answer the questions on the above site to see if I am entitled to anything!

If you have savings etc do any of the "bodies" want to see evidence of what you say you have?

debtcamel Thu 10-Oct-13 13:54:53

"If you have savings etc do any of the "bodies" want to see evidence of what you say you have?" you will have to show bank statements for all accounts, including savings accounts, when you apply for Housing Benefit

Caramelbutthorn Wed 16-Oct-13 00:17:30

Hiya,

Just a couple of suggestions - i'm on housing benefit and found it hard to find a landlord and an agency that would deal with me, but they ARE out there. I ended up calling / going into all the letting agents in town, explaining my situation and what I was looking for, that way when something came in that was be suitable for me they could give me a call.

You could try the following...

1. Find a place to rent and go through the referencing BEFORE you start getting housing benefit? Then you wouldn't be seen as scum of the earth and might find things a hell of a lot easier.

2. OR, do what I did, and offer to pay for rent in advance. When I moved in, I had to pay x6 months rent in advance, and i've not had to pay x12 months rent in advance when i extended my tenancy. They then don't care that you are housing benefit. I know its a lot to come up with in one go, but if you can find someone to lend it to you and you then pay it back as you receive it? or when you get the equity in the house?
Also, suggest this to the letting agents when you call them initially. It will definitely make them happier to look for you smile

Good luck with everything smile

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